Revered British actor David Suchet is in negotiations to play James Bond's foe LE CHIFFRE in Casino Royale.

The thespian, who is famous for playing Agatha Christie's Belgian detective HERCULE POIROT on the small screen, is the front-runner for the villainous role, according to website IGN FilmForce.

Le Chiffre is a fearsome Russian agent, who attempts to win back lost millions at the gambling tables or risk being killed by his own kind. Bond is instructed to beat the spy at all costs - and ensure his foe's death.