A stuntman working on the new James Bond film has been seriously hurt in a car crash on the movie's Italian set.

A collision between an Alfa Romeo and another vehicle on narrow streets near Lake Garda in northern Italy left Aris Comninos hospitalised while his co-driver Bruno Verdirosi sustained minor injuries.

A statement from the film's production company EON production said Comninos is in a serious condition.

"Filming with the second unit on Quantum of Solace will be suspended tomorrow [Thursday] while the accident is investigated," a spokesman was quoted by the Reuters news agency as saying.

The stunt drivers had been shooting a scene in which James Bond's Aston Martin is involved in a death-defying chase with a truck, according to BBC news.

The crash is the second accident in four days on the set of Quantum of Solace, the 22nd Bond movie, after a British stunt driver was forced to swim for safety when the Aston Martin DBS he was driving skidded into an icy lake on Saturday.

Little is known about the plot of Quantum of Solace, which takes its title from a short story by Ian Fleming in the For Your Eyes only collection.

The original story sees Bond as somewhat of a secondary character, attending a dinner party in Nassau in the Bahamas and being regaled with a tale of an expatriate affair.

Finding Neverland helmer Marc Forster is directing the 22nd film in the franchise, believed to commence soon after the conclusion of Casino Royale, which saw Bond betrayed by double agent Vesper Lynd.

Daniel Craig will be donning his tuxedo once more while French actor Mathieu Amalric, star of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, is to play the villain of the piece, portraying " a leading member of the villainous organisation introduced in Casino Royale", producers Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli said in January.

25/04/2008 09:02:46