Pierce Brosnan has stepped down from the role of James Bond after being bought out by 007 movie makers - according to his neighbour Michael Madsen.

The Irish actor has hinted he may not return to play the super spy for a fifth time - prompting rumours Colin Farrell and Clive Owen were being lined up to slip into the secret agent's trademark tuxedo.

But RESERVOIR DOGS star MADSEN, Brosnan's California neighbour, claims he's already stepped down - to be replaced by an Australian actor, perhaps HUGH JACKMAN.

Loose-lipped Madsen lets slip, "Pierce lives down the beach from me and our kids play together.

"He told me he doesn't want to do another one, I also heard from Pierce that they bought him out. I really don't know but an impasse is an impasse."

When asked if Jackman will replace Brosnan, Madsen teases, "I was told at the time the name of the new Bond, but I can't remember it - I do remember he's Australian though."

07/04/2004 14:02