Australian actor Eric Bana is set to be the next JAMES BOND - beating JUDE LAW, Orlando Bloom and Heath Ledger to the part of the British spy.

THE HULK star, 35, is still in negotiations with movie bosses to take over the coveted role from Pierce Brosnan in the next installment, which sees 007 on a mission to save the world from a killer virus.

A source says, "Eric is the guy they want but he has a reputation for being demanding.

"They want to modernise Bond and turn him into a youthful, suave and modern hero to compete with the likes of SPIDER-MAN and KEANU (REEVES) in THE MATRIX."

Bana is married to TV publicist Rebecca Gleeson and they have two children together - KLAUS, five, and SOPHIA, two.

01/08/2004 14:24