Ralph Fiennes has been offered the role of a "revolutionary" villain in the new James Bond film.

The British actor has reportedly been approached by film producers and director Sam Mendes to take on the "darkly complex role" in the movie - which has a working title of 'James Bond 23' - and is said to be interested because it is not a typical bad guy role.

A film executive close to the production told The Daily Mail newspaper: "It's the first of a new generation of Bond films and the ideas Mendes has push the film into darker territory where the characters are modern, mature and challenging

"The part is one of extreme complexity and only an actor of great ability and dexterity can take it on - and Ralph's name is top of our list."

Daniel Craig will be returning as the titular agent in the movie - which has a working title of 'James Bond 23' - while Dame Judi Dench has been confirmed to return as James' stern female boss, M,

The project had hoped to follow up the last film in the secret agent franchise, 'Quantum of Solace' earlier, but it was put on hold because of financing problems with studio MGM.

Javier Bardem has reportedly also been offered the role of a villain in the movie but it is not the same part as Ralph is considering.

The film is scheduled for release in November 2012.