When it was announced that Sam Mendes would be at the helm for the next Bond film, I think we knew we'd get something a little different -- and the latest casting rumor proves just how different this Bond could potentially be since, if sources are correct, we might be getting a female villain, and it's not who you would expect. A reliable source for Cinema Blend has told them that Rachel Weisz is being put forth as a possibility to play the head of the ultra secretive Quantum organization (and head baddie) in the 23rd installment of the spy franchise. Even though the production is on hold thanks to the pending sale of MGM, CB's source says that producers haven't been wasting any time and that casting is first on their to-do list.

According to their tipster, producers are considering Weisz to play "..the head of Quantum, the secret organization responsible for all the bad guy activity in the last two films. More than just another Bond babe, she'd be the mastermind pulling the strings behind everything that's happened in Daniel Craig's Bond movies so far, and the architect of James Bond's suffering." Granted, Weisz is probably not on the top of the list of cinematic bad girls, but Quantum is a whole new kind of baddie in the Bond franchise (although there is a little nod to SMERSH), so it makes sense to try something (and someone) different.

Of course, this is all still speculation, but it never hurts to play fantasy casting, and even if nothing comes of it, it's an intriguing idea. Weisz is already working with Craig on Jim Sheridan's thriller Dream House before she heads off to star in Madeline Stowe's directorial debut, Unbound Captives. But, if the timing's right, we might get to see Weisz in bad-girl mode when Bond finally makes it into production.

After the jump: is this the end of the 'Bond Girl'?....

After all, isn't it about time that Bond had a female adversary that was his equal? The 'Bond Girl' format has become one of the least exciting elements of the franchise over the years, and the arrival of a new piece of arm candy doesn't' seem to cause the sensation that it used to. Besides, in a downsizing economy it makes perfect sense to wrap up your hot chick and your bad guy into one package -- and I'm sure you'll agree that Weisz has a combination of looks and talent that is quite the package. Over the years the Bond girls have evolved and they've been let in on the action, but they've never been the one in charge (wow, even in the world of super-villainy us gals still have to deal with the glass ceiling). But politics aside, the thought of having our first main (not henchwoman) female villain in Bond history just sounds like a cool idea.

What do you think of the idea of Weisz as the bad guy, and what other actresses do you think could handle the super-spy? Sound off in the comments.