Movie File: Daniel Craig, Linda Cardellini, Kristanna Loken, Steve Zahn & More

'I could fail miserably [or] ... make the franchise last another 30 years,' new James Bond says.

Daniel Craig — one of 2005′s most buzzed-about actors — is making an end-of-the-year appearance in “Munich,” but he’s already transitioning to becoming the next James Bond for “Casino Royale,” scheduled to shoot soon. And unlike typical Craig roles, the star said Bond is “never working class. ['Crash' writer] Paul Haggis has done a rewrite of the script and has written great dialogue. The lead girl part is fantastic, the characters are all fantastic. It’s a Bond film. We’re making a Bond movie first and foremost.” Naming “From Russia With Love” as his favorite series installment, the 37-year-old star said although director Martin Campbell will be returning from “GoldenEye,” the November ’06 release (and 21st film in the series) will be unlike both those movies. “It’s going to be very different from anything else … it will have certain elements that will make it a Bond movie,” including Ian Fleming source material, reportedly updated to change Bond’s game of baccarat into the trendier Texas Hold ‘Em. “The cars are newer too,” Craig laughed. “There’s a lot of similarities with the book but yes, of course it’s been updated. It has to be. It’s a suspension of disbelief that we’re renewing Bond, and that this is the first time you see him.” Finally, he admitted, “Yes, I could fail miserably, but maybe I can do something that’s different and make the franchise last another 30 years — as opposed to another three.” Either way, he’ll get to play with some cool toys and drink a lot of martinis. “I do that anyway,” he grinned. …

Linda Cardellini may be in the process of setting the record for most diverse back-to-back projects, as she can currently be seen in the Golden Globe-nominted cowboy drama “Brokeback Mountain” and will follow it up next month with the raunchy teen comedy “Grandma’s Boy.” She hopes to keep her fans guessing in the future as well, as she looks forward to the 2006 gun drama “American Gun,” and then hopes to dust off her Velma wig for a third “Scooby Doo” adventure. “I had the time of my life making those movies,” she grinned. “Every six months or so, I hear a whisper or a murmur that there will be another [sequel].” … You might know her as the deadly T-X from “Terminator 3,” you might be looking forward to her as the bloodsucking title character in next month’s “BloodRayne,” or you may be most familiar with Kristanna Loken as the sexy starlet clad with nothing but body paint on the cover of this month’s FHM. But Loken hopes Hollywood will soon see her as a producing threat with a brain beneath all that blond hair. The recently completed indie “Lime Salted Love” marks her debut as a producer and is due in theaters next year. “It’s like ‘Reality Bites’ a little bit,” she said. “Young people finding their way, messing up, screwing up, partying maybe a little bit too much, sticking together in that close-knit circle that essentially becomes their family — and it’s a bit of a tragedy too. And the way in which we are cutting it, it’s kind of like ‘Memento’ almost. [You don't know] what’s happening, and you don’t know why, and then you keep watching, and then you kind of realize it’s back-forward-back … we definitely used a lot of creative freedom in this.” The testosterone-driven subscribers of that men’s magazine, however, needn’t worry about Loken’s producing credit drying her out, as she also stars in the film and promises at least one steamy scene: “We have a bit of a ménage à trois scene … it’s a bit like ‘Mulholland Drive.’ ” …

Fully aware of Pixar’s impressive streak of box-office smashes, Bonnie Hunt confidently claims that this summer’s “Cars” will be every bit as successful as “The Incredibles,” “Finding Nemo” and the others. “It’s going to be so great! The greatest storytellers of our generation are Pixar,” she enthused. “Their process is so amazing; each movie takes four to five years, and I’ve been involved with this one from the very beginning — I was also writing on it. It’s just a fantastic experience, and technically, they get more and more advanced and more awe-inspiring in their artwork. The detail is incredible.” Hunt voices a vehicle (alongside Paul Newman, Owen Wilson and Larry the Cable Guy) while telling the story of a cocky stock-car stuck in the small town of Radiator Springs. “I’m Sally, a Porsche, who actually moved to that town so that she could slow down a little bit. She realizes how much she was missing in her fast-paced life. She chooses to stay there, and when Owen Wilson’s car gets there, he thinks somebody only ends up there if they’ve broken down or can’t get gas or can’t get out. She kinda helps him realize that there’s another side to life.” … Filming wrapped earlier this week on “Doubting Thomas,” which pairs D.L. Hughley and Lea Thompson alongside two of Hollywood’s youngest rising stars in AnnaSophia Robb (“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”) and Forrest Landis (“Flightplan”). The comedy tells the story of what happens when Thomas (Landis) discovers a plot to kidnap the president’s daughter — but no one will believe him. The film was shot in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and is anticipating a 2006 release. …

“Reba” actor Steve Howey is shifting from the small screen to the big screen for a sexy new movie — based on a video game. “It was tough,” he said. “It’s about four kung-fu chicks involved in this tournament called Dead or Alive, with Jaime Pressly, Devon Aoki, Holly Valance and Sarah Carter.” Due in theaters next year, “DOA: Dead or Alive” casts Howey as a henchman to Eric Roberts‘ Donovan, an evil mastermind who invites combatants to his private island to do battle for his entertainment. “I play Eric Roberts’ assistant, this computer nerd,” Howey grinned, remembering his costume. “I was really tall, like the tallest computer geek that there’s ever been. I think it scared some people.” … One of the more versatile actors in Hollywood, Steve Zahn had trouble signing onto his zany upcoming comedy “Strange Wilderness” because the film’s producers had difficulty faxing him while he was living in the jungle, shooting a somber war film with Christian Bale. “Me and Christian, we were in Thailand with [writer/director] Werner Herzog shooting this movie called ‘Rescue Dawn’ that’s about POWs in Vietnam,” Zahn recalled. “It’s a true story. Werner Herzog made a documentary called ‘Little Dieter Needs to Fly’ [in 1997, telling the same story] about guys that were in a POW camp and they ended up escaping. Dieter Dangler [Bale] is one of the most decorated navy pilots in Vietnam, and they escaped this prison camp and survived in the jungle for a long time. They lost a ton of weight, like 40 pounds.” Adding that there are “no laughs” this time around, Zahn says the movie will be in theaters in March.

Visit Movies on MTV.com for more from Hollywood, including news, interviews, trailers and more.