Svelte Spanish actress Penelope Cruz is reportedly set to become the oldest ever Bond girl... at 40. The star of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and Vicky Christina Barcelona, Cruz will start working on the 24th James Bond film next summer, if the final negotiations are satisfactory.

The oldest Bond girl, so far, was Honor Blackman, who was 39 when she starred in Goldfinger (1962).

Unfortunately for fans of the svelte Spanish stunner and the suave Daniel Craig, they will have to wait for her 007 debut because she is pregnant with her second child. Cruz is married to fellow actor Javier Bardem.

And, incidentally, she follows in the footsteps of the 44-year-old Las Palmas-born actor. Bardem played the role Raoul Silva in Skyfall (2012), the film's antagonist.

"The producers have tried to get Penelope before, but she has never been available because of other commitments," sources in the production team said, adding, "The discussions have been going on for some time and they are working out the contract details now."

"She got back into shape fast after the first baby and will no doubt regain her figure quickly this time. She'll be a great Bond girl. Bond girls are always brainy as well as sexy, and that's totally Penelope," the source continued.

Meanwhile, Daniel Craig is expected to return as 007, for at least two more films. And the continuity extends to scriptwriter John Logan and director Sam Mendes as well.

The Mail Online reports that while Mendes unofficially declined to commit himself to this project, the production team have told him that they will wait until his present projects (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the Theatre Royal and King Lear with Simon Russell Beale at the National Theatre) have been completed.

Bond 24, as the untitled project is called, is expected in 2016.