Daniel Craig awakes to 'Dream'

Latest Bond eyes psychological thriller at Morgan Creek

Daniel Craig can shake, but can he stir?

The latest James Bond has proved a critical and commercial success in his two turns in the iconic role, for "Casino Royale" and "Quantum of Solace." But he has been deliberate in choosing his next live-action role.

Now comes word he is in early talks to star in "Dream House," a psychological thriller set up at Morgan Creek to be directed by Jim Sheridan, though principals stress that the two sides have not reached a deal.

In the David Loucka script, Craig would play a man who moves his family to an idyllic small town, only to find his house haunted by its former inhabitants, who were murdered there.

With a pedigreed director like Sheridan, the movie would accomplish the goal of branching Craig out into a more prestige direction post-"Quantum" while keeping him in the realm of the commercial.

Like other Bond actors, Craig has faced a crossroads coming off Bond hits. His two other roles, "Munich" and "Defiance," saw him essentially take on a more art house version of the Bond character of hit man and vigilante.

Craig already has shown interest in more boutique fare, recently signing for the Broadway drama "A Steady Rain." His name also surfaced in connection with "The Eagle of the Ninth," Kevin Macdonald's period pic for Focus Features that would have been a departure of a certain type.

Other Bond actors have found it tricky to find their footing after they became embedded in the public consciousness as the Ian Fleming creation.

While Sean Connery had a robust career both in and out of the stylish shoes of the dashing globetrotter, others, like Pierce Brosnan and Timothy Dalton, have found new bankable roles hard to come by.

Bond 23, as the Sony/MGM co-production is shorthanded, is still at the script stage. That gives Craig plenty of time to attempt another stunt -- without M.