The 58-year-old actor, who was born in Vienna, is believed to have signed on to replace British actor Chiwetel Ejiofor, whose deal with the Bond producers fell through.
The new Bond film, the 24th in its line, will star Daniel Craig in his fourth portrayal of the role, with Ralph Fiennes stepping into the role of 'M'.
Filming is expected to start in December, with the production moving to Austria from January 5th.
Work has already begun at one location in Austria, where exterior sets in the Tyrolean village of Obertilliach have been under construction since September.
Filming is also expected at lake Altaussee in Styria, which was personally scouted by director Sam Mendes.
Other locations for the film will include Rome and Campania in Italy, Casablanca and Tangiers in Morocco, Mexico and London.
The Altaussee. Photo: Hotel Seevilla (www.seevilla.at)