SIR Sean Connery is to play St John in a new film about Spanish art, which will be completed next year.

The 83-year-old actor was in the news last week after his friend Sir Michael Caine was forced to deny reports that he had said the Bond star was suffering from ill health.

Now it has emerged that the actor, who lives in the Bahamas, is instead working on his golf game and has been recording passages from the Book of Revelations for the leading Scottish filmmaker Murray Grigor.

Mr Grigor, who will unveil another project with Sir Sean next month with the first showing of Ever to Excel, a film celebrating St Andrews, said the star is in good health and was working with him on the film about Spanish religious art.

Mr Grigor is making a documentary about the Beatus illuminated manuscripts, a series of works of art more than 1000 years old, for New York's Morgan Library.

Sir Sean was interested in the project and Mr Grigor said he would be perfect for the voice of St John, whose apocalyptic Revelations are among the most cryptic and colourful books of the Bible.

The Beatus are illuminated manuscripts of commentaries on the Apocalypse by the 8th century Spanish monk Beatus, copies of which are held in various collections, including a famous version in New York, called the Morgan Beatus.

Mr Grigor said: "We are shooting the film in Spain.

"Maybe it is because I had The Name of the Rose in my mind [a Connery film in which he plays a monk] but I thought it would be such a good project for him to do, to be the voice of God or St John.

"He really is excited to do it, and will be reading passages from Revelations for the film in his uniquely forceful manner."

Of Sir Sean, Mr Grigor said: "Look, he is 83, and yes he gets grumpy. Everyone has cataracts and other problems at that age. I thought the reports last week were very cruel and untrue."

The film will be premiered at New York's Morgan Library and Museum next October.

The library was founded in 1906 to house the private library of the famous US banker JP Morgan.