Rami Malek in talks to star as the villain in Bond 25
Coming off from the success of Bohemian Rhapsody, Collider reports that Golden Globe-winning actor Rami Malek has entered the final negotiations of deal to star in MGM’s 25th James Bond movie, the long-awaited next installment of the blockbuster spy franchise. Malek would be playing the film’s main antagonist opposite Daniel Craig.
Variety is also reporting that actor Billy Magnussen (Game Night) is the top choice to play an American CIA operative that crosses paths with Bond. Magnussen previously worked with director Cary Joji Fukunaga on his Netflix series Maniac and also intended to cast him in his cancelled Leonard Bernstein pic opposite Jake Gyllenhaal. The CIA character is reportedly meant to replace Felix Leiter (Jeffrey Wright).
Last Sunday, Malek won an Academy Award for Best Actor for his role as Freddie Mercury in the 20th Century Fox’s Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody. He is also known for his critically-acclaimed performance as Elliot Alderson in TV series Mr. Robot which earned him an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series. The drama’s upcoming fourth and final season is scheduled to air sometime this year.
Returning cast members for the next film include Craig, Ralph Fiennes (Skyfall), Lea Seydoux (Spectre), Naomie Harris (Moonlight) and Ben Whishaw (Paddington 2).
Bond 25 has seen its share of problems over the past year. It was initially to be directed by Danny Boyle, who exited the project abruptly this summer over creative differences. This delayed production while the studio was forced to search for new directors, before eventually landing on Cary Joji Fukunaga, best known for directing the first season of HBO’s True Detective. Screenwriter Scott Z. Burns will be rewriting the original script written by series mainstay Neal Purvis and Robert Wade.
EON Productions and Metro Goldwyn Mayer Studios recently reached an agreement with Universal Pictures to partner on the worldwide release of the 25th James Bond film. The superspy’s previous outing, Spectre, opened in U.S. theaters on November 16, 2015. The film earned $200 million domestically and $680.6 million internationally, for a worldwide total of $880.7 million.
The as-yet-untitled Bond 25 is due to hit cinemas on April 8, 2020.