Rami Malek lined up as Bond 25 villain after Oscars win

The Bohemian Rhapsody star and best actor winner is set to join the much-delayed new 007 film, which is due to start shooting in April

Fresh from his Academy Award win for Bohemian Rhapsody, Rami Malek is set to sign up as the lead villain in Bond 25, the much-delayed new 007 film that is due to be Daniel Craig’s last outing in the role.

Collider reports that Malek is in final negotiations for the part, with his newly enhanced status as an Oscar-winner a factor. Malek had been under consideration for some time, but Variety had reported in December that his work schedule on the final season of Mr Robot, the TV series in which he plays a computer hacker with an anxiety disorder, meant he was unable to do both. Now, however, it appears he will be accommodated.

Producers are also reported to be attempting to persuade another Oscar winner, Lupita Nyong’o, to join the film.

The delays that have hit the troubled production may have worked in Malek’s favour, as the studio shoot is now set to begin in April, under the working title Shatterhand. The film’s release date has been pushed back to April 2020 amid reports of extensive script rewrites. Bourne Ultimatum writer Scott Z Burns has been hired to rework the screenplay. Original director Danny Boyle dropped out in August 2018 after “creative differences” with the producers, and there have since been script drafts by Paul Haggis and the series’ writing team Neal Purvis and Robert Wade.

Few details have emerged about the villain role, but French-Moroccan actor Saïd Taghmaoui said in 2018 he had been approached to play it, though the ethnic identity of the character had not been established at that stage. It is also thought that Boyle clashed with producers over his plan to cast Cold War star Tomasz Kot as the lead villain. Malek, both of whose parents emigrated from Egypt to the US, is on record as choosing to reject roles that portray “Arabs or Middle Easterners in a negative light” after a bad experience on the TV series 24.


Andrew Pulver

The GuardianTramp

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