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.

Contributor

Andrew Pulver

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Rami Malek wins best actor Oscar for Bohemian Rhapsody
Malek takes the honour for his role as Freddie Mercury in the Queen biopic, which has been dogged by controversy due to its director Bryan Singer

Andrew Pulver

25, Feb, 2019 @3:45 AM

Article image
Oscar winner Rami Malek: the first best actor of Arab heritage
Born to Egyptian parents in Los Angeles, the Bohemian Rhapsody star rejected typecasting roles as a terrorist before being invited to play Freddie Mercury

Andrew Pulver

25, Feb, 2019 @9:31 AM

Article image
Oscars 2019 verdict: lovely surprises can't compensate for shock horrors
The Academy voters got it right with gongs for Olivia Colman and Alfonso Cuarón, but Bohemian Rhapsody and Green Book have been sorely overrated

Peter Bradshaw

25, Feb, 2019 @6:31 AM

Article image
Oscar nominations 2019: Roma and The Favourite deserve acclaim, but no female directors is woeful
The Academy consensus has produced two blue chip frontrunners, but passed over some exceptional films directed by women in the process

Peter Bradshaw

22, Jan, 2019 @4:00 PM

Article image
Why Bohemian Rhapsody should win the best picture Oscar
It was panned by the critics but the Freddie Mercury biopic has proven a hit with cinemagoers. Did critics get it wrong?

Alex Needham

21, Feb, 2019 @9:51 AM

Article image
Oscars save shocks for last with big wins for Green Book and Olivia Colman
The feelgood comedy drama was a surprise big winner, while Olivia Colman and Rami Malek took home top acting honours

Benjamin Lee

25, Feb, 2019 @4:35 AM

Article image
Killer Queens: Olivia Colman and Rami Malek crown regal Baftas
Exemplary – if slightly unexciting – choices defined this year’s ceremony, but I can’t help but grieve for Richard E Grant

Peter Bradshaw

10, Feb, 2019 @10:18 PM

Article image
Oscars TV ratings improve for 'hostless' show
After 2018’s record low, viewing figures increased by 11.1% – despite the shortened broadcast being without comedy skits or a host

Andrew Pulver

26, Feb, 2019 @10:43 AM

Article image
Rami Malek: working with Bryan Singer was ‘not pleasant’
The Oscar-nominated actor has spoken out about his experiences filming Bohemian Rhapsody

Staff and agencies

04, Feb, 2019 @10:52 AM

Article image
Oscar predictions, timetable and all you need to know
The 91st Academy Awards have finally arrived: here’s what you need to know, when you need to know it by and who (we think) will win the key prizes

Guardian film

24, Feb, 2019 @10:52 PM