Bond 25 Still High On Rami Malek As Casting Shakes, Not Stirs, Up

Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody

We’ve watched Daniel Craig gun down foes as James Bond since 2006’s Casino Royale, and now the actor is prepping for one last outing as 007. With production on Bond 25 set to begin in a few months, MGM and Eon Productions are currently working to assemble the main cast, and today brings word that Bohemian Rhapsody star Rami Malek is being looked at again to play the lead villain.

Back in December, it was reported that it was doubtful that Rami Malek would score the main antagonist role in Bond 25 due to scheduling conflicts, namely that the actor will be busy shooting the final season of Mr. Robot. However, the latest update is that there is “renewed interest” in bringing Malek aboard, and that although there have been meetings with other actors for this role, producers have made a lot of effort to try to accommodate both shoots. That’s still not official confirmation that Malek will join Bond 25, but clearly this is one casting the movie’s team is fighting hard to make happen.

Since Rami Malek walked home with the Academy Award for Best Lead Actor this past weekend for his performance as Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody, no doubt that’s added extra incentive to try to recruit him for Bond 25. Of course, Mr. Robot was Malek’s breakthrough role and catapulted him to fame, so it’s obviously important to him and the rest of the cast and crew that the final season of the USA Network series is handled properly. Still, with Mr. Robot Season 4 rolling cameras from March to July (per the last update), it will be challenging to free Malek’s schedule enough for him to participate in Bond 25.

Variety also reported that among the new characters Bond 25 is casting are a female MI6 agent, a female “accomplice” similar to Olga Kurylenko’s Camille Montes in Quantum of Solace, and a male CIA agent similar to Jeffrey Wright’s Felix Leiter. No specific actresses were named as candidates for the first two roles, though “further chemistry readings” with Daniel Craig are reportedly being scheduled since apparently these women will be spending the most time with James Bond on screen. (That sounds about right.)

Billy Magnussen in Game Night

As for the CIA agent, sources say Game Night and Aladdin star Billy Magnussen is the top choice to play that character, though it’s unclear if an offer’s been made to the actor. It helps that Magnussen previously worked with Bond 25 director Cary Fukunaga on the Netflix series Maniac, and supposedly Fukunaga had tried to bring Magnussen aboard for the Jake Gyllenhaal-led Leonard Bernstein movie, which has since been shelved. Assuming all this is true, evidently Fukunaga is keen on working with Magnussen again, so we’ll have to wait and see if a reunion for James Bond’s latest adventure can be arranged.

Bond 25 is now scheduled to hit theaters on April 8, 2020, so stay tuned to CinemaBlend for continuing coverage. In the meantime, look through our 2019 release schedule to find out what’s arriving in theaters later this year.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.