Collider reports that Malek in in "final negotiations" for the Bond 25 villain role; Variety had previously reported Malek being considered for the film, but it was reported that his shooting schedule for the final season of USA's cult-hit drama Mr. Robot would keep the actor from taking on Bond 25. Collider's report states that Malek's team negotiated to get the actor's schedule worked out for the opportunity, and were just waiting to see if they'd have an Oscar to bargain with. Well, Malek indeed won the Best Actor Oscar for his role as Freddie Mercury in the Queen biopic, so hearing this kind of high-profile next casting step is only natural, really.
No details have yet been revealed about the character that Malek would play - though the report suggests that it could be a blind man, which would continue the tradition of Bond villains who come with distinctive physical traits.
True Detective's Cary Fukunaga is taking the director's chair over from Sam Mendes, with Scott Z. Burns (Contagion) rewriting the script that Fukunaga turned in. Production on Bond 25 has been delayed to a later production start date and subsequent release date - a shift that now seems to have been done to possibly accommodate Malek's Mr. Robot shooting schedule. As is noted in the article, Mr. Robot is produced by Universal Cable Productions, and Bond 25 is being distributed Universal Pictures, so there's definitely room in there for an scheduling shuffle to have been worked out, in-house.
Bond 25 will bring back Naomie Harris, Ben Whishaw and Ralph Fiennes as Bond's MI6 teammates Moneypenny, Q, and M (respectively). After a long back-and-forth debate, Daniel Craig is also returning as James Bond once again, and surprisingly his love interest from the previous film (Lea Seydoux's Madeleine Swann) is also coming back. There are some whispers that Oscar-winner Lupita Nyong'o could also join Bond 25 - but that's just speculation at this point.
Bond 25 will hit theaters on April 8th, 2020.
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