Rami Malek confirmed for Bond 25, but title remains under wraps

The producers of the 25th official James Bond film have revealed some new additions to the cast at a launch event at the Jamaica mansion owned by the creator of Bond, Ian Fleming.

Oscar winner Rami Malek, seen here arriving at the SAG Awards, hinted strongly that he’ll be the next Bond villain. (Photo © 2019 Steve McCambridge)

The team didn’t confirm that Rami Malek – who won the Best Actor Oscar for playing Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody earlier this year – would be playing a villain, but in a recorded message, Malek himself said “I promise you all I will be making sure Mr Bond does not have an easy ride of it.”

Other new members of the Bond family were announced as Ana de Armas from Blade Runner 2049, Game Night‘s Billy Magnussen, Captain Marvel’s Lashana Lynch and David Dencik from Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.

There are also a handful of faces familiar from Spectre and earlier Bond films making a return, including Ben Whishaw as the technical wizard Q, Ralph Fiennes as the Bond’s commanding officers M, Naomie Harris, Rory Kinnear and Jeffrey Wright.

Unusually, the character who – in the past – might previously have been described as the Bond Girl, Lea Seydoux’s Madelaine Swann, will feature again, in what’s being seen as an effort to modernise James Bond for the #MeToo era, something which commentators believe has been confirmed by the hiring of the Fleabag creator and Killing Eve writer Phoebe Waller-Bridge to work on the screenplay.

“Bond has always adapted to the times,” insisted Daniel Craig, who’ll play 007 for the fifth and – he insists – final time.

The creative team behind Bond 25 left that working title in place as they kept fans waiting for the title, but some clues were given about the background to the plot; having left active service, 007 is living in Jamaica, where his old CIA friend Felix turns up to pull him out of retirement to help him rescue a kidnapped scientist.

As is usually the case for this long-running franchise, it will feature a bit of a world tour, with scenes being shot in Jamaica, Norway, Italy and – its home – Pinewood Studios, west of London.

The resignation of the former director Danny Boyle over what were described as “creative differences” and his replacement by the American director Cary Joji Fukanaga has delayed the production, with the release put back until April 2020.