The casting process for Bond 24 has begun as producers reportedly identify Chiwetel Ejiofor as the leading contender for the villain role
It was only last month that producer Barbara Broccoli said that they had started their search for the villain for the 24th James Bond film. Today, numerous trade press reports claim that the top contender for the role is Chiwetel Ejiofor - although no offer had been made yet.
Ejiofor recently won a BAFTA (and was Oscar nominated) for Best Actor for his leading role in "12 Years A Slave". The 36 year-old British actor would be following in the footsteps of Oscar-winner Javier Bardem, who played Silva in the record-breaking 2012 Bond film "Skyfall".
Broccoli gave the update a couple of weeks ago in London at the launch of the Bond In Motion exhibition in Covent Garden. She told reporters: "We're in the early stages. We start filming at the end of the year and the next film will come out at the end of 2015... We haven't chosen the villain yet, so we're hoping to be selecting someone in the next couple of months. "
It is not unusual for a Bond production to target an actor well in advance of an offer being made. "Skyfall" was written with Javier Bardem in mind long before the actor was formally approached to play the role. In fact, writers Purvis & Wade told MI6 Confidential magazine in issue #24 that they had at one time planned for him to the villain in "The World Is Not Enough" twelve years prior.
Ejiofor is currently filming post-apocalyptic sci-fi adventure "Z for Zachariah" and is scheduled to shoot crime heist movie "Triple Nine" with Aaron Paul and Kate Winslet next.
As on the casting front, EON Productions is said to be scouting for both British and Scandinavian actress for two Bond Girl roles in the film. It will not be too surprising for long time Bond fans that Scandinavia is being plundered again for Bond Girl talent given the long roster so far, including Maud Adams, Kristina Wayborn, Britt Ekland and Izabella Scorupco.
Bond 24 will be released on October 23rd in the UK and November 6th in the USA.
SPECTRE (2015) is the new James Bond film and the 24th in the series. It will be the fourth outing for Daniel Craig as 007, and the second film to be directed by Sam Mendes from a screenplay by John Logan, Neal Purvis & Robert Wade. The new MI6 team of Ralph Fiennes (M), Naomie Harris (Moneypenny), Rory Kinnear (Tanner) and Ben Whishaw (Q) are all reprising their roles. The cast will include Lea Seydoux, Dave Bautista, Andrew Scott and Christoph Waltz. Production commences on December 8th 2014, with location work as early as 5th January 2015 in Austria. The film will also shoot on location in: Erfoud and Tangier, Morocco; Rome, Italy and Mexico City, Mexico. SPECTRE is scheduled for release on 7th November 2015.