‘James Bond 24′: Chiwetel Ejiofor is the Top Choice to Play the Villain

Published 1 year ago by

chiwetel ejiofor star wars episode 71 James Bond 24: Chiwetel Ejiofor is the Top Choice to Play the Villain

English character actor Chiwetel Ejiofor has officially joined the ranks of Oscar-nominees, thanks to his performance as free man-turned slave Solomon Northup in the Best Picture Oscar-winner 12 Years a Slave. Of course, Ejiofor has been racking up strong onscreen performances for more than a decade (see: Serenity, Kinky Boots, Children of Men, etc.), which has provided all the more reason to be excited about him recently being linked as a potential cast member for the upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII.

However, it turns out that’s not the only long-running iconic blockbuster franchise that Ejiofor is currently being pursued to join. According to a new report, he’s the top-choice to follow in the footsteps of Casino Royale actor Mads Mikkelsen (Hannibal) and Skyfall‘s Oscar-winner Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men) – by playing the villain opposite Daniel Craig as Agent 007, in the upcoming 24th installment in the British espionage series (which shall be the fourth to feature Craig in the famous secret agent role).

A new article by Variety asserts that Ejiofor is the front-runner to portray the (currently, under-wraps) antagonist in the tentatively-untittled James Bond 24, though an actual deal has yet to be made. Moreover, before the actor can sign on, scheduling issues need to be worked out, as he’s attached to star in Lawless director John Hillcoat’s upcoming crime/drama Triple Nine, which is expected to begin filming this year for a 2015 release. (Sidenote: If Ejiofor does sign on for Bond 24 in the near future, it’s safe to say he’s out of the running for Star Wars: Episode VII.)

Roger Deakins Not Returning for James Bond 24 James Bond 24: Chiwetel Ejiofor is the Top Choice to Play the Villain

It would be easy to picture Ejiofor playing a cunning and ruthless, yet also posh and sophisticated opponent for Craig’s 007, much like many a Bond villain of yore. Indeed, a general throwback approach may be the route that the next installment takes, based on what screenwriter John Logan (Skyfall) has said about utilizing traditional Bond franchise elements – not to mention, Craig expressing his desire to recapture some classic Bond irony/camp, without being kitschy.

The Bond franchise is still moving forward into the future, though, as the next film will bring back Ralph Fiennes as the new ‘M’, Naomie Harris as Moneypenny, and Ben Whishaw as ‘Q’ following their introduction in Skyfall. Sam Mendes will also return to direct this new film, with the search now underway to find the next “Bond girls” – Variety says the filmmakers are looking for “one Scandinavian and one British woman” – before production gets started this October, according to Fiennes.


James Bond 24 is slated to open in U.S. theaters on November 6th, 2015.

Source: Variety

Follow Sandy Schaefer on Twitter @feynmanguy
TAGS: James bond
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  1. He was a memorable villain in Firefly this should be a walk in the park for such an accomplished actor.

  2. Hell yeah. Chiwetel Ejiofor is one of the most underrated actors working today and it’s great 12 Years a Slave might actually give him a career boost.

  3. Certainly underrated. This would be a great choice.

  4. Sam Mendes is returning. Ralph Fiennes is the new M. Now Ejiofor is up to play the villain in the next installment. Whoa. I hope this rumor becomes reality. I had my doubts about D. Craig and they were completely unfounded, SKYFALL was one of the best.

  5. Definitely a smart choice, though (and this is wishful thinking) I hope he’s playing Blofeld :)

    • I’d ask if you are joking, but why bother. Blofeld makes zero sense.

      I hope that he isn’t playing Mr. Big. I hope it is an original character. Personally, I would like to see a James Bond movie which deals with a global issue/crisis in Africa. Ejiofor is Nigerian and could easily portray an evil dictator. Or a former 00 who went rogue and set himself up as an arms dealer. Or something better than I can come up with that still deals with Africa and Britain’s colonial/imperial past.

      • I think it would be a bit déjà vu… It would be more original to have him play someone not related to any african country in any way, like a lot of black people out there.

        • As i said those two ideas were the first two I had after seeing the casting rumor. I can’t remember the last Bond film set in Africa for the majority of it. Ejiofor could be any type of bad-guy and it would be believable. His ability to switch accents is a huge plus as a Bond villain. Again, if he played a rogue 00 then his ability to switch accents, personas and languages on screen could be used for great effect in the film. Just an idea.

          I admit it would be a repeat of SKYFALL in a way, but aside from the villains past it could be entirely different. What would you suggest?

          • Well, anything, really, except rebel/dictator/blood diamond dealer/african arm dealer/drug dealer/warlord/enslaver. We already had that with Isaac de Bankolé in Casino Royal…

            He could be someone who deals with tar sands:)

            • Tar sands in Canada? Seems like a stretch. It is also a source of energy that heats homes during the Winter, so I don’t see the bad guy angle. Diamonds are useless. Killing for them them is lunacy. I highly doubt James Bond would touch on the C.A.R. and what is happening there right now. No one wants to talk about it.

      • Lol, yes in fact. They’ve been having a good run with original villains, so I can’t imagine why they would stop. Though speaking of childish fantasies, I wouldn’t mind if they brought Blofeld back. Provided they did something interesting with him, …I would hate to see them go full Donald Pleasence with it.

        AND HEY, if they want to bring Ejiofor in as Mr.Big, that’s okay, just don’t forget “the pimp-mobile”! ;)

  6. Could they actually be adapting solo for film?

  7. This would be really cool! I immediately thought of Mr. Big when reading this, so if they want to make Ejiofor a villain similar to him, I’d be all for it. Of course since he’s a good enough actor I’d be cool with any other approach they want to go with for him too.

  8. I still think Angelina Jolie would be a perfect Bond Villain. She will steal every scene in that movie.

    • Jolie playing herself as a Bond villain? I don’t think that is the direction this franchise is heading. That seems very meta or something.

  9. I think playing a villain will harm his image after coming off that incredible portrayal of Solomon Northup. I hope I’m wrong, but usually when people play villains they continue to be typecast as such for a while. He was just about to blow up.

    • I’m not sure I agree with you. Often times playing a villain can show an actors range with great results, as the villain is usually the most interesting character of the movie. Think Denzel Washington in Training Day, Tom Cruise in Collateral, Ralph Fiennes in Shindler’s List or Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lecter. Granted most of these guys were already stars, but the fact remains that playing the villain didn’t hurt their careers at all. Some even walked away with an Oscar for their trouble. I think the general public likes to see actors go against cast from time to time.

    • He wasn’t typecast when he appeared as one of the main characters in 2012 so he shouldn’t be typecast after 12 Years either.

      I don’t think we’ve had a black Bond villain since the 70s, have we? He’d make a good one.

  10. I hope he does sign on he’s an extremely gifted actor and would be an amazing bond villain. he’s great in everything Serenity and Redbelt come to mind for me, he owned it in both.

  11. How can they not consider Christoph Waltz?!

    • Because he’s painfully obvious, and also too colorful.

      • What about Sharlto Copley?

  12. This role is one that Ejiofor could hardly turn down, because of the added visibility it would bring. Great paycheck too, I’m sure. But Bond villains are one-dimensional caricatures and hardly a creative challenge for an actor of his abilities. The Bond films have been stereotyped and predictable for years.

    • Sean Bean and Mads Mikkelson say hello. Hell, even Christopher Walken too back in A View To A Kill.

  13. Given the choice between SW and Bond, I’d prefer to see him in Bond if only because a good villain role can often be more memorable and influential than being “another good guy”.

    Unless of course he could get a lead villain role in SW.

  14. Bond 24 Live And Let Die remake. Just kidding.

    • Live And Let Die is a seriously underrated Bond film, best soundtrack of the bunch, brutal action, and Roger Moore’s best. It’s got its obvious ‘problems’ ;), but… I dunno. They went and made a type of Bond film they really probably shouldn’t have and in retrospect I kinda respect its flash and balls. :)

  15. BLOFELD!!!!!!

    I think there’s every chance he’s going to play Blofeld (or maybe Mr. Big, but I hesitate to go there simply because the actor is black). My theory is that he is either going to play Blofeld himself, or a major player in SPECTRE(QUANTUM?) that leads to the revelation of Blofeld being behind the organization (and if he’s not Blofeld, Cyrian Hyndes would be a terrific choice). The reason being is, other than Bond, Blofeld is the most iconic character in the series, and has been absent for legal reasons since 1971. The producers recently ironed out the rights to the character, similar to how they did with Casino Royale, and the villain is long, long, long overdue to make a comeback.

    I’m pretty sure I read that Bonds 24 & 25 are being written concurrently, and would be surprised if they’re not sequential, with Blofeld being revealed either right off the bat or at the end of 24 leading into 25. The screenwriter, John Logan, has stated publicly that Skyfall was just scratching the surface of reviving all the classic Bond elements, and has also publicly stated that he feels ‘Bond should always fight Blofeld’.

    I think Bond 24 is going to eclipse Skyfall in scope and breadth, and introduce and explore the other 00′s of the series, and establish why Bond is unique among them. I wouldn’t be surprised if Ralph Fiennes’ M is pitted against Blofeld as his opposite number, and bring into play an Mi-6 versus SPECTRE theme that could be a constant for all future Bond films, or at least for Craig’s run, which I hope lasts a good long time.

  16. Anyone is fine by me . Let them just get Michael Buble to do the sound track.

    • Or how about we don’t let the bubble anywhere near it? Jeez, what are you smoking?

  17. I think Ejiofor would be an excellent addition to the cast. I’d also like to see Amy Adams, Natalie Portman, Anne Hathaway, Scarlett Johansson, Mila Kunis, Jennifer Lawrence, Keira Knightley, Jessica Biel, or Zoe Saldana as a Bond girl.
    I think Daniel Craig is a pretty good Bond, but at the same time I feel like Gerard Butler or Tom Hardy would kill that role. Same goes for Sam Mendes, but I’d love to see Christopher Nolan direct.

    • Nah I dont agree with any of those suggestions other than Ejiofor as a bond villain. Perez is a site you may enjoy. Get there.

  18. Live and Let Die remake anyone? I can imagine him as Mr. Big.

  19. Obviously you were born in the last decade or grew up with Brosnan as your Bond. If not you’d know that Buble sings the traditional Shirley Caesar jazzy style of Sean Connery-Moore Bonds. In fact if you’ve heard his album (which I doubt) you’d observe that two tracks in there have the Bond theme at the start or background and sounded so much like
    traditional Bond soundtracks which recent Bond singers have tried to recapture- most recently the Skyfall soundtrack. Even though alot of the old Bond might be missing with Craig I believe the producers wish to keep certain traditions alive. Probably Buble with his Bond theme-inserts was suggesting something. I don’t know.

    So no sir (and I use the term loosely) I am not smoking something. I believe Buble is an ideal Bond crooner in the traditional jazzy style.

  20. Granted he is not everyone’s cup of tea but neither have Bond soundtracks ever been.

  21. Interesting… if he does sign on, I can only imagine what kind of villain he’d play.