Back to IndieWire

Remember When Chiwetel Ejiofor Was Said to Be the Top Choice to Play the Next ‘007’ Villain? Well, It’s Not Happening

Remember When Chiwetel Ejiofor Was Said to Be the Top Choice to Play the Next '007' Villain? Well, It's Not Happening

It was in April of this year, when, according to VarietyChiwetel Ejiofor was MGM and Sony’s top choice to play the villain in the next installment of the James Bond franchise. 

No agreements had been signed at the time, but sources told Variety that he was definitely the front-runner for the job; although neither MGM nor Sony confirmed.

As I recall, that news got a lot of you excited about the possibility, recalling the last time a black character played such a prominent role in the hit franchise (Dr. Kananga, the main antagonist in “Live and Let Die” – a corrupt Prime Minister from the Caribbean who doubles as a drug lord, played by Yaphet Kotto), when we shared the news on this blog; so it is with some regret that I bring you news that Ejiofor actually will not be the next Bond villain. 

Made official today, the upcoming 24th James Bond film will be called “Spectre,” abd will star, of course, Daniel Craig, who’ll be joined by Lea Seydoux, Dave Bautista, Andrew Scott, Monica Bellucci and Christoph Waltz (who’ll be playing the villain this time around).

The announcement was made live by Eon Productions, MGM Studios and Sony Pictures from the 007 Stage at London’s Pinewood Studios. Also revealed, filming begins on Monday, for a November 6, 2015 release.

In terms of black actors in the film, Naomi Harris will return as Eve Moneypenny.

Also reprising their roles will be Ben Whishaw (Q) and Ralph Fiennes (Gareth Mallory, who becomes M).

Sam Mendes, who helmed the last Bond movie, will again direct.

But don’t cry for Chiwetel; the actor has been quite busy since his acclaimed performance in “12 Years a Slave.” Up next, look for him starring in “Z For Zachariah,” and john Hillcoat’s Triple Nine, amongst several other projects. 

Sign Up: Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.

This Article is related to: News and tagged

Get The Latest IndieWire Alerts And Newsletters Delivered Directly To Your Inbox