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Rami Malek joins ‘Bond 25’ cast, promising Daniel Craig’s 007 won’t have an easy ride

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Oscar winner Rami Malek will join the next installment of the Bond franchise, apparently as the latest villain.
(Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

The newest James Bond film, currently known as “Bond 25,” is taking shape, most recently with a high-profile live reveal on Thursday.

Appearing during the start of production from GoldenEye in Jamaica — where author Ian Fleming wrote the iconic super-spy series — franchise star Daniel Craig joined producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli and director Cary Joji Fukunaga for the affair, which included star-studded cast and crew announcements as well as filming locations for the milestone movie.

The newest installment of the MI-6 series, with its title as yet undecided, will again be written by Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, along with Bond newcomers Scott Z. Burns (“The Bourne Ultimatum”) and Phoebe Waller-Bridge (“Fleabag,” “Killing Eve”), they said.

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“Bohemian Rhapsody” star Rami Malek will also join the franchise, apparently as the latest villain. His role is still unclear, but the Oscar winner, who was in production in New York, suggested his villainy in a video message on Thursday in which he promised he would be “making sure Mr. Bond does not have an easy ride of it.”

In a follow-up appearance on “Good Morning America,” Malek spoke about joining the “timeless” franchise.

“This is a perfect follow-up, I think, to ‘Bohemian Rhapsody,’ going from one iconic Brit [Freddie Mercury] to an iconic British franchise,” Malek said, recounting some of his favorite films, opening songs and great villains from the franchise. He also sang Craig’s praises.

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“[Craig] brings this class to it, this human factor, and he’s kind of cynical at the same time, and ruthless. But you’re always rooting for him. He’s been terrific. It’ll be very, very interesting to go up against that man,” Malek said.

Returning cast members include Ralph Fiennes as M, Rory Kinnear as Bond’s ally Tanner, Naomie Harris as Moneypenny, Léa Seydoux as Dr. Madeleine Swann, Ben Whishaw as Q and Jeffrey Wright as Felix Leiter, whom we last saw in 2008’s “Quantum of Solace.”

Producer Wilson, who was in “Live and Let Die,” also teased that he might appear in “Bond 25” as well.

Joining Malek as newcomers are Dali Benssalah, Billy Magnussen, Ana De Armas and David Dencik.

In September, American filmmaker Fukunaga replaced Oscar winner Danny Boyle as director of the next James Bond film. And the film, Craig’s fifth and likely final go-round as 007, also had its worldwide 2020 release date pushed to Feb. 14.

The release date is now April 8.

On Thursday, Fukunaga said that the movie, currently shooting in Jamaica, has also shot in Norway and will film at London’s Pinewood Studios and in Italy.

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“Bond is not on active service when we start the film, so he is actually enjoying himself in Jamaica. We consider Jamaica Bond’s spiritual home. He starts his journey here,” Broccoli said.

“Bond 25” will feature Bond’s “extraordinary house,” she added, noting that the film has had tremendous support from the Jamaican Ministry of Culture and Tourism and that 500 local people have worked on the film already.

Twitter: @NardineSaad


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