Chiwetel Ejiofor Eyed for James Bond Villain

Chiwetel-Ejiofor

After scoring big with Javier Bardem as its last Bond villain, MGM and Sony may be targeting another Oscar-nominated actor to play 007’s nemesis in the next James Bond pic.

Sources tell Variety that Chiwetel Ejiofor is the top choice to play the villain in the next installment in the Bond series. No offer has been made yet, and scheduling would still have to be worked out, but sources insist he is the front-runner for the job.

The studio had no comment.

Daniel Craig is already set to return as Bond, with Ralph Fiennes, Ben Whishaw and Naomie Harris set to return as well. “Skyfall” helmer Sam Mendes will again direct.

Plot details are unknown at this point.

Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson will produce, with John Logan penning the script.

The plan is start production in the summer in order to meet the pic’s release date of Nov. 6, 2015. Casting has been heating up, with the studio also on the lookout for one Scandinavian and one British woman to play the new Bond girls.

After Bardem’s success as the villain in “Skyfall,” the team behind the latest pic has decided to look for someone with a similarly interesting persona.

Ejiofor may have been heroic in “12 Years a Slave,” but he’s no stranger to getting his hands dirty, having played the villain in “Children of Men” and “Four Brothers.”

Ejiofor is currently filming “Z for Zachariah” with Chris Pine and Margot Robbie, and he is attached to John Hillcoat’s “Triple Nine.” He is repped by CAA and Markham Froggatt and Irwin.

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 56

Leave a Reply

56 Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. Matt says:

    Thank the film gods that the days of casting by pop-culture popularity are gone! No more Denise Richards as a nuclear physicist or Madonna making a stupid cameo. I’m glad the new helmers of the Bond franchise are actually interested in the abilities of their actors’ as opposed to their looks. I look forward to the next couple of installments of the franchise!

  2. Spectre and Associate(s) says:

    Who pissed in your cheerio’s this morning? Welcome to the comments section curmudgeon! Fact is this section as turned into an exhaust pipe for some, and their remarks are from a place of anger, but for what reason? I’ll leave it to you to answer that. But if you have nothing good to say, please spare us your arbitrary hate. Good day.

  3. Yes he is great actor for this character i like his acting

    http://www.dubizzle.com.pk/

    • john craig says:

      He also played the “bad guy”, sort of, in the Firefly movie, Serenity. That’s the first I recall seeing him and thought he was amazing. His voice and demeanor is was cool in that movie.

  4. rocky-o says:

    for all those who are discussing the idea of a black bond, and are playing the race card for or against…listen…characters are set up to be who they are…i am by no means racist, but instead of rebooting a ‘black’ annie, why not come up with an original character instead…just as much as i wouldn’t want to see a great actor like liam neeson do a reboot of ‘shaft’ or dolly parton starring in ‘lady sings the blues’…these are specific characters…they are more than just their movies or storylines…

  5. K. James says:

    Great! Very Ejiofor great actor. You can watch free Nollywood movies on NollywoodFace.

  6. lace says:

    Variety,

    I think he will make a fine villain, but there would be a backlash if her or Idris were Bond. There of a racial firestorm when that young black girl was cast as Annie.Folks said Annie is a redhead not…well, I cannot repeat but you no what the word they used. Michael B Jordan also received backlash for being cast in human torch role. James Bond because James is know, globally as classic English gent and anyone far removed from that will do him injustice.

    Also, James Bond is known for his women. The cheerios commercial backlash prove that folks will not take to kindly to see a black james Bond with white women in sexy manner, but, if you hire black bond girls, it becomes a black film, which won’t travel.

    This is not race [ well, I guess it could be ] But it is fact. How many A list black men have you seen with white leading ladies?

    • Smooth says:

      Who says the leading lady has to be white? White isn’t the only race on earth, only in your mind. Bond travels the world remember, even if you don’t. Maybe a black Bond would travel to india, or Africa, or Asia. Maybe it’s time for a black Bond to have a white leading lady. It must hurt watching your racist norms fall by the wayside.

  7. lace says:

    A woman would make a great baddie. I used to watch this UK prison frame called Bad girl and there were some real bad women who you ended up rooting for. Maybe there should be a white blond, shaft.

  8. Mar says:

    Nay. I would love to see an amazing villain played by a WOMAN. Hollywood producers: it is about time that you start cast women for those meaty roles written for men. I dream of seeing a woman villain in the next bond movie, for example Robin Wright, whom has proven to be a great antiheroine character in House of Cards. She’s even better than Spacey, because she plays Claire Underwood not as a caricature bad b!itch (and she IS a terrifying icy b!itch) but as a complex, layered and sometimes vulnerable woman. Great actress.

  9. Manoel says:

    He should play Bond.

  10. Spectre and Associate(s) says:

    That’s right he was in Serenity, I forgot that was him, nice touch! Those calling for a new Bond in the comments need to recognize that Daniel Craig is in the middle of his Bond legacy and he is doing a great job. And I agree with Snarfensens about everything he said! Stick true to the character and all will be fine! Sean Connery laid the most perfect groundwork for this secret agent and I still like him the best, but I also really like Craig’s Bond.

  11. Harro van Heukelum says:

    Seems to be a good choise! And then there is the question who will sing the titlesong for the new film. May I suggest Caro Emerald. She is Dutch, I know. But she is popular in England and can match the quality of Adele in Skyfall.

  12. Ndubuchi says:

    Some People here are acting as if Chiwetel Ejiofor got the role to play 007 Bond it’s self. he is in talks to play the villain

  13. lace says:

    I was born in London ,but I am pure Ghanian so I can answer why he cannot be Bond . Being British is about passport and nationality. Being English, is about the heritage and DNA. An Aussie guy with English heritage is more suitable for Bond that an African born in the UK.

    No, Elba [ ghanian ] or Ejiofor [ nigerian ] cannot be Bond. Bond, was not British, he is 100% PURE English, DNA to match. There are African kids being born and raised in China, that does not make them Chinese or Asian.

    • Smooth says:

      If you’re born and raised in the UK, you’re British no matter where your parents are from. Besides, James Bond is a fictional character in a movie, and in movies anything is possible. I bet that you think Superman can really fly. Get over it, it’s up to the producers what race James Bond is. Times have changed, young people don’t care about your racist nonsense.

  14. Nick Turner says:

    I am neither shaken nor stirred by the possibility of a black Bond. Could 007 be played by a black actor? Of course. Is it a good idea? Probably not unless you want to create an entirely new secret agent. Bond is white for the same reason Horatio Hornblower is white. Each was born a white Brit in the mind of his creator. For sheer coolness, a black Bond could be the best ever. But he wouldnt be the 007 Fleming conceived. With truly iconic characters, best to stick with the original model. Not to be silly but imagine a non-Asian Charlie Chan. Or for that matter, a white Shaft.

    • lace says:

      Nationality and ethnicity are not the same thing. You can marry and man born in the UK and acquire and UK passport; you can renounce citizenship who it means nothing if He was born in the UK. There are a lot of Pakistani men born in the UK, does that mean Bond shall be Paskistan. You say young kids don’t care about race….not from the conversation I have with young black men and women . There was a kid in the USA killed over loud music in racial manner. What planet are you living in?

      Why do u even have to hide behind race? James Bond is white SO DEAL!!!!!!!!!

      A lot of young people were mad that Annie is played by a black girl and the human torch is now black. You don’t live in the real world.

    • lace says:

      Smooth,
      ‘I used to work in Hong Kong. There is a small African community in China. What about Nigerian kids being born and raised in China, does that make them Asian or Chinese?

    • lace says:

      Being born in the UK does not make you British and I have learned the hard way. SO, u get over it, There will not be a black bond so get over that. HA HA using the race card, how original. There is a reason why English people call themselves English and Africans call themselves British.

      • Smooth says:

        Lace, you’re just a racist trying to hang on to the past, but I’m afraid the movies is not the arena for that. You need to understand that James Bond has nothing to do with reality, he’s not real. This is a movie, and in movies everything is possible. Quit trying to make a fictional character a real person because he’s not. How many american actors played indians in the western movies. Mickey Rooney played a chinese in Breakfast at Tiffany’s way back when.

        As long as the actor can do a british accent it doesn’t matter where he is from. You don’t own the franchise, which means that you have no say in the matter. You’re only one seat in one theatre in the whole world, that’s how not important you are. You remind me of an old racist white person who said blacks couldn’t be President, or a Quarterback, Major League Baseball Pitcher or an Astronaut. All of those achievements were harder to accomplish than a black James Bond in the movies.

        There should be a JANE Bond as well, that would screw your little racist world up. I know David Carradine was really chinese. The Lone Ranger didn’t flop because Johnny Depp played Tonto, it was the script. Beware, this could be the first step to a black Bond. This blog tells you that I’m not the only one thinking it. I’m pretty sure that it is simmering in the back of the producers mine, because everything gets old and need renovating in time.

  15. Snarfensens says:

    This has nothing to do with racism…if you read the source material you will see Bond is clearly a white male. It has been said the book character is facially similar to singer/actor Hoagy Carmichael and even to author Ian Fleming. He is consistently described with terms like these: “caucasian, slim build; a three-inch long, thin vertical scar on his right cheek; blue-grey eyes; a “cruel” mouth; short, black hair, a comma of which falls on his forehead.”

    Here’s Fleming’s image of Bond:

    So clearly, racism isn’t an issue here (at least not for me) and I hate it when someone immediately pulls the race card. I’m not a racist…I’m a Middle Eastern living in America and this still bothers me. It’s a matter of accurately depicting a character. Hell, they already made Felix Lighter and Moneypenny black, but at least they were more minor roles and I’m not even fully comfortable with those changes. They also do a good job of casting black people in sympathetic roles (not just villains!)–without changing the face of a longstanding franchise! I take issue when the plots and seminal details of the series get so far out of the realm of the books/early films that I’m wasting my time watching an outlandish secret agent movie with some generic Bond elements in it. It’s like when I was a young kid, watching as many Sherlock Holmes interpretations as I could get my hands on and then getting annoyed at the B-movies where the actors playing Holmes and Watson were nothing like the actual characters.

    If Barbara Broccoli wants to ruin the great franchise her father worked so hard to establish (which she’s doing!) by having a black actor portray 007 to boost the franchise’s popularity and seem progressive, far be it from me to stop her. However, as a long time fan of the books and movies, I cannot accept the continual bastardization of such a well done series and will not continue to watch these poorly done lackluster action flicks filled with as many plugs as possible to please as large a mainstream audience as possible. I pretty much lost hope after Skyfall–so many plot holes, inconsistencies and inaccuracies that I could barely finish it.

    • Smooth says:

      Bond is not a real person, he’s a character in a movie, meaning anything is possible with this fictional character. Move along. Barbara Broccoli owns the franchise, not you. She can do with it whatever she wants. Even kill him off.

    • lace says:

      This sad insecure person is hiding bend racism but it has nothing to do with race. Bond is WHITE, whether fictional or not. I, like Chiwetel was born in UK to African baprents, but no one sees me as English. In fact, in some countries I visit they are shocked blacks live in the UK. SO what the hell is this person screaming at? Sweden has a blot of african kids born there,but I don’t expect a classic Swedish character to be played by a somalian heritage Swede.

  16. Honey says:

    I must be the only one that finds this a really boring choice. I hope it doesn’t happen.

  17. Smooth says:

    Chiwetel or Idris Elba both British, either would make a new and more interesting Bond. It’s time Bond got a tan anyway. Get over it racists, it’s a movie it’s possible. You can keep Superman and Spidey. Oh Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson, could I have a word with you two?

    • Smooth says:

      Idiot, you don’t own the franchise, so you have no say in anything, You stupid Klan member, Bond can be whatever race the producer want him to be. You racists imbeciles can get over it loser.

  18. Sid says:

    If I were to point out that Variety omitted “Serenity” from its list of Chiwetel’s famous villainous roles, would I risk everyone yelling “NERD!” and stuffing me in my locker?

  19. Spectre and Associate(s) says:

    Chiwetel seems like he would play a great Bond villain. When I see him I obviously reminice of Yaphet Kotto (prior to the ballooning) and Mr. Big/Kananga. And great to hear that production will begin this Summer as my appetite for espionage, high stakes villainry, Felix Leiter, witty comeback remarks, world travel, lush locales and Bond Women, and defeating evil schemers is always big. After Skyfall, now it would appear we are ready for a full-fledged, all hands on board Bond expedition. I can’t wait! But I will have to. Good Luck Sam Mendes.

  20. Shakaama says:

    wait, was Sean Bean’s Character the villain in Skyfall? I got so confused who to hate in that movie. It was a bit awash in faceless, blameless “things gone wrong”.

    This is a good choice though. He gets my thumbs up.

  21. dave says:

    well he cant be any worse than Javier who was horribly miscast in skyfall. didnt help his character was just a rehash of Sean beans character. wasnt remotely threatening and incredibly dull.

    chiwetel was very good in serenity. lets see him do some physical stuff in the next bond and give him a run for his money.

  22. dr. d says:

    Worst documentary I have ever watched. I am amazed how it ever made to the film fest. Emperor’s new cloth??? Just because some idiot gave a blazing review. Don’t waste your time.

  23. I hope not he is a terrible actor.

  24. Glenn C. says:

    Great choice. Great actor. His performance in 12 Years was great.

  25. Ugonna Wosu says:

    why not James Bond? He’s young and handsome. When will Bond join the 21st century and get more types? Afterall, they went for a younger and blonde Bond in Daniel Craig after having Pierce Brosnan. They have proven they don’t care what Bond looks like. I think Ejiofor has what it takes to be the new, suave Bond.

    • Smooth says:

      Bond is any color they want him racist. It’s a movie moron anything is possible. Go and watch Superman and Spidey for your daily dose of white guy.

    • ian says:

      Bond is white and the role is taken.

      • Ian says:

        Awkward because I’m black

      • Smooth says:

        It’s a movie dude, anything is possible in movies. Get over it racist, you have no say in it. Ejiofor would be more interesting anyway. Nothing against Craig, it’s just that I’m sick of all of these super white guy movies. Superman, Spiderman, Fantastic Four, Transformers, Terminator, Noah, Son of God and the rest of that nonsense. Samuel L. Jackson thankfully is in Captain America and Avengers. I’m ODing on super white guys, sheesh!

    • lotrfan says:

      You must be joking? James Bond is a British WHITE man! He will never be BLACK!!!!!

      • Smooth says:

        Racist you have no say nor do you own the franchise, so get lost. Ejiofor is british. Idris Elba would work as well. It’s time for BOND to get a tan.

      • Ugonna Wosu says:

        Chiwetel is British. I have heard they are willing to eventually get a woman, and they have changed the age and looks of Bond already. Why not?

    • Glenn C. says:

      Because they are trying to stay very true to Ian Fleming’s novels on who he wrote as Bond. It also has to do with what the Danjaq company wants. The people that really control Bond. It’s great at least he will be cast as the villain. Looking at the glass “half full”. Not “half empty”

      • lace says:

        He was born in UK and has UK nationality, but he is not ethically British or English. He is clearly Nigerian or Ghanian.

    • John says:

      Why not Bond? Because Daniel Craig is under contract to play Bond for the next two films. It’s simple.

  26. BMOspr04 says:

    20 years? Let’s do a quick re-edit… 12 Years A Slave

More Film News from Variety

Loading