Oscar-winning actor Rami Malek is to play a villain in the 25th official James Bond film, it was confirmed at the movie’s launch event in Jamaica.
Malek won the Academy Award for best actor in February for playing singer Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody.
Fleabag creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge is among the new film’s writers. But the title of the movie, which will be released next April, wasn’t revealed.
It will be Daniel Craig’s fifth and final outing as 007.
Malek wasn’t at the official launch but sent a video message. “I’m stuck here in New York in production but I’m very much looking forward to joining the whole cast and crew,” he said.
“I will be making sure Mr Bond does not have an easy ride in this, his 25th outing. See you all soon.”
After watching that, Craig joked that he was “scared” about what lay in store for Ian Fleming’s suave secret agent.
It was also confirmed that Ralph Fiennes and Ben Whishaw will return as M and Q respectively, with Naomie Harris coming back as Moneypenny. Lea Seydoux is reprising her Madeleine Swann character from 2015’s Spectre.
‘No title, unfortunately’
As well as Malek, new cast members will include Captain Marvel star Lashana Lynch and Game Night actor Billy Magnussen.
They will be joined by fellow Bond newcomers Ana de Armas, Dali Benssalah and David Dencik.
Asked about the plot, producer Barbara Broccoli said: “Bond is not on active service when we start the film. He is actually enjoying himself in Jamaica.
“He starts his journey here. We’ve built an extraordinary house for him… We’ve got quite a ride in store for Mr Bond – and no title, unfortunately.”
Waller-Bridge, who was also behind the first series of Killing Eve, is just the second female writer in Bond history – after Johanna Harwood, who worked on Dr No and From Russia With Love.
The other co-writers on Bond 25 are seasoned Bond scribes Neal Purvis and Robert Wade along with Scott Z Burns, whose credits include 2007’s The Bourne Ultimatum.