I’ve been a massive fan of Chiwetel Ejiofor ever since I saw him in Serenity 9 years ago. Since then, I’ve been calling for him to get that one major role to catapult his career, but apparently nobody in Hollywood listens to me (unbelievable, I know!). He’s now finally got that role, and all it took was for him to be tortured on screen on for 2 hours. His gruelling Oscar nominated turn in 12 Years a Slave has seemingly left his name on everyone’s lips, lips which then probably mangle said name soon thereafter. But they better start getting their pronunciation lessons down, as it looks like Ejiofor may just be joining one of the biggest and most well known film franchises of all time.
According to The Wrap, Ejiofor is currently the widely believed frontrunner to play the main villain in Sam Mendes’ next James Bond movie. After the unprecedented critical and commercial success of Mendes’ Skyfall – which grossed a whopping $1.1 billion globally, and is considered by some to be the best Bond film ever – the expectations for the still untitled Bond 24 just couldn’t be higher. Especially when it comes to villains, as Skyfall’s Raoul Silva, played by Oscar winner Javier Bardem, was a gigantic return to form for James Bond’s antagonists, who had been admittedly lackluster ever since Daniel Craig took over the role of the world’s greatest superspy in 2006’s Casino Royale.
It has to be noted though that no formal offer has been made to Ejiofor, nor has he and producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael Wilson entered any kind of official talks yet, but according to sources attached to the production, unless some kind of scheduling conflict raises its head, the role is basically Ejiofor’s if he wants it, as he is quite firmly at the top of their list of candidates.
And you would just have to look at Ejiofor’s performance as The Operative in Firefly to see that he would just absolutely crush a bad guy role of this magnitude. And with the franchise’s seemingly renewed flair for flamboyant villainy, he would probably chew all the scenery as if the sets were covered in gravy.
But James Bond’s main counterpart is not the only role being cast soon, as “two key female roles, including a new Bond girl and a Scandinavian with a troubled past who will serve as a brief love interest for Bond” will soon be cast as well. As a bit of a Bond connoisseur, I would just like to take this time to point out that in the history of the franchise, all Scandinavian girls have served as a brief love interest for Bond. Very, very brief.
Jokes aside though, I would be dancing a jig if Ejiofor were to land this role. He has been solidly plying his craft for years now, even when the films he starred in just didn’t match up to his talent, and while 12 Years has given him some major Hollywood street cred, Bond 24 could turn him into a household name. One that most households will struggle to pronounce, but a household name nonetheless.
Bond 24, which will once again be penned by Skyfall writer John Logan, and which will see Naomi Harris’ Moneypenny, Ben Wishaw’s Q and Ralph Fiennes’ M return alongside Craig’s ineffable spy, is currently set for release on October 23, 2015.
Last Updated: April 7, 2014