Oscar-winner Rami Malek has been confirmed to star in the next Bond film, with Fleabag writer Phoebe Waller-Bridge due to add a bit of comedy magic to the script.
Both were announced for Bond 25 at the film’s official launch in Jamaica following weeks of speculation about their involvement in the long-awaited next outing for 007.
Daniel Craig, who returns as Britain’s most famous spy, attended the launch alongside director Cary Joji Fukunaga and producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G Wilson.
Other new cast members include Captain Marvel star Lashana Lynch and Game Night actor Billy Magnussen, while Ralph Fiennes, Ben Whishaw, Rory Kinnear, Naomie Harris and Jeffrey Wright have all been confirmed to reprise their roles.
No specifics were given about Malek‘s character, but the Bohemian Rhapsody star hinted he would be playing a villain.
In a video message, Malek told fans: “I’m very much looking forward to joining the whole cast and crew.
“I will be making sure Mr Bond does not have an easy ride in this, his 25th outing. See you all soon.”
Best known for confiding to the camera in the hit series Fleabag, Waller-Bridge is said to have been brought in at Craig’s request to inject some humour into the script.
Broccoli gave a few details away about the film’s plot, saying Bond will not be on active duty at the start of the film. “He is enjoying himself in Jamaica,” she said.
However, his peace is short-lived when old friend Felix Leiter from the CIA turns up asking for help.
A mission to rescue a kidnapped scientist turns out to be far more treacherous than expected, leading Bond onto the trail of a “mysterious villain armed with dangerous new technology”, according to EON Productions.
Calling the Caribbean country – a location for 1962’s Dr No – Bond’s “spiritual home”, Broccoli added: “We start his journey here. We’ve got quite a ride in store for Mr Bond.”
One thing that wasn’t revealed at the launch was the title.
There had been reports the film might be called Shatterhand, a reference to one of the original Ian Fleming novels.
However, Broccoli appeared to deny this earlier this year, reportedly signing fan art bearing the name “Shatterhand” and writing: “It’s Not.”
The 25th Bond instalment will be Craig’s fifth appearance as 007, having started in Casino Royale in 2006 after taking up the mantle from Pierce Brosnan.
After saying in an interview in 2015 that “I’d rather slash my wrists” than return as Bond following Spectre, Craig had a change of heart – but his next outing is expected to be his last.
Filming starts at the end of April and the production will be based at Pinewood Studios in the UK, as well as on location in London, Italy, Jamaica and Norway.
It is due to be released in April 2020, having been pushed back after original director Danny Boyle quit last year.
He was replaced by US director Fukunaga, who is best known for writing, directing and co-producing 2015 film Beasts Of No Nation and also directed the first series of True Detective, which starred Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson.
:: Want more Bond? 007 fans can see more interviews with the cast and crew in Bond 25: Exclusive tonight on Sky Cinema at 9pm