Rami Malek is in talks to play the next Bond villain opposite Daniel Craig, according to reports.
After cleaning up during awards season, winning an Oscar, Golden Globe and BAFTA awards for his portrayal of Freddie Mercury in Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, the star is now said to be in final negotiations to appear in Bond 25.
Entertainment website Collider first reported the details, citing well-placed sources.
It had previously been reported that Malek was being considered for the role, but that his filming for the final season of the Mr Robot series, which he stars in, conflicted with writer-director Cary Joji Fukunaga’s Bond 25 shoot.
Now, it is understood his schedule has been negotiated to accommodate both productions.
No details have been released about the villain, though there are rumours the character will be a blind man.
True Detective director Fukunaga is leading the much-delayed 007 film following the departure of Danny Boyle last year, with the release planned for April 2020.
The film has been hit by delays.
Before signing up, Craig had previously stated that he would rather “slash my wrists” than return to the role of Bond.
However, he later backtracked, saying that he made the remarks two days after he had finished shooting Spectre, the last instalment in 2015, and was exhausted.
Creative differences between Craig and Boyle were said to be part of the reason behind the eventual hiring of Fukunaga, who is the first American to direct a Bond film.
Filming is scheduled to begin at Pinewood Studios on Monday.