Chiwetel Ejiofor Rumored for Next 'Bond' Villain

Ejiofor

MGM scored a casting coup when they hired Oscar-winner Javier Bardem to play the bad guy in Skyfall, and now it sounds like they're close to pulling off another one with the 24th entry in the well-traveled James Bond franchise: Variety reports that Chiwetel Ejiofor is the frontrunner for the job.

Ejiofor is coming off a pretty terrific year thanks to his attention-getting (and Oscar-nominated) work in 12 Years a Slave -- one of 2013's most critically adored films, and clearly a launchpad into more high-profile work for its star. Although nothing's been officially announced and sources say no deal has actually been offered, the trade's sources "insist" he's the studio's choice for the gig.

Scheduling is also a concern, as production on Bond 24 is scheduled to begin this summer; the movie is currently set to bow on November 6, 2015. According to Variety's report, "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."

As Variety notes, Ejiofor has played the heavy in previous films, including Children of Men and Four Brothers, and he'd definitely fit into the studio's reported goal of following up Bardem's terrific performance by finding someone with a "similarly interesting persona."

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Jeff is an entertainment writer and editor whose work currently appears at a variety of sites, including Rotten Tomatoes, Paste, American Songwriter, Popdose, Dadnabbit, Diffuser, and Ultimate Classic Rock.

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