The 25th James Bond film still doesn’t have a title but it does have a new cast — led by Oscar winner Rami Malek as the film’s villain — and a plot that teams 007 with Jeffrey Wright’s CIA agent Felix Leiter on a globe-trotting new mission.
In addition, director Cary Joji Fukunaga and longtime series producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson announced Thursday that Dali Bensallah, Billy Magnussen, Ana de Armas, Lashana Lynch and David Dencik will be joining the cast.
Daniel Craig will be reprising his role as James Bond for the fifth (and final) time. Craig first portrayed the suave spy in 2006’s “Casino Royale.” His last onscreen outing was in 2015’s “Spectre.”
Other franchise veterans returning for this film include Ralph Fiennes as MI6 head M, Ben Whishaw as the organization’s quartermaster Q, Naomie Harris as Bond’s assistant Moneypenny, Lea Seydoeux as his former flame Dr. Madeleine Swann, Rory Kinnear as MI6 chief of staff Bill Tanner and Jeffrey Wright as Bond’s CIA counterpart Felix Leiter.
Broccoli and Fukunaga also revealed that filming had already begun on the film in Norway, with additional locations to include Jamaica, a little hilltop town in Italy, and areas around London, including the U.K.’s Pinewood Studios.
“I will be making sure he does not have an easy ride of it,” Malek said in a video message in a livestream on Thursday from Bond author Ian Fleming’s estate in Jamaica — where the new film will begin with Craig’s Bond “not in active service,” according to Broccoli.
His peace is short-lived when his old friend Felix Leiter from the CIA (Wright) turns up asking for help. The 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.
Fukunaga, who directed HBO’s “True Detective” series, will be the first American director in the series’ history. The screenplay is by Neal Purvis & Robert Wade, Scott Z. Burns with Cary Joji Fukunaga and Phoebe Waller-Bridge.
In 2017, Craig revealed on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” that his fifth outing as James Bond would be his last. He is the seventh actor to play James Bond on screen, following Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton and Pierce Brosnan.
The film is scheduled for release in April 2020.