LONDON • Rami Malek had the licence to thrill in the movie Bohemian Rhapsody (2018). Now, he gets the licence to kill James Bond in the 25th edition of the franchise.
The Oscar winner was unveiled on Thursday as the villain in the film that is set to see Daniel Craig bow out after more than a decade as 007.
"I promise you all I will be making sure Mr Bond does not have an easy ride in this," Malek said in a livestream announcement of the cast outside late Bond creator Ian Fleming's private villa in Jamaica.
The production has been repeatedly delayed over script disputes. It is now due to open in cinemas in the United States, Britain and France on April 8 next year.
Long-time Bond producer Barbara Broccoli was tight-lipped about the new film's name, but she did reveal one tantalising plot line.
Bond will be in what suspiciously sounds like retirement when the action kicks off.
"Bond is not on active service when we start," she said. "He is actually enjoying himself in Jamaica."
Craig played along with Malek's warning about the tough time he faces in his fifth and final appearance as everyone's favourite British spy. "Scared, a little bit creepy," he said of Malek's message.
The new production's delays were prompted in part by Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle's replacement with Cary Fukunaga in September. He reportedly left because producers refused to let him kill Bond and replace him with a female or non-white actor.