After months of mystery, plans for the 25th James Bond film seem to be taking shape. Not only that, Billy Magnussen is also the top choice to play a Central Intelligence Agency operative that will cross paths with James Bond.
A major new report in The Hollywood Reporter said on Bond 25: "As for the villain, sources indicate there is renewed interest in tapping recent Oscar victor Rami Malek, after it was initially thought that scheduling could not be worked out with his commitments on the final season of Mr Robot". Collider's report states that Malek's team negotiated to get the actor's schedule worked out for the opportunity, and were just waiting to see if they'd have an Oscar to bargain with.
Steve Granitz via Getty Images Rami Malek poses with his Oscar after the Academy Awards on Sunday. The CIA character is reportedly meant to replace Felix Leiter (Jeffrey Wright).
EON Productions and Metro Goldwyn Mayer Studios recently reached an agreement with Universal Pictures to partner on the worldwide release of the 25th James Bond film. It's being directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga, after Danny Boyle vacated the role previous year; its latest predicted release date is April 8, 2020. Variety seemingly refers to that development in its report, claims that "no significant changes were made" and everyone involved is happy with "what Fukunaga had delivered", as if the whole thing is already in the past. According to insiders speaking with Variety, Fukunaga lowered the age of the American character, so Magnussen would be fit to play it.
The working title of the new Bond film is rumored to be Shatterhand, and it could be Daniel Craig's final outing as the British spy. Naomie Harris returns to play Eve Moneypenny, while Ben Whishaw features as Q, Léa Seydoux as Dr. Madeleine Swann, and Ralph Fiennes as M. It is also rumored that Lupita Nyong'o may be cast as well. A recent release date change from February 14 to April 8, 2020, positioned the 25th entry in the series better for the summer season.