While Bond 25 may not have a director after Academy Award winner Danny Boyle departed due to creative differences, it might have its main villain — Wonder Woman actor Said Taghmaoui.
Taghmaoui, who played Chris Pine’s sidekick Sameer in Wonder Woman, told The National — an Abu Dhabi-based newspaper — that he had been cast as the main villain in the upcoming Bond 25.
According to Variety, Taghmaoui said that while they don’t currently know who the director of the film will be, he will be the villain of the film should the producers eventually decide to go “Middle East with the baddie.”
Taghmaoui’s comments come after initial reports that Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire, Steve Jobs) left the director’s chair of Bond 25 due to creative differences and rumors regarding the studio’s desire to have Cold War actor Tomasz Kot to play a Russian villain.
“I’m supposed to do the next James Bond, playing the lead bad guy,” the French-Moroccan actor told the paper. “I was cast by Danny Boyle, and just now he left the project, so of course there’s some uncertainty….
“We don’t know who the director will be, and the producers don’t know if they’re going to go Russian or Middle East with the baddie right now,” Taghmaoui added. “I literally just received a message saying: ‘If they go Middle East, it’s you. If they go Russian, it’s someone else.’ It’s the story of my life. Always on that line between something that could change my life and something that disappears.”
In addition, Taghmaoui acknowledged that while an Arab villain could be perceived as a “big cliché”, there is “a lot of cliché and stereotyping but you have to “try to be real” about it:
“If you knew how many movies I refuse because of my conscience, honestly. There is a lot of cliché and stereotyping, and you always have to try to be real – at least that’s what I try to do,” he said.
“There’s always a danger, but there are also always people with good intentions and people with bad intentions. Artistically it’s great to play bad guys, but you have to watch out for the cliché and the propaganda.”
Following Boyle’s departure, the studio has looked at directors such as Bart Layton, Yann Demange, and S.J. Clarkson to fill the role. It is set to be Daniel Craig’s final appearance as the famed spy, as he previously portrayed 007 in Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace, Skyfall and Spectre.
Bond 25, the tentative working title for the upcoming 25th film in the James Bond franchise, is set to be released in theaters on November 8, 2019.
At this time, neither plot details nor a synopsis have been released.