Chiwetel Ejiofor might be the next Bond villain (perhaps)
Rumors are swirling that Oscar nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor may be riding his "12 Years a Slave" accolades to a stint as the next Bond villain — or not.
Variety is reporting that there's a very strong chance that Chiwetel Ejiofor, recently nominated for a Best Actor Oscar for playing Solomon Northup in "12 Years a Slave," may be the latest over-qualified actor to battle 007 in the next James Bond movie.
The 25th Bond movie — of the official canon, that is, as titles like "Never Say Never Again" were made by a different company — doesn't yet have its amusing faux-dangerous title, but it is slated to start shooting in October, for a release some time next year. Sam Mendes, himself an Oscar-winning director (for "American Beauty") who managed not to get in the way of the quite good "Skyfall," will return to the helm.
There was talk that the next Bond film may feature Ernst Blofeld, the usually bald and cooly scarred head of the villainous crime organization SPECTRE, who had been out of the franchise since the early 1980s following some legal rigamarole (of course). Who knows if Ejiofor would take that iconic mantle, or if Blofeld would be in the background or what. But we're sure plenty of websites, desperate for hits, will wildly and recklessly speculate on this matter.
If this rumor is true and Ejiofor — a fine actor who, along with terrific turns in "Dirty Pretty Things" and "Children of Men," brought unnerving pathos to his villain in the "Firefly" spin-off movie "Serenity" — is on board, he will be the first black actor to face off against Bond since Yaphet Kotto imploded in "Live and Let Die." In other word, he will be the second black Bond villain. Here's hoping! That said, our biggest hope for a Bond villain is still "Holy Motors" acrobatic chameleon Denis Lavant.
Follow Matt Prigge on Twitter @mattprigge