OSCAR winner Rami Malek will play the international villain who Daniel Craig’s James Bond must battle in the British spy franchise’s 25th film set for release next year, the producers announced on Thursday.

Malek, 37, who drew critical acclaim for his portrayal of Queen front man Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody last year, will play Bond’s nemesis in the upcoming film, which goes by the working title Bond 25, producers said.

“I promise you all I will be making sure that Mr Bond does not have an easy ride of it in this his 25th outing,” Malek said in a recorded announcement from New York.

Producers had already announced that the movie, set for release next April, will be directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga, the man behind the first season of the US drama True Detective and the Netflix comedy Maniac.

Jamaica, where Bond was created by novelist Ian Fleming, will again be among the locales for the upcoming film, along with Italy, Norway and London, the producers said. “We consider Jamaica Bond’s spiritual home,” said Barbara Broccoli, one of the film’s producers.

Bond has also been played by George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton and Pierce Brosnan.

Published in Dawn, April 26th, 2019