The gallery of James Bond villains is adding another Oscar nominee: Chiwetel Ejiofor.
The Wrap reports that the “12 Years a Slave” actor is in talks to join “Bond 24” as the main villain. Director Sam Mendes is returning to helm the movie after guiding “Skyfall” to critical acclaim and $ 1.1 billion at the box office worldwide.
Daniel Craig is set to reprise his role as Bond, with Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, and Ben Whishaw all returning as M, Moneypenny, and Q, respectively. Producers are still searching for a new Bond girl and a Scandinavian love interest for the dashing spy.
Since starring in “12 Years a Slave,” Ejiofor has been busy; he recently wrapped “Z for Zachariah” opposite Chris Pine and Margot Robbie, and is set to appear in “Triple Nine” with Kate Winslet, Woody Harrelson, and Aaron Paul.
Production on “Bond 24” should begin this fall, with an unknown release date.
ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images
Gallery | 10 Movie Villains You Love to Hate (and Hate to Love)
- Bruce the Shark, â€˜Jawsâ€™
Just because your villain isn’t human doesn’t mean you can’t hate its guts. Take, for example, Bruce the Shark, the fishy villain from “Jaws.” Bruce is the very definition of a villain that you love to hate (and hate to love). Viewers both dread his appearance (since it will undoubtedly mean bloodshed and horror) and secretly root for it (because it will be really, really exciting).
- Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman), ‘Die Hard’
Few people know that “Die Hard” was actually the first movie for British actor Alan Rickman. Honestly, it’s hard to think of a better, splashier, more hate-worthy debut. As exceptional thief Hans Gruber, who is posing as a politically minded terrorist who hijacks an office building on Christmas Eve, Gruber brings a level of slimy smarminess rarely seen on screen. He’s a man who shoots the head of the corporation after discussing their shared love of finely tailored suits. He’s the epitome of greedy ‘80s sleaze, murderously brought to life on the big screen years before “American Psycho.”
- Scar (Jeremy Irons), â€˜The Lion Kingâ€™
Scar (Jeremy Irons) is a scheming lion uncle who not only plots the death of his brother, the titular lion king (James Earl Jones), but also the death of the king’s young son (the future lion king!). It’s absolutely chilling stuff, especially when amplified through the oversized emotions of the musical score by Tim Rice and Elton John. As far as anthropomorphic animals go, it’s hard to think of a more hate-able villain than Scar.
- Khan (Ricardo Montalban), ‘Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan’
Long before Benedict Cumberbatch took over the mantle of Khan, the role belonged to one man: Ricardo Montalban. As Khan, part of a race of genetically superior beings that Captain Kirk (William Shatner) didn’t check in on after sending into isolation, Montalban makes you believe that revenge is flowing through his veins. He’s scary because he’s got a set of principles and goals and plans to act on them. The fact that much of the movie takes place inside the characters’ respective starships doesn’t even matter; the tension is there. And although some of his motives are understandable, you can’t help but root for him to go down.
- Stansfield (Gary Oldman), ‘Leon’
Quite frankly, we probably could have done a list of the “Top 10 Gary Oldman Villains We Love To Hate.” Nevertheless, for our money, Oldman reached his peak (at least in terms of hate-ability), with Luc Besson’s “Leon.” Here the actor plays a corrupt DEA agent responsible for the murder of an entire family whose young daughter (Natale Portman) manages to escape and vow revenge. If that wasn’t enough, he’s just a creepy weirdo. In the years since the film’s release, the character has been canonized as one of the greatest, most over-the-top bad guys in movie history.
- Hans Landa (Christoph Waltz), ‘Inglourious Basterds’
The hate-ability of Hans Landa (Christoph Waltz), “The Jew Hunter,” is established in “Inglourious Basterds'” livewire opening sequence. In it, Landa interrogates a French dairy farmer about hiding Jews (they’re living beneath the home’s floorboards). The scene is unbearably intense, and climaxes with Landa having his goons fire into the floor, killing all but one girl, who vows revenge (kind of like “Leon!”). From there, Landa confirms his villainous bona fides by killing a German starlet and spy and forcing the Jewish woman who escaped from the farm to host a lavish Nazi event at the movie theater she runs. By the time he gets his comeuppance (a swastika etched into his forehead), it’s even worse than death — it’s a constant reminder to everyone he encounters about how much he should be hated.
- Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins), ‘Silence of the Lambs’
There are few villains as deliciously iconic as Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) in “Silence of the Lambs.” A noted serial killer and cannibal who comes to the aid of a plucky young FBI Agent (Jodie Foster), Hopkins’s Lecter was so well known, in fact, that he’s been asked to do it again two more times (in “Hannibal” and “Red Dragon”). He’s such a pompous, evil bastard that when he finally escapes you are kind of thrilled but just as equally horrified.
- John Doe (Kevin Spacey) in ‘Seven’
While John Doe, a nameless serial killer responsible for a number of murders that are tied to the biblical seven deadly sins, maybe has 10 minutes of screen time towards the tail end of David Fincher’s brilliant “Seven,” he still remains one of the most lovably hated villains of all time. Most of this has to do with the final two “sins” that Doe has engineered: envy and wrath. (Beware spoilers for a 16-year-old movie.) Doe kills Brad Pitt’s wife, played by the lovely Gwyneth Paltrow, because he envies her, thereby forcing Pitt, as a plucky police detective, to murder him (wrath). It’s such a downbeat, affecting ending that it stays with you long after the film is over.
- Max Cady (Robert De Niro) in ‘Cape Fear’
What’s so great about Max Cady (Robert De Niro), a recently released criminal who hunts down a former defense attorney (Nick Nolte) who he blames for his incarceration, is that he just keeps menacing Nolte’s family. De Niro’s performance is definitely oversized: he physically transformed into something of a hulk for the role, with rolling muscles and acres of flesh covered in tattoos. Whether it’s smoking a huge cigar while the family is trying to watch a movie or a brutal rape that he inflicts on a colleague and potential fling of Nolte’s, De Niro is like a billowing plume of evil.
- Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates), ‘Misery’
Well, what can I say ? ;D
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