Oscar winner Rami Malek joins Bond cast as Daniel Craig returns as 007 for the fifth time
DANIEL Craig will star for his fifth time as James Bond in the untitled 25th movie of the spy thriller franchise, producers said on Thursday.
Bohemian Rhapsody star Malek joins Craig, who will reprise his role as the iconic spy, as well as returning cast members including Ralph Fiennes, Ben Whishaw, Rory Kinnear, Naomie Harris and Jeffrey Wright.
The news was announced at an event attended by the cast and producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G Wilson in Jamaica.
The much-anticipated title of the next film, currently referred to as Bond 25 by cast and fans, has not yet been confirmed.
Speaking about the casting, Oscar winner Malek said he was "very much looking forward to joining the whole cast and crew".
"I will be making sure Mr Bond does not have an easy ride in this, his 25th outing. See you all soon."
Speculation had arisen over the last few years that Craig would be replaced for the 25th Bond film, having previously starred in Casino Royale, Quantum Of Solace, Skyfall and Spectre.
The film's release date has also been pushed back to February 2020, having originally been slated for release in October this year.
Despite being untitled, the movie plot will see Bond enjoying a tranquil live in Jamaica, having left active service- but his retirement is short lived when an old CIA friend comes along.
Speaking about the announcement, producers Wilson and Broccoli said: “We’re thrilled to return to Jamaica with Bond 25, Daniel Craig’s fifth instalment in the 007 series, where Ian Fleming created the iconic James Bond character and Dr No and Live And Let Die were filmed.”
The last Bond film, Spectre, opened at #1 in 81 territories around the world and earned $880 million at the global box office.
According to reports, a working title was believed to be Shatterhand, but Broccoli appeared to suggest this may not be the case earlier this year.
She reportedly signed fan art bearing the name "Shatterhand" and wrote: "It's Not", the website MI6 HQ says.
With additional reporting from Press Association