Rami Malek in 'final talks' to become next Bond villain as video emerges of him 'auditioning' for the role
The Best Actor winner cleaned up in this year's awards season for his role as Freddie Mercury in the Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody.
Now, he is said to be in final negotiations to appear opposite Daniel Craig in the next 007 instalment Bond 25.
US entertainment website Collider said well-placed sources confirmed the 37-year-old is close to sealing the role.
And a new hotel advert featuring the star giving a stern monologue has left audiences thinking it was an audition for the part.
The campaign for Mandarin Oriental hotels, with the tagline "He’s a fan", sees Rami listing all the things he’s a fan of.
But his intense performance had some convinced he was more "serial killer" than luxury hotelier.
He says: "I’m a fan of Freddie Mercury and Queen.
"I’m a fan of my mom, she’s got my back. I’m a fan of chamomile tea. I’m a fan of handwritten letters. I’m a fan of classic movies.
"And I’m a fan of looking sharp, regardless of the occasion.
"I’m a fan of random encounters, I’m a fan of travelling by train.
"I’m a fan of equal opportunities for all. I’m a fan of mischief.
"I’m a fan of being exactly who I wanna be."
One joker on Twitter added: "I’m a fan of haunting your dreams tonight."
It was previously reported that Rami was being lined up as Bond's next nemesis.
But scheduling clashes with his TV show Mr Robot had initially ruled him out of the running.
Now, it's claimed a new filming schedule has been negotiated to allow him to feature in the Bond blockbuster – being led by writer-director Cary Joji Fukunaga.
No details have been released about the villain – but rumours suggest the character will be a blind man.
Filming for the new movie has been mired in delays after Brit director Danny Boyle left the production last year citing creative differences.
A release date is planned for April 2020.
Meanwhile, other reports this week suggest the film has been given the working title of Shatterhand – referring to the original Ian Fleming novels.
It will be Daniel Craig's last outing as Bond – after backtracking on his initial claim that he'd rather "slash my wrists" than return as the secret agent.
Fukunaga – the first American to direct a Bond film – was brought in after Craig and Trainspotting director Danny Boyle are said to have disagreed over the initial vision for the movie.
Filming is set to begin at Pinewood Studios on Monday.
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