Oscar winner Rami Malek will play the villain in Bond 25, which will be Daniel Craig's fifth outing as the famed fictional British spy, the producers announced Thursday via a live streaming event from creator Ian Fleming's home in Jamaica.
It is expected to be Craig's last appearance as Bond, a role he has previously played in Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace, Skyfall and Spectre.
The actor said his favourite part about Bond films was that they were like a big event when they came out in theatres. "The movies have been an event at least for me. I remember going to watch them as a kid... the new Bond coming out was just extremely exciting. During my tenure, we have just tried to continue that tradition of making movies that stand out, are different from other movies out there," he said.
The yet-untitled film will be directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga, who called Craig his favourite Bond. Fukunaga said he wanted to ensure that the film is "a great next chapter" in the Bond series so that whoever comes next "has a harder job".
Besides Craig, who plays the role for a fifth time, returning cast members include Naomie Harris as Eve Moneypenny, Ben Whishaw as Q, La Seydoux as Dr Madeleine Swann, Ralph Fiennes as M., Jeffrey Wright as Felix Leiter, and Rory Kinnear as Bill Tanner.
Malek is leading the pack of newcomers which boasts talented names such as Maniac fame Billy Magnussen, Dali Benssalah, Blade Runner 2049 actor Ana De Armas, David Dencik, and Captain Marvel star Lashana Lynch.
"Yeah, I am stuck here in New York, in production. But I am very much looking forward to joining the whole cast and crew very soon. And I promise you all, I will be making sure that Mr Bond does not have an easy ride in his 25th outing," Malek said in a video message.
Bond producer Barbara Broccoli revealed that the story is returning to where it all began. The shooting will also take place in Norway, London, and the small Italian town of Matara. Broccoli said, "Bond is not on active service, he's enjoying himself in Jamaica. He starts his journey here."
His peace is short-lived when his old friend Felix Leiter from the CIA turns up asking for help. The mission to rescue a kidnapped scientist turns out to be far more treacherous than expected, leading Bond on to the trail of a mysterious villain armed with dangerous new technology, according to official synopsis.
Bond 25 went through a rough phase after director Danny Boyle bowed out of the production over creative differences and eventually Fukunaga was roped in as his replacement.
Fukunaga, known for directing the critically-acclaimed first season of HBO's True Detective series, will be the first American director in the history of the franchise. The screenplay is by Neal Purvis & Robert Wade, Scott Z. Burns with Cary Joji Fukunaga and Phoebe Waller-Bridge.
The film is scheduled for release in April 2020.