It’s official: James Bond 25 pits Daniel Craig against Rami Malek

He has a license to kill, and he’s headed back to the big screen in 2020.

World-famous secret agent James Bond will return for the 25th installment of the celebrated spy franchise, with Cary Joji Fukunaga (True Detective) directing the film and Daniel Craig set to reprise the role of Agent 007. The cast and producers of the film confirmed these and other details in a live-streamed event (see above)  held April 25 in GoldenEye, Jamaica — the location where James Bond creator Ian Fleming originally penned his spy novels.

Although the film has yet to receive an official title, the cast and producers on “Bond 25” (as it’s being called for now) revealed details about the film’s plot and who the famous secret agent will be squaring off against in the April 2020 movie.

Confirming a February report, Oscar-winning Bohemian Rhapsody star Rami Malek will play the film’s unnamed villain. Although the event didn’t reveal many details about Malek’s character, the original report via Collider suggested that he’ll portray a blind character.

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The official synopsis for the film also revealed a few details about the character and why James Bond ends up pursuing him.

Bond has left active service and is enjoying a tranquil life in Jamaica. 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 onto the trail of a mysterious villain armed with dangerous new technology.

Along with Craig and Malek, confirmed cast members for Bond 25 include returning actors  Ralph Fiennes as M, Lea Seydoux as Madeleine, Naomie Harris as Moneypenny, Ben Whishaw as A, Rory Kinear as Tanner, and Jeffrey Wright as Felix Leiter.

Newcomers to the franchise in this film include Dali Benssalah, Billy Magnussen, Ana De Arma, David Dencik, Lashana Lynch, and Malek.

Fukunaga will direct the film from a script penned by Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, Scott Z. Burns, Fukunaga, and Phoebe Waller-Bridge.

Known for its cinematic shooting locations, the franchise will bring James Bond to London, Italy, Jamaica, and Norway this time around, with additional shooting at the series’ traditional home at Pinewood Studios in London.

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The official announcement of the cast and plot details follows a lengthy and tumultuous development period for the next installment of the James Bond franchise.

Fukunaga joined the project following the departure of Danny Boyle and a reportedly intense search for a new filmmaker to helm the project, which was initially scheduled to premiere in November 2019. Boyle was initially set to direct and co-write with his Trainspotting collaborator John Hodge.

In late August, the first set of filmmakers rumored to be contenders included Baby Driver and Shaun of the Dead filmmaker Edgar Wright, Dallas Buyers Club director Jean-Marc Vallee (per a report in Deadline),  Hell or High Water director David Mackenzie, and White Boy Rick director Yann Demange. Both Mackenzie and Demange were on the earlier list of potential directors before Boyle was attached to the film. American Animals director Bart Layton and Star Trek 4 director S.J. Clarkson were also identified as potential directors.

James Bond franchise producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli announced Fukunaga’s attachment in September 2018 along with star Daniel Craig, and indicated that production on Bond 25 (the film’s working title) will begin March 4, 2019.

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“We are delighted to be working with Cary. His versatility and innovation make him an excellent choice for our next James Bond adventure,” said the producers in a statement accompanying the announcement.

Fukunaga comes to the James Bond franchise with a short but impressive list of directing credits, including the first season of True Detective, which won him a Primetime Emmy Award. Most recently, he directed the upcoming Netflix miniseries Maniac starring Emma Stone and Jonah Hill. Highlights from his major studio feature work so far include 2009’s Sin Nombre, 2011’s Jane Eyre, and the critically acclaimed 2015 feature Beasts of No Nation, which won star Idris Elba a Screen Actors Guild Award and a Golden Globe Award nomination.

The untitled 25th installment of the James Bond franchise is scheduled to hit theaters April 8, 2020.

Updated on April 25, 2019: Added confirmed cast and plot details for the film.

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