Every Nigerian’s favourite Hollywood actor, Chiwetel Ejiofor is still basking in the glory of his Oscar nomination – even though he ultimately didn’t win – and the British-born Nigerian is about to pen down his name in history as a prominent cast on the legendary James Bond movie series, as he is being tipped to play the villain on the next installment of the legendary British thriller.
According to multiple sources — though so far unconfirmed by Sony and MGM studios — Ejiofor is in talks to play the bad guy in Sam Mendes’ follow-up to “Skyfall.” He would join a returning Daniel Craig as 007, as well as Ralph Fiennes as spy-boss M, Naomie Harris as ass-kicker turned assistant Moneypenny and Ben Whishaw as tech specialist Q.
To fans who only know Ejiofor for his literally tortured, yet heroic role as Solomon Northup in “12 Years,” this move might seem a left turn in the actor's career. Yet there are big reasons this isn't as unbelievable a move as it might initially sound.
First of all, there's the long history of British actors following up their critical acclaim by taking on roles as bad guys in American action films, such as Gary Oldman, who went from playing a key role in “JFK,” to portraying Dracula.
More to the point for Ejiofor, though: he's already portrayed multiple soulful assassins and villains in films already.
In the cult favorite “Serenity,” he was The Operative, an unstoppable killer bent on preventing the crew of Joss Whedon's spaceship drama from releasing government secrets throughout the galaxy.
That same year he was a vicious mob boss in “Four Brothers,” while the next year in “Children of Men,” he was a member of a militant immigrant rights group who nearly kills our heroes.
The third reason playing a Bond villain won't be a step down for an actor who's career is on the rise is that he'll be following up on Javier Bardem's memorable turn as Raoul Silva in “Skyfall.”
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