Since Danny Boyle dropped out of Bond 25, the whole production seems to be up in the air. The release date has been bumped, the script seems to have left with Boyle and no one actually knows what film anyone is going to make anymore. Apparently though, Saïd Taghmaoui (La Haine, Wonder Woman) says that he’s been cast as the bad guy.
“We don’t know who the director will be, and the producers don’t know if they’re going to go Russian or Middle East with the baddie right now,” he told The National. “I literally just received a message saying: ‘If they go Middle East, it’s you. If they go Russian, it’s someone else.’ It’s the story of my life. Always on that line between something that could change my life and something that disappears.”
It’s worth taking this with a pinch of salt. If Taghmaoui were in serious discussion for a role like this, he’d know full well that he has to keep his mouth shut – so this could all be a bit of shameless self promotion from a guy who had a couple of auditions.
On the other hand, his reference to a production that’s currently split between two radically different storylines does seem to fit with the problem facing the Bond crew at the moment – likely torn between making John Hodge’s new idea work, or scrapping everything and reverting back to the original script that Neal Purvis and Robert Wade wrote.
It is conceivable that the producers are still considering both options and that they might have lined up casting choices for both. Since Boyle’s version already put out a casting call for Russian leads, Taghmaoui’s interview seems to suggest that the new/old script is shifting the focus to the Middle East instead.
Here’s hoping Bond 25 gets rolling again soon, whoever the bad guy might be.