Chewetel Ejiofor has never been in the Hollywood A-list, but he may slowly start to climb that ladder. Ejiofor may not be the most recognizable actor in the planet, and his African name makes it hard for people to remember him, but he has been in many big Hollywood movies. It has been rumored that Chiwetel Ejiofor is in talks for playing the next James Bond villain.
Chiwetel Ejiofor has starred in big hit movies like 2012, Children of Men and Inside Man. But only recently has Ejiofor gotten attention for his protagonist role in 12 Years a Slave. Ejiofor played Solomon Northup, an African-American free man living in 1841, when one day he gets drugged and enslaved to work at a plantation. 12 Years a Slave was universally loved by critics and became a box-office success. The movie went onto winning the Oscar for Best Picture in this year’s academy awards.
With such attention and sudden success, Hollywood is now looking at Chiwetel Ejiofor in a new light. MGM is now offering him the part to play the next James Bond villain. The last Bond movie, Skyfall back in 2012, was a critical success and had earned $1.1 billion at the box-office worldwide. One of the most entertaining things about the movie was the mesmerizing performance by Javier Bardem as cyber-terrorist Raoul Silva. The next James Bond film will become the 24th movie in the series. In the last 52 years of the Bond franchise, the villain is as much of an icon as James Bond himself. Villains such as Gold Finger, Oddjob, Jaws, Dr. No and Ernst Stavro Blofeld. Whether Chiwetel Ejiofor will take up the role of the next Bond villain is still just rumored, but if Chiwetel was to take the role, he would partake on a time-honored tradition.
Chiwetel Ejiofor has played villains before. He was in the 2005 film Serenity based on Joss Whedon’s cult hit television series Firefly. Ejiofor played an assassin called The Operative working for the government looking to track down and kill the heroes. His character was very calm, well-spoken, calculative and cold-hearted. Ejiofor gave a performance that without saying much or show a lot of emotion was able to create suspense and chills. Ejiofor’s The Operative was very reminiscent of a Bond villain. Bond villains are not known for their physical intimidation, except for maybe Jaws. They are known for their devious manner of speaking and create an uneasy atmosphere. Ejiofor has proven he can pull off that kind of villain, so it would not be difficult for this British actor to be involved in the new installation of Bond.
With each new Bond movie becoming more popular and successful than their predecessors, it would be wise of Chiwetel Ejiofor to make the rumors of playing the next Bond villain be true. Ejiofor has still not become immediately recognizable, so starring in an important role for a summer blockbuster could very well be that extra push necessary to make him the next leading man on Hollywood’s A-list.
Opinion By Ignacio Gatti