Lupita Nyong’o could soon be getting a ridiculous new name—something along the outlandish lines of Strawberry Fields, Jinx Johnson, Dr. Christmas Jones, or Octopussy. According to Deadline, the Oscar winner is currently in the process of being “courted” to play the next Bond girl, meaning her participation in the upcoming 25th James Bond film is extremely unconfirmed (her reps denied the speculation to the outlet), despite also being an extremely good idea.
As seen in films like Black Panther, Nyong’o has a knack for stealing the spotlight from the male leads of any movie she’s in, and thus could certainly provide Bond with the healthy dose of ego-checking he so clearly needs. In fact, why not let her steal the entire spotlight and just play Bond herself? Forward-thinking fans have long maintained that the next person to step into the storied superspy’s shoes should be a woman—Charlize Theron’s name has been tossed around, and Angelina Jolie, Priyanka Chopra, Gillian Anderson, and Gigi Hadid have all expressed their desire to take over for the unenthusiastic Daniel Craig—and Nyong’o would undoubtedly be an excellent candidate for the role.
While Nyong’o’s involvement in Bond 25 is still up in the air, Variety reports that Billy Magnussen and Rami Malek are in more concrete talks to join the cast. Magnussen would play an American CIA agent who teams up with Bond for the mission, while Malek would star as the film’s primary villain. Malek all but confirmed the speculation earlier this year. “We’ll have to see about that,” the newly minted Oscar winner told Entertainment Tonight in January, when asked whether he was in talks for the role. “It would be nice to play a villain…that would be another dream role for me. I’ve gotten to play so many great ones so far, but who knows? I’m keeping tight-lipped.”
The film’s producers are also looking for another female lead: The two Bond girls in Cary Joji Fukunaga’s script are an MI6 agent and an accomplice along the lines of Olga Kurylenko’s Camille Montes in 2008’s Quantum of Solace. Léa Seydoux, Ralph Fiennes, and Naomie Harris are all slated to reprise their roles from recent Bond films—as Dr. Madeleine Swann, M, and Eve Moneypenny, respectively—in the next installment. Craig, too, has reportedly signed on for his fifth turn as the iconic spy, despite telling Time Out London in 2015, ahead of Spectre’s release, that he’d “rather break this glass and slash my wrists” than make another Bond film.
One last rumor about Bond 25: It’ll reportedly be titled Shatterhand, so make of that what you will, or simply wait for all to be revealed when the film arrives, on April 8, 2020.