When it comes to the depiction of terrorists in films, they are almost always driven by one of two motives – ideology (usually religious) or profit. On occasion, they’ll use the former motive initially to hide the real motivation which is the latter one (ala “Die Hard”).
Many terrorist villains in films are painted with generic racial and religious stereotypes, and that’s something Oscar-winning actor Rami Malek didn’t want to do when he signed up to play the villain in the upcoming new James Bond film.
Speaking to the Daily Mirror, Malek said the one rule he had in order to sign on for director Cary Fukunaga’s project is that his character, who is said to be a terrorist villain, would not be a stereotypical religious extremist:
“It’s a great character and I’m very excited. But that was one thing that I discussed with Cary [Fukunaga]. I said, ‘We cannot identify him with any act of terrorism reflecting an ideology or a religion. That’s not something I would entertain, so if that is why I am your choice then you can count me out.
But that was clearly not his vision. So he’s a very different kind of terrorist. It’s another extremely clever script from the people who have figured out exactly what people want in those movies. But I feel a substantial weight on my shoulders. I mean, Bond is something that we all grow up with.”
Instead, it sounds like he will be some form of bioterrorist with rumors suggesting that genetic engineering and gene editing will be the focal point for Malek’s villain. The Bond franchise has famously used racial and religious stereotypes throughout its run so Malek’s concern going in was a fair one.
“Bond 25” is set to arrive in cinemas on April 8th 2020.