Chiwetel Ejiofor

12 Years a Slave earned Chiwetel Ejiofor an Academy Award nomination and unanimous critical acclaim, but his next role looks set to be even bigger as he has now been named the frontrunner for the villain role in Sam Mendes and John Logan’s follow-up to Skyfall.

According to The Wrap, while Ejiofor is not yet in talks, he is very much the studio’s top choice as of right now and will join the returning Daniel Craig, Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris and Ben Whishaw should the deal close.

His role in Steve McQueen’s brutal and brilliant movie about slavery put Ejiofor on the map, so it’s not a surprise that a big franchise like James Bond is now zeroing in on him. It was also recently revealed that his 12 Years a Slave co-star Lupita Nyong’o is in talks for a role in J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars Episode VII.

The currently untitled James Bond 24 is also looking to cast two female roles; a Bond girl and Scandinavian with a troubled past who will serve as a brief love interest for 007.

Skyfall was the first James Bond move to earn over $1 billion at the worldwide box office, and the sequel is easily one of 2015’s most highly anticipated movies (its hits the UK on October 23rd, and releases in the US on November 6th).

What do you think about Chiwetel Ejiofor possibly playing James Bond 24’s villain?