Rami Malek responds to chaotic 'Bond 25' reports as director denies slacking off

Rami Malek attends The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute benefit gala celebrating the opening of the "Camp: Notes on Fashion" exhibition on Monday, May 6, 2019, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Rami Malek (Credit: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

Rami Malek has given the turbulent production of Bond 25 a strong vote of confidence, saying that 'they have it together'.

Malek is playing the movie's villain, but is yet to shoot any scenes with Bond himself, Daniel Craig, who has been out of action for weeks following an ankle injury in Jamaica.

The Bohemian Rhapsody star said: “I haven’t shot with Daniel yet, but I’m thrilled to work with him.”

Read more: Danny Boyle put off franchises after Bond

Malek, speaking to press in New York around what will be the final series of his conspiracy drama Mr Robot, also broached the rumours of 'chaos' on the Bond set.

“Daniel was injured, so they are shooting what they can,” he said. “I talked to Cary yesterday and the schedule has been altered. I know that. But with a franchise like this, I think they have it together. They have it figured out by now.

“I feel a substantial weight on my shoulders. I mean, Bond is something that we all grow up with. The one thing I have going for me is I played one beloved Brit in Freddie Mercury and I pulled that off, so I feel like I can possibly have a shot at playing the villain in a Bond film.”

Bond 25 director Cary Fukunaga has also publicly dismissed recent tabloid claims that his “intense video game sessions” were slowing down production, causing a mutinous atmosphere on set.

In a post on Instagram, Fukunaga says he’d “never disrespect the hardest working cast and crew”, saying he hasn’t touched his PlayStation 4 for months.

“If my RDR2 [Red Dead Redemption 2] progress is any indication, it’s been stunted at 63% for months and if anyone spoils the end for me before I wrap on B25 I’m going to be p***ed.”

At the Mr Robot press event, Malek praised his Bond 25 co-star Daniel Craig, saying he’s been “pinching” himself about the opportunity to work both him and Fukunaga.

“Daniel is an actor I greatly admire. Over the years, I think he’s put in such phenomenal performances,” says Malek.

“I found him so captivating in films like Layer Cake and, of course, the Bond films. This is another moment where I find myself pinching myself; not only to work with him, but also a director I’ve wanted to work with for so long in Cary Fukunaga. To be part of this franchise is to be part of history again.

Director Cary Joji Fukunaga, from left, actors Daniel Craig and Ana de Armas pose for photographers during the photo call of the latest installment of the James Bond film franchise, currently known as 'Bond 25', in Oracabessa, Jamaica, Thursday, April 25, 2019. (AP Photo/Leo Hudson)
Director Cary Joji Fukunaga with Daniel Craig and Ana de Armas (Credit: AP Photo/Leo Hudson)

“We’ve already filmed in Norway for a week. That’s where I got to work with [director] Cary Fukunaga and our incredible cinematographer, Linus Sandgren. They are a great team. So far, so good. So far, so great.”

Malek also went on to say that his Middle Eastern lineage – he was born in Egypt – was a no-go for his villain role.

“Another thing that I discussed with Cary; I said we cannot identify him with any act of terrorism reflecting an ideology or a religion,” Malek said.

Read more: Daniel Craig to return to Bond this week

“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.”

It's thought that Craig will be returning to work this week, after his ankle surgery, and that the film's release date of April 2020 will not be affected by the rescheduling.