The Oscar-nominated star of 12 Years A Slave, Chiwetel Ejiofor, is likely to become the next James Bond villain, according to Variety. The trade magazine says the British star is the top name on producers' wish list for the 24th official James Bond movie, which will once again be directed by Sam Mendes as well as starring Daniel Craig.

Chiwetel EjioforChiwetel Ejiofor Could Be The Next Bond Villain

Bond 24 is due to begin filming in the summer for a November 2015 release date. Ralph Fiennes, Ben Whishaw and Naomie Harris are also set to return as M, Q and Moneypenny respectively. 

It is understood that the producers' decision to target Ejiofor has been inspired by the successful recruitment of Oscar-winner Javier Bardem, who played the left-field villain Silva in Skyfall. The team are also on the hunt for one British actress and a Scandinavian actress to play the Bond girls. 

In other Bond news, studio MGM and 007 production company Eon/Danjaq are suing studio Universal for allegedly plagiarising the secret agent in the forthcoming spy tale Section 6. Attack the Block's Joe Cornish was reveald as the director of the movie, starring Jack O'Connell of Starred Up fame. 

Javier BardemJavier Bardem Played Silva in 'Skyfall'

According to the Guardian, Bond makers allege that Section 6 is "a James Bond knockoff that defendant Universal is readying for production." They allege that the new movie stars a "daring tuxedo-clad British secret agent employed by His Majesty's Secret Service with a license to kill and a 00 secret agent number on a mission to save England from the diabolical plot of a megalomaniacal villain." Sounds pretty familiar to us.

Sam Mendes' Skyfall became the most successful British movie of all time when it was released in 2012. It also scored critical acclaim and was generally considered to be one of the finest movies of the year, despite failing to score any major Oscar nominations. 

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Watch Chiwetel Ejiofor arriving on the red-carpet: