The New York Times reports that David Oyelowo, best known for playing Martin Luther King Jr. in 2014's Selma, and now slated to take over as the voice of Bond in the next series of 007 audiobooks, will play the title role in a limited-run production of Shakespeare's Othello. Daniel Craig, whose fourth (and emphatically final) turn as Bond in Sam Mendes' acclaimed series will star opposite Oyelowo as Iago, one of the most notorious and complex villains in dramatic history.
The production will be hosted by the New York Theatre Workshop, a small but renowned Off-Broadway theatre, which is currently gearing up for the debut of a new musical co-penned by David Bowie.
Othello is one of Shakespeare's most frank dealings with race
Othello is popularly recognized as one of Shakespeare's most frank dealings with race, which should be an interesting change of pace for two actors working within the Bond franchise.
The production will be directed by Sam Gold, who recently took home a Tony for his direction of this year's Best Musical, Fun Home. As for the choice to go with an Off-Broadway theater with a mere 199 seats when it seems obvious that the two Bonds could sell out even the biggest of the 42nd Street halls, Gold told the Times that he appreciates the intimacy afforded by smaller theaters.
This casting fits into a notable trend in recent years for New York theater — the casting of big names in limited runs that help theaters reel in coveted year-long subscriptions (see New York City Center's Little Shop of Horrors with Jake Gyllenhaal, Manhattan Theatre Club's Fool for Love with Sam Rockwell, and Roundabout's upcoming Long Day's Journey Into Night revival with Jessica Lange).
Daniel Craig has also been quoted saying that he would rather not do more Broadway work, as the audiences are too old (someone tell this guy about Hamilton!) and the tickets are too expensive (someone told this guy about Hamilton).
For what it's worth, these tickets will almost definitely be very expensive.