blofeld%20diamonds The Conversation: Could Blofeld Be the Next Bond Villain? And If So, Who Should Play Him?

A rumor I expected to see circulated a lot more this week is the “hint” that Blofeld might be the villain in the next James Bond movie (still only known as “Bond 23,” although Daniel Craig apparently knows the secret title). I guess it’s only a rumor and not a very trustworthy one at that, even if it does spring from the lips of the film’s screenwriter, John Logan. All he said, as quoted by What Culture! from a BAFTA event, is a simple reiterated opinion he’s said before: “Bond should always fight Blofeld.” 

That sort of thing usually leads to agreement, excitement and speculation in the blogosphere, but perhaps enough sites recognize that it’s an extremely ambiguous remark and, more importantly, there is a huge issue involving the rights to the Blofeld character, among other classic 007 elements, which is precisely why neither Blofeld or the name S.P.E.C.T.R.E. (now known as Quantum) have shown up in the films in decades. Unless Sony, MGM, EON Productions and the estate of late Bond writer Kevin McClory have reached an unknown agreement, it would likely stay this way.

However, I’m very curious if there has indeed been a development we’re not aware of. The fansite MI6 points out that Bond video games produced over the last decade had similarly been renaming or otherwise altering the role of Blofeld to get around the rights issue. Yet last year’s Goldeneye 007 game from Activision not only features the Charles Gray version of the character (from Diamonds Are Forever), but has him officially named Blofeld. Alongside game versions of Craig and other modern incarnations of the franchise. That seems like there’s similar potential for the movies, especially for a non-baldie type…

Of course, it’s still just rumor for the moment. So let’s just go to the bloggers and tweeters to see what they think of Blofeld maybe being in the upcoming follow-up to Quantum of Solace, and who should be cast in the role if so.

This sounds like a move in the right direction. Because for the first time in 40 years the James Bond franchise is in real trouble, at least when it comes to me — and I’m a person. I matter… Right? – John Nolte, Big Hollywood

Blofeld is arguably the Bond archnemesis, but hasn’t figured in a Bond film since the early ’80s. The timing seems right to reintroduce Blofeld to the franchise, and it sounds like Logan feels pretty strongly about the character. [...] Could EON work around the rights issue by using a Blofeld-like character without naming him? (I’m not sure if McClory owns the screen rights to ‘Number One’ in the context of Bond films, so EON might be able to use that as a designation for the head of Quantum, which is basically SPECTRE without using the name.) – Angie Han, /Film

Every great hero has a great villain. Batman has The Joker. Sherlock Holmes has Professor Moriarty. Luke Skywalker has Darth Vader. Professor X has Magneto. Sure, the protagonists may occasionally go off and battle smaller, less important villains, but they are nothing without their most powerful foe. For James Bond, that villain has always been Ernst Stavro Blofeld, the leader of SPECTRE. [...] Back when it was first reported that Javier Bardem had been approached to play Bond’s newest villain, I hoped that it was being set up that the actor would actually be playing the leader of Quantum, the secret evil organization first heard about in Marc Foster’s Quantum of Solace and hinted at in Casino Royale. Now it looks like that dream could become an actual reality. – Eric Eisenberg, Cinema Blend

If, indeed, John Logan’s wry smile and comment about how “Bond should always fight Blofeld” meant anything at all, it was probably referring to a Blofeld-esque villain appearing in Bond 23 as opposed to Blofeld himself. Just as Quantum is the twenty-first century’s stand-in for S.P.E.C.T.R.E., Ralph Fiennes’s (or Javier Bardem’s?) forthcoming villain role will likely be the twenty-first century stand-in for Blofeld. – Ben Moore, Screen Rant

I guess we’ve yet to see the real power behind Quantum, and there’s no reason it couldn’t be Ernst Blofeld. I just don’t expect him to be scarred and to sit around stroking a cat. [....] Should it ever come to it, though, I do think Simon Russell Beale would be good casting for ol’ Ernst. There were at one point rumours that he was going to be in the film, too. – Brendon Connelly, Bleeding Cool

Considering the modern tendency to examine new approaches to old heroes and villains alike, one wonders how Blofeld will be depicted in the new movie. Will he be the campy villain who likes to feed people who displease him to piranhas? Or will he be someone darker, more serious, as befits these troubled times? [...] One wonders, though, if Sir Sean Connery could be enticed before the cameras one last time for yet another Bond film. Not playing Bond may be very tempting indeed. – Mark Whittington, Yahoo!

@weinmanj: Doubt Bond 23 will bring back Blofeld, but if it does, the director will audition 2 actors, praise one, then kill him and pick the other guy

@MattMira: I am all for a Blofeld appearance, but please, give me some gadgets and don’t go “rogue” again.

@nixskits: Alfred Molina. How about a slight combover & some Koi fish this time? icon smile The Conversation: Could Blofeld Be the Next Bond Villain? And If So, Who Should Play Him?

Follow Christopher Campbell on Twitter (@thefilmcynic) to join The Conversation.

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