From a view to a thrill. It has been one of the best-kept secrets of Bond movie no.25, but now the UK press has revealed that Ernst Stavro Blofeld, as played by Christoph Waltz, will be back.
Waltz, of course, played 007’s nemesis in Spectre, directed by Sam Mendes, and now the actor has been given another golden opportunity by new director Cary Fukunaga to play one of the franchise’s most iconic villains again.
Intriguingly, in April, The Playlist website had already hinted that the character of Blofeld could be returning, after they had picked up some vibes from script-writer Scott Z. Burns, who had carried out some additional dialogue and other work on the B25 script.
But, at the time, nobody really knew one way or the other whether this was accurate, and most commentators thought – if it was indeed true – it was unlikely to be Christoph Walz reprising his role.
It has now emerged that not only was the hint of a return for Blofeld spot on, but that Waltz himself is indeed back, and has been spotted on set at Pinewood. According to an exclusive story published by the showbiz writer Baz Bamigboye, writing via his Twitter account and also in his regular column in the UK’s Daily Mail newspaper (July 12th), Waltz has been filming scenes at Pinewood Studios.
According to Bamigboye, Waltz’s involvement had ‘been kept top secret… until now. When visitors to the set spotted him, the Austrian-born star put a finger to his lips and in hushed tones told them: “You haven’t seen me. I’m not here”.’ An executive on the film confirmed to Bamigboye: ‘There’s unfinished business between Bond and Blofeld. If I told you any more, I’d have to kill you’.
Return Another Day
(Warning: Possible spoilers ahead). Unsurprisingly, given the new revelations in Bamigboye’s column, The Playlist has returned back to the topic it first raised back in April and has now added some further background context to Blofeld’s resurrection. The site has claimed that Blofeld returns in a kind of Silence of the Lambs-like appearance, with Lea Seydoux as Dr. Swann visiting the badly-scarred former head of SPECTRE in prison and trying to mine him for information about the sadistic character (played by Rami Malek) at the heart of the story.
Waltz’s Blofeld, the site suggests, is not expected to have as significant a role as last time (in Spectre) and will likely take a back seat to allow the focus to remain on Malek’s villain in B25. Yet, it is undoubtedly a great opportunity for Waltz to have another stab at a character that he has said in past interviews he felt he did not quite ‘nail’ in B24. Significantly, Waltz had also commented in post-B24 interviews that, if he indeed was given the opportunity to return as Blofeld, he would only do so if Daniel Craig was back as James Bond. It must now be doubly satisfying for the award-winning actor to be getting another opportunity to return another day.
Production on B25 is running very smoothly, despite the various negative stories run in the UK’s press in recent weeks. The cast and crew have been very busy at Pinewood, while some scenes were also shot recently in central and south London. The main unit are due to film for a week in Scotland in August, and some key filming will also be conducted later in Italy.
Watch this space for further B25 updates as they happen. You know the name, and you know the number.
Oscar-winning actor Christoph Waltz with EON producer Barbara Broccoli