Oscar-winner actor Rami Malek continues to fuel rumors that he’ll play an updated version for the classic James Bond villain Dr. No in No Time to Die.
No Time to Die star Rami Malek watched Dr. No to prepare for his upcoming turn as a mysterious Bond villain. The Oscar-winning star of Bohemian Rhapsody will join Daniel Craig in the much-anticipated 25th installment of the famed franchise.
As the very first official James Bond film, Dr. No arrived in 1962 to much acclaim and excitement. Author Ian Fleming had long since found success writing James Bond novels, but with the arrival of Dr. No, both Fleming and Bond’s popularity rose to new levels. Today, Sean Connery’s take on the 007 character is iconic and considered by many to be as good of a portrayal of Bond as the character will ever get. But at the same time, Bond villains have been fully capable of making or breaking each new film as well. In the case of Dr. No, Joseph Wiseman’s portrayal of the diabolical eponymous character became something of a crash course for decades to come of how to play a nefarious super-villain. Though times have changed and the idea of a super-villain as portrayed by Wiseman has been thoroughly poked fun at, the character’s depth, confidence and willingness to create chaos remains relevant.
In the case of No Time to Die, Malek’s appointment as the film’s villain both surprised and delighted many. There isn’t a lot currently known about what sort of person Bond’s on-screen nemesis (known only to date as Safin) will be, but there certainly are plenty of rumors surrounding the mysterious character. Some even believe that Safin is an updated version of the original Dr. No. Whether or not this is true is anyone’s guess, but Games Radar has reported that during a recent interview with Total Film, Malek was asked about the connection to the famed character. While neither confirming nor denying that it was a return to the franchise’s roots, he did reveal that the only Bond film he watched in preparation was “Only Dr. No.”
It certainly isn’t inconceivable that No Time to Die would bring back one of the franchise’s most famed villains. After all, a similar strategy was utilized in Spectre, with Christoph Waltz portraying another classic Bond villain, Ernst Stavro Blofeld. For many Bond fans, however, the recreation of Blofeld paled in comparison to how the character behaved in previous installments, leaving Waltz as little more than just another villain. Nonetheless, if Malek’s Safin is a rebooted version of Dr. No, it will make for a very interesting addition to the modern franchise. We do know that Malek agreed to take the role only if he was guaranteed that he would not be playing any sort of fundamentalist terrorist. We also know that No Time to Die director Cary Fukunaga has previously revealed that Safin could be a character who wields much power without being widely known to the public.
At the present moment, it isn’t just the villain or plot of No Time to Die that remains uncertain to fans. The recent announcement that the film will be bumped back by seven months to November due to coronavirus casts a dark shadow over things as well. It’s difficult to say whether or not the film will even be able to be released in November, either. However, if it is, Bond fans everywhere will be more than ready to finally see just what kind of villain Malek will portray.