It’s no secret that Academy Award winner Christoph Waltz has been cast as the main villain in the next James Bond adventure (which we’re all just calling ‘Bond 24’ for the moment). However, the exact nature of the role may have been revealed and, if it’s true, 007 fans all over the world will rejoice. Yes, it’s exactly what you think it is: Waltz may be playing Bond’s old arch-nemesis, Ernst Stravo Blofeld.

Even if you don’t know the name Blofeld, you know Blofeld. The character originated onscreen in ‘From Russia with Love,’ where he was presented as an unseen, all-knowing mastermind behind all of Bond’s earliest antagonists. As the head of the terrorist organization known as S.P.E.C.T.R.E., his countless minions and agents fought 007 for a few films before he was ultimately revealed to be a bald, scarred, cat-stroking lunatic with a volcano lair in ‘You Only Live Twice.’ Donald Pleasance’s take on the character is the iconic villain image of the past century, inspiring countless imitators (and a parody in the form of Mike Myers’ Dr. Evil).

Blofeld popped up a few more times throughout the early Bond films, always played by a different actor (with diminishing returns). His final appearance was an uncredited cameo in the pre-credits sequence of 1981’s ‘For Your Eyes Only,’ where Roger Moore’s Bond picked him up with a helicopter and dropped him into a smokestack. It was a depressingly anti-climactic ending for a character who loomed so large early in the series. (Blofeld does also appear in 1983’s ‘Never Say Never Again,’ but that film isn’t considered an official part of the main Bond series.)

So the mere thought of an actor as charismatic as Waltz taking up the mantle of Bond’s greatest enemy is an exciting thought for any hardcore Bond fan. If anyone is going to return this character to his former glory, it‘s the actor behind Hans Landa, the greatest movie villain of the past decade.

But that brings us to the caveats. First of all, the rumor comes from the Daily Mail, a publication who has the nasty habit of being wrong with stunning frequency. Secondly, if the Blofeld rumors are true, it looks like the powers-that-be want to keep it a secret as long as possible. From the original article:

Eon Productions, which owns the James Bond film franchise, will announce the star is playing an unknown character called Franz Oberhauser, son of the late Hans Oberhauser, a ski instructor who acted as a father figure to Bond. But senior sources believe the casting is a double bluff worthy of 007 himself and that Waltz is actually playing Blofeld. One Hollywood source, who asked not to be named, said: ‘Christoph Waltz is playing Blofeld in the next Bond film. The tone of the 007 films has changed significantly in recent years and the producers have changed the character to fit in with the new-look 007.’

Yes, because hiding the actual identity of a well-known and well-liked villain in your big, expensive movie always works so well! Just ask J.J. Abrams about Benedict Cumberbatch and Khan.

Unfortunately, all we have to go on at the moment is that Daily Mail story and if that’s true, the exact nature of Waltz’s role may be hidden for some time. Hopefully the folks at Eon and Sony figure out you don’t hide the resurrection of the greatest Bond villain of all time. You celebrate it. You shout it from the rooftops! The thought of Daniel Craig’s brutal, brawny Bond facing down a crafty, modern Blofeld played by Waltz is all you need to sell a lot of people on ‘Bond 24’ before they see a single frame of footage.

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