Not long to go before No Time To Die finally makes it onto the big screen, as the 25th James Bond film is set to be released at the end of the month following multiple delays due to the pandemic.
The film, which is set to be Daniel Craig's last turn as 007, will feature Rami Malek as a mysterious villain named Safin. Ever since Malek's character was unveiled in the first No Time To Die trailer, there has been much speculation on whether his character is actually iconic baddie Dr No.
Malek himself was reluctant to speak on the matter during an interview with GQ, saying the rumours were "interesting" but that fans will "have to wait and see". Now, No Time To Die director Cary Joji Fukunaga has offered a definitive answer – and it looks like it's a no on Dr No.
"This is a new villain," the filmmaker confirmed in the new print issue of SFX magazine. "He’s not, as some have speculated, Dr No. Hopefully he’ll be one that is lasting in some way."
He added: "It’s so hard to term him as a villain in this world anymore. We live in a very educated, saturated world of converse narratives. Anyone can be vilified or turned into a hero. It’s more and more difficult to create villains because it’s got to the point where they become parody, especially once Austin Powers came out in the ’90s.
"One of the most difficult things about Bond films is that you can’t really wink and nod to yourself. You have to try and find a way of taking it seriously. At the same time it’s being completely aware that you can be parodied."
Though we don't know much about Safin and his motives, we do know that he has a link to Bond's latest love, Madeline Swann (Léa Seydoux).