There is neither a bald pate nor a white pussycat in sight but rumours that Christoph Waltz’s villain in Spectre is actually Ernst Stavro Blofeld in disguise refuse to die in the face of blatant denial.
It might have been confirmed as often as Jon Snow’s apparent death in Game of Thrones that Waltz is playing Franz Oberhauser and not the terrorist boss, but today’s full length trailer has nevertheless sparked a fan frenzy of Blofeld speculation.
In it Waltz’s baddie is heard to utter the words “What took you so long?” - no doubt a reference to variants of oft-used and sinister “I’ve been expecting you, Mr Bond” which is mostly uttered in the franchise by Blofeld.
Waltz also says “It was me, James, the author of your pain” which some commentators have called “the most Blofeld-line ever”.
He can also be seen wearing a suit with a Chinese collar – the official uniform of the criminal mastermind and nemesis of MI5.
Waltz might be a wet shave, a scar and a hirsute moggy away from the pantomime villain recognisable You Only Live Twice, but fans are far from convinced that Oberhauser (a teenage friend of 007’s, believed to be the son of his foster brother Hannes)isn’t Blofeld in disguise.
Never mind that Waltz came out and said categorically in a recent interview that his character is “definitely not” Blofeld, in any form. At all.
But the Sam Mendes film is called Spectre after all. And Blofeld is the boss of the conglomerate terrorist organisation whose acronym in full reads “Special Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion” and which first appeared in Ian Fleming’s 1961 novel Thunderball.
The archenemy of the secret service (the inspiration for Doctor Evil in Mike Myers’ Austin Powers) is commonly referred to as Number 1 as he holds the highest position at Spectre.
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Blofeld features in three Fleming novels (Thunderball, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, and You Only Live Twice) and six James Bond films: From Russia with Love, Thunderball, You Only Live Twice, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, Diamonds Are Forever and 1981 film For Your Eyes Only, the pre-title sequence of which shows an unnamed character resembling him fall to his death.
Waltz’s Blofeld (if indeed he is) resembles the rather more follicly-fortunate version of the character from Diamonds Are Forever in which he was played by Charles Gray.
Mendes himself has fuelled speculation over Waltz by refraining from naming his character (despite having done so explicitly for every other featured actor) at a press conference revealing details of the 24 Bond film back in December.
The film is slated for release on 6 November 2015 and in the meantime we will be expecting you, Mr Blofeld. If only to ask “What took you so long?”
Main image courtesy of Followingthenerd.com
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