With the release of the new James Bond film, Skyfall, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the first Bond film (Dr. No), Bond fans everywhere are eager to learn what the twenty-third installment in the spy-action series has in store. Will it be the return to form of Casino Royale or another Quantum of Solace (read: letdown)?

While we’ve seen pictures from the set previously, today we have some genuinely interesting pictures for you: Two of Daniel Craig in proper Bond attire and several of Javier Bardem as Skyfall‘s villain, simply known as Silva.

It’s hard to determine in the above photos (courtesy of The Daily Mail) if Bardem’s character is blond because he’s in disguise as a police officer – and thus wearing a wig – or if his character is actually supposed to be blond and Ion’s wig-making skills are a little lackluster.

Of course, James Bond has a long history of utilizing sinister, physically imposing blond villains who can go toe-to-toe (or hand-to-hand) with Bond – from Robert Shaw in From Russia with Love to Ronald Rich in You Only Live Twice to Andreas Wisniewski in The Living Daylights to Gotz Otto in Tomorrow Never Dies. Could this be a play on that previously established trope?

Even if the blond wig Bardem’s wearing in the pictures is also a wig in the world of the film, there seems to be little doubt that the character will be fighting bond with both wits and fists. This is a Bond villain that gets his hands dirty and plays an active, physical role in whatever terrible (and dusty?) scheme James Bond has to stop.

Regardless of the outcome of the film, Bardem has proven – in No Country for Old Men if nothing else – that he can play an effective villain with the best of them. With Bardem, Daniel Craig, Judi Dench, Naomie Harris, Albert Finney, Ralph Fiennes, and others on board, and Sam Mendes (American Beauty) at the helm, I can’t wait to see how Skyfall turns out. Perhaps a trailer is coming soon to tide us over? Pretty please?

Skyfall hits theaters November 9th, 2012.

Follow me on Twitter @benandrewmoore.

Sources: The Daily Mail [via Bleeding Cool]