The highly anticipated release of the latest James Bond movie, Spectre, is now just a little over a month away (at the time of writing this). Skyfall director Sam Mendes is returning for this installment, as is Daniel Craig as 007 himself - and the actor has already hyped Spectre as being “a celebration of all things Bond.”
It stands to reason then, that Blofeld should return in some form, given Craig’s comments and that the title of the movie refers directly to an organisation that features the Bond villain as its head. Ever since the casting of Christoph Waltz was announced, rumors have been rife where it concerns the true nature of his Spectre character. When asked directly if he is playing Blofeld, though, Waltz has said “It’s more complicated than that,” and thus far, the only certainty is that his character is called Oberhauser at some point in Spectre.
Despite clues that point away from Waltz playing the villainous icon, many fans still insist that he will indeed be the new Blofeld in Spectre. Mendes, in an interview published in the latest issue of Empire (which Mendes also guest edited), spoke more about Blofeld, and explained why he doesn’t want fans to know the truth behind Waltz’s character yet (hat tip Digital Spy):
"The B-word! We talk about it all the time. It's the great figure from the Bond vault, as it were. There was this big spectre hanging over the movie and the franchise, which is Blofeld, and what happened to the supervillain. That's all I'm going to say. There's some big stuff the movie is moving towards. There are depth charges you hopefully don't see coming."
On the subject of exactly who Waltz would be playing, and whether the alias Oberhauser was just a ruse, Mendes was insistent that spoilers should not and would not, be given.
"The audience cannot and should not be given - and I'm not confirming or denying anything - information that the characters do not have. And preserving tension in the narrative of a story that is a riff or an acknowledgement of the iconography of Bond over the years has been crucial. Otherwise you have taken an audience out of the narrative before it's even begun."
Mendes makes a fair point. Part of the attraction to Bond movies is the suspense created on screen, and if audiences go in knowing exactly what’s about to unfold, is there really any point? Surely the ‘wow factor’ of that first viewing is taken away and leaves a viewer disengaged before the first scene has even played?
Potential SPOILERS for Spectre ahead!
Mendes’ comments seem to point to Bond’s arch-nemesis returning, which would certainly tie in, but what of the ‘depth charges’ he refers to? Well, one point of speculation also ties in with Waltz’s earlier insistence that he is not, in fact, playing the main villain in the film. With Andrew Scott (Sherlock's Moriarty) also cast, could we see him as the latest Blofeld incarnation instead, with Oberhauser maybe as the ‘face’ of Spectre?
That being said: some will recall that in the Sony hack of 2014, Waltz’s character was referred to as Blofeld in leaked exec notes, though not in the screenplay for Spectre. It could well be that big changes to the script were made, of course, and that while Waltz might have originally been down as Blofeld, script alterations mean that is no longer the case. The Sony hack also revealed that the third act of the film was rewritten to satisfy MGM head, Jonathan Glickman, so all/any "leaked" Spectre details should be taken with a grain of salt, for that reason alone.
Whatever the case, though, all will be revealed when Spectre is released. If you can’t get to see it on its opening weekend, you might have to carefully dodge those spoilers!
Spectre will be released in UK theaters on October 26th, 2015; it opens in the U.S. shortly thereafter, on November 6th.