After over forty years since his last proper appearance in the franchise, James Bond’s nemesis Ernst Stavro Blofeld finally returned in 2015’s Spectre. As played by the Oscar-winning actor Christoph Waltz, this reimagined Blofeld was actually Bond’s long lost adoptive brother who suffered from a serious case of sibling rivalry. As the movie left Blofeld to die another day, it was assumed that Waltz would be back for what’s likely Daniel Craig’s final bow as 007 in 2019’s Bond 25.
It turns out, though, that this is definitely not on the cards. Waltz was recently asked if we should expect another appearance from him as Blofeld and he made it abundantly clear that we shouldn’t. The way he worded his reply, though, doesn’t rule out the possibility that the character could be recast.
No, I’m sorry. I’m really sad, but that’s the tradition, that there is a new… name. Sorry. I would’ve liked to.”
Waltz’s “new name” comment could either refer to the Bondian tradition of each movie featuring a new villain or the history of Blofeld being recast for each successive film. For instance, Donald Pleasance played the most iconic version of the character in 1967’s You Only Live Twice while Telly Savalas took over for 1969’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service and Charles Gray portrayed him in 1971’s Diamonds are Forever. It was assumed that Waltz could finally add a bit of continuity to the character but apparently, that won’t be the case.
If the actor has indeed been recast, it doesn’t sound like it was his decision but rather, the studio’s. Though we feel bad for him if this is what’s happened, you can see why EON have decided to cut that tie with Spectre, which was generally regarded as a bit of a mess. This does raise questions though over whether or not Lea Seydoux’s Madeline Swann will return.
With Bond 25 expected to go before the cameras next year to make its November 8th, 2019 release date, we could see some casting announcements start to appear over the next few months. As always, watch this space for more.