Javier Bardem Confirms He’s Considering Villain Role in BOND 23; Says New Film Changes the “Whole Dynamic”

     February 1, 2011


On Sunday, we reported that Javier Bardem had been offered a role in Sam Mendes upcoming James Bond film.  At the time, we speculated that Bardem was being offered the part of the villain.  Bardem now confirms that he has been offered the role of Bond’s antagonist but he wants to read the screenplay before he signs on.  Bardem tells the LA Times, “I’m a huge fan of the James Bond saga.  When I was little, I went watching Mr. Connery doing James Bond with my father. Who in the world would think I’d be in one of those movies.”

Hit the jump for what Mendes told Bardem about the role when they met.

Bardem was intrigued by what Mendes has planned for his character and it doesn’t sound like the traditional, one-dimensional Bond villain we’ve seen lately.  Says Bardem:

“They’re changing the whole thing, the whole dynamic.  I’d be playing Bond’s nemesis, yes, but it’s not that obvious. Everything is more nuanced. It’s very intriguing.”

Could it be a spy-vs-spy situation where Bardem’s character has a legitimate point of view?  I certainly don’t want to see yet another talented actor playing “Wealthy, Powerful Bond Villain X”.  The past two Daniel Craig Bond films have wasted Mads Mikkelsen and Mathieu Amalric, and I don’t want to see Bardem relegated to a forgettable character.  Clearly, he doesn’t either.

Bond 23 (tentative title) is set for release on November 9, 2012.

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  • Ryan

    I thougth Mikkelsen did a great job in Casino Royale, despite the flatness of the character he was playing.

    Amarlic not so much but it was not his fault since the script wasn’t good enough as the first movie.

    As long as Bardem gives his best Anton Chigurgh impersonation it will be awesome.

    • Ryan

      I meant “thought”…

  • Ringbearer1420

    Just go back to the books. I mean in the books LeChiffre lost his money investing in brothels for his personal use and was a masicist. He also had a amazing speech that they completely cut out, and he beat bonds balls with a carpet beater.
    If that’s not a excellent villian… So just reboot bonds rouges. It works pretty good for batman.

  • Whitney Marsden

    I hope that they set this film in the U.S. and that they include several famous American actors. They have excluded the U.S. from the film series since Licence To Kill (1989). It would be incredible to see Daniel Craig as James Bond in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Las Vegas settings.

    • Jesse

      Aren’t you forgetting the whole Miami set piece in Casino Royale?

  • IllusionOfLife

    I just hope that the film is much more in the vein of Casino Royale than Quantum of Solace. Solace was a decent film, but I felt like it ignored a lot of the progress made by Casino Royale and reverted back to some of the silliness and nonsensical plot lines of the earlier Bond films. Casino Royale is a movie I can watch countless times without growing tired of it, but Quantum of Solace is a film that I’ve watched once and have really had no desire to go back for seconds.

    • Brett

      Why does everybody always hate on Quantum of Solace? It was created to be the thematic foil to Casino Royale. Of course it is going to be a much different experience. It deals with an emotionally unhinged bond who misguidedly seeks revenge for the death of his love, and in the process learns to let go of his grief. Personally I find it to be the better, tighter film. The look in Bond’s eyes says more about his emotional state than entire pages of Casino’s dialogue.

      IllusionOfLife, I’d be very interested in you expanding on your opinion. How did it ignore progress made by its predecessor?

      • IllusionOfLife

        I don’t hate Quantum of Solace, it’s a good film and still better than many of the other Bond films, I just feel as a followup to Casino Royale it was disappointing. Casino Royale had an emotional weight to it that none of the other Bond films have had in the past, and it succeeded so well by balancing incredible action with a superb dramatic narrative. Quantum of Solace, however, just felt like it blended into the crowd of good, but not particularly memorable action flicks.

        Maybe I just didn’t ‘get it,’ or maybe I was expecting too much of it, but it was disappointing to me. It’s in no way a bad film, but I found it vastly inferior to the movie it followed. To each his own, though, I suppose.

      • Brenno

        i agree IllusionOfLife. Solace was not a bad movie, it was better then most in recent memory, but it was not the triumph that Casino was. There was just something about Casino that made it feel like no other Bond before it.

    • Brett

      IllusionOfLife, I can definitely respect your opinion. And I agree with you that Casino Royale is an absolutely wonderful film. Are there some things it does better than Quantum? Sure. But with that said, I do have some issues with Casino Royale that I think Quantum alleviated.

      The first and foremost being pace. Casino Royale has atrocious pacing, and on the whole is far too long a film for the story it tells. It is constantly starting and stopping, losing the momentum it has built and deflating, which leads to my second issue with the film. Many of these moments are due to its constant pandering to its audience. There are far too many moments in the film where what is happening is literally being explained to the viewer through dialogue for fear that they will not be able to keep up with the plot. Quantum of Solace on the other hand is a completely lean animal. What is going on is not necessarily spoon-fed to the reader, and I found this much more engaging to follow.

      Another thing i thought Quantum did well was set the story in a believable reality. While Casino Royale made vast improvements from the universe that the Pierce Brosnan Bond films established, I still got the feeling that director Martin Campbell brought a little bit of his previous Bond entry, Goldeneye’s, glitz and glamor to it. Quantum, on the other hand is a much dirtier film, and rightfully so, because it is a wonderful mirror to the state of Bond that the first film has created. On top of this, the character of Dominic Greene is a far more believably written antagonist. As much as I loved Mikkelson’s take on Le Chiffre, he was written as more of a commentary/critique on previous Bond villains, rather than redefinition of the category altogether. Greene is a businessman, plain and simple. I found it chilling how possible it was for someone like him to exist in real life.

      Finally, when Casino Royale came out it completely redefined what a Bond movie could be. people left the theater with a whole new appreciation for the series, and this was because so much of what we have come to know as “Bond canon”, The Walther PPKs and shaken martinis, got thrown right out the window, and I totally respected the film for it. But now we have a newly established universe, and Quantum of Solace needed to perpetuate it for the story set up in Casino to be complete. I think people were less blown away with Quantum because of this. The jump in quality from Die Another Day to Casino Royale was huge, and I think that because Quantum maintained that standard of quality rather than getting the chance Casino did to redefine the genre, that it is often overlooked for the wonderful film that it is.

  • Rashy

    Go back and watch the Tosca opera scene, the most poetic and visceral scene in alll Bond films as far as I am concerned. The movie is a epilogue to Casino. I enjoed Quantum for what it is fast and brutal revenge.

    • Brett

      Yes I totally forgot the Tosca scene! I completely agree, Rashy.

    • SteveL

      I agree that Quantum is best watched as a companion piece to CR. They’re really one story, and the one time I watched Quantum on its own I didn’t feel it as much because the whole thing is made more intense by a fresh, palpable feeling of Vesper’s betrayal/sacrifice in your bones.

  • Alex-mansy

    I think they’ll be doing the same thing the did for Goldeneye. Sean Bean was a 00 too then turned baddy.

    That was a fantastic storyline I was amazed was never used before. But this time, I think they’ll be have Bardem be a 00 who’s loyalties are becoming questionable.

    Essentially this James Bond film will finally anwer the question, why does Bond work for MI5?

    Goldeneye tried to do the same but largely failed due to it’s focus on action over character and story. That filmed suggested that Bond does what he does out of his own personal moral compass, not patriotism.

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