Well this is definitely going to be interesting if it turns out to be true: According to The Guardian, Michael Sheen (“Frost/Nixon”) is apparently in negotiations to play James Bond’s arch-nemesis Ernst Stavro Blofeld in the next James Bond movie. The Guardian notes that the new film is being co-written by Peter Morgan who has previously collaborated with Sheen on “The Queen”, “Frost/Nixon”, and “The Damned United” which has already hit theatres in the UK and is expected to arrive in US theatres this September.
I have mixed feelings about bringing in Blofeld. One of the things I liked best about “Casino Royale” was how it acknowledged the past of James Bond but then moved forward. It understood that Bond’s name had become his biggest commercial liability and having to drag around “Q” and Moneypenny and the gadgets and all that history made a revitalization impossible. However, Blofeld’s been dormant since 1981 (1983 if you count “Never Say Never Again”) unlike “Q” and “Moneypenny” who were only recenty laid to rest.
But if they brought back Blofeld, they would have to re-invent him since he wasn’t killed by Bond, but by Mike Myers spoofing him to death as Dr. Evil.
The big question is whether or not Blofeld fits in with the new ethos of the James Bond franchise. I have no problem with Michael Sheen and if this rumor does turn out to be true, I’ll be excited to see how they play it. My larger question is whether looking back to past villains is the smart move for this series (because if so, does that mean we get new Jaws, Oddjob, etc?) but if a supervillain like Blofeld really gels with the realistic, Bourne-style it seems like the Daniel Craig-Bond movies are going for.
I’m highly curious to hear your thoughts about this bit of potential casting and if you think bringing back Blofeld is a good idea for the next James Bond movie. Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
UPDATE: It turns out that this story originates with the British tabloid The Daily Express which is far less credible than The Guardian so take this whole noise with a grain of salt. Still, it’s interesting to consider insofar as what direction Bond will go next.