No Time to Die Director Says Sequel's Villain had to go "Bigger" Than Christoph Waltz's Blofeld

It was both a surprise and not a surprise when Christoph Waltz villain character in the James Bond film SPECTRE was confirmed to be none other than long running Bond villain Ernst Stavro Blofeld. The surprising part came from Waltz maintaining a hammy and over-the-top tone in the grim and gritty world of Daniel Craig's Bond films. So where does the franchise go from here? In a new interview, No Time to Die director Cary Joji Fukunaga opened up about how they crafted a villain to take on Bond in the follow-up to the 2015 movie that acted as the fulcrum for each of the three films that came before it, noting that Rami Malek's work as Safin will stand alongside the franchise greats.

"First of all, Rami belongs in that company and in the same breath as any of the truly great actors. The awards tell you that but so does his work," Fukunaga told British GQ. "Once we got into Christoph Waltz/Blofeld territory, you can't go small again. We had to think bigger. It's tricky because you don't want to make a cliché super villain, but you have to make someone that's threatening not only to Bond and the people he loves but to the world at large."

Malek opened up about that "tricky" balance too, revealing the conversations that went on in creating a villain that would be threatening to Bond and the world, adding: "We really did sit down, and think about what would truly frighten us, what would send a real panic into our hearts. It's that sense of dread that sets it apart."

Even with all that planning, and Malek's own insistence that he appear in the film, it didn't stop him from

"But I had the most extraordinary time going head-to-head with [Craig]. He is a consummate professional," Malek previously said. "What was really special about that is, you see these movies, and I love the Bond films, but on day one, going out, on stage, on set, in front of the lens…I actually got a Broadway version, sitting in the front seat, watching Bond do it firsthand. It took me a second to step back and go, 'What's my first line again?'"

The cast of No Time to Die will also include Daniel Craig in the titular role, Ana de Armas, Lashana Lynch, Naomie Harris, Lea Seydoux, Ben Winshaw, Jeffrey Wright, and Ralph Fiennes

The wait for No Time to Die has gotten even longer for fans of the franchise as the film was originally scheduled to debut in April of this year but was pushed to November of 2020 days after tickets first went on sale. A month ago it was pushed once again to April of 2021 and will arrive a full year after it was originally scheduled