Benedict Cumberbatch swore he wasn’t playing Khan. Except he totally WAS playing Khan. So now, whenever an actor swears up and down in the press that he isn’t playing an iconic character (mainly a villain), a small B.S. alert pings in the backs of our collective mind.
This time out, it’s Christoph Waltz, who is promoting his turn in Tim Burton’s Big Eyes, but also answering questions about his mysterious role in Sam Mendes’ next James Bond thriller, Spectre. Two outlets caught up with Waltz on this press tour and asked him if, instead of the announced character, he was actually playing Ernst Stavro Blofeld, the despicable head of SPECTRE. Waltz told ScreenCrush:
The character is called Franz Oberhauser. F-R-A-N-Z, Oberhauser, and I don’t need to spell that."
In a separate interview, Christoph Waltz was asked the same basic question by Collider, and was told:
No. No. It’s more interesting than that."
So that’s that, right? Well, no, primarily because of this snow job.
Are we cynical? Of course. I would be more surprised if Christoph Waltz spent the duration of the Big Eyes press junket revealing all that he could about Spectre. He has to keep as much of this close to his vest, because the production already is being unraveled by leak upon leak thanks to the ongoing Sony hack.
So I want to focus on Waltz’s statement, because he suggests that it is "more interesting than that." And there’s a new theory floating around that can be traced back to film journalist Silas Lesnick of ComingSoon, who gets credit for being the first person I’ve seen on record claiming that Blofeld in the new James Bond movies will be played by Monica Bellucci.
Why? Bellucci's character, Sciarra, means "habitational name from Sciarra in Palermo province, Sicily, named with a word denoting a volcanic area." SPECTRE, in classic Bond lore, operated out of a volcano. Coincidence? Possibly, sure, but it’s a fun theory to bat around. I think connecting Christoph Waltz to Blofeld is easy. Perhaps too easy. And putting a spin on Blofeld to make her female would be a fascinating left turn or Daniel Craig’s 007 saga. But for now, I’m not entirely sure that I’m buying Waltz’s line of bull. Are you?