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What was once rumored has now been confirmed: Javier Bardem will play a Bond villain in the as-yet-untitled James Bond 23, directed by Sam Mendes (American Beauty) from a screenplay by John Logan, Neal Purvis and Robert Wade.
"I am very excited. My parents took me to watch the movies, and I saw all of them, so to play that is going to be fun," the Oscar winning actor told ABC Nightline (via ComingSoon). “They chose me to play this man, but I cannot give you many details.”
By “details,” Bardem means he can not confirm other standing rumors that Daniel Craig’s 007 might finally face off against classic adversary Blofeld in the upcoming sequel. As Eric points out in an earlier story, Blofeld has been non-existent in the Bond franchise since 1981. But Craig’s entrance to the series virtually rebooted the storyline, meaning now – in his third effort – would be an ideal time to introduce a powerful villain who has been pulling the strings behind the scenes, frustrating Craig’s Bond over the course of both Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace. Could Bardem be that guy? More important, should Bardem be that guy, or would you rather see him play an altogether different villain?
Back when Blofeld was terrorizing 007, several actors filled the bad guy’s shoes. Part of me would like to see the Bond franchise establish some continuity, casting an actor who could return for two or three sequels in a villainous role, the way Craig commits to multiple installments as Bond. Bardem’s in demand, so that might be difficult. But you just know he’s going to be terrific as a Bond villain, and so I’d almost like to see him under contract for a string of 007 thrillers. I know. I’m being greedy. For now, let’s just celebrate the fact that Bardem’s down for James Bond 23, which will be in theaters on Nov. 9, 2012.