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Rami Malek in No Time to Die

The final chapter of the Daniel Craig James Bond era is almost here, and for this momentous occasion, 007 will find himself clashing with the mysterious Safin, played by Mr. Robot and Bohemian Rhapsody star Rami Malek. There’s still a lot we don’t know about Safin and his involvement in No Time to Die, but he’s definitely physically distinguishable by the scarring on his face, to the point that he often wears a Japanese Noh mask.

Lest you think this disfigurement is a gimmick for No Time to Die, Rami Malek is assuring fans that this aspect of the character is “important to have,” adding:

We didn’t pick a mask off a wall willy-nilly. We had to think extremely specifically as to what would make the most sense. If it doesn’t make sense to the story and to the character, then arguably it loses impact.

As with any major motion picture, obviously key details about No Time to Die are still being kept under wraps, including background on Safin. That being said, it sounds like the creative team on the latest James Bond movie didn’t decide to have Safin be scarred just because it looked cool. Neither was the mask he wears that gives off major Phantom of the Opera vibes

In fact, for director Cary Fukunaga, Safin’s Japanese aesthetics are a combination of both the filmmaker’s personal tastes and speaking to where Safin came from. Also speaking with Total Film, Fukunaga said:

We came up with a mythology about where he’s based, and how there can be a mix of cultural influences there.

Other things we’ve heard about Safin in No Time to Die is that, as producer Barbara Broccoli put it, he’s “the one that really gets under Bond's skin,” and Broccoli also called him a “real piece of work.” Conversely, Rami Malek has said that Safin is one of those characters who sees himself as the hero, while Craig noted that the antagonist believes he’s a "savior of humanity."

So clearly there’s a lot of layers to peel back where Satin is concerned, but judging by what we’ve seen from him in No Time to Die advertising so far, he seems quite intimidating. It’ll be interesting to see how he ends up ranking compared to other Bond franchise villains from years past. If he’s good enough to pit against Daniel Craig’s James Bond in his last outing, evidently he has something going for him.

Following the events of Spectre, James Bond retired from the spy life, but he’s drawn back into action by his CIA friend Felix Leiter, reprised by Jeffrey Wright. Bond is enlisted to find an abducted scientist, which puts our esteemed spy on Safin’s trail, and he’ll have to contend with the villain’s dangerous new technology. It’s also worth remembering that Safin won’t be the only prominent baddie in No Time to Die, as Christoph Waltz is also back as Blofeld.

No Time to Die opens in theaters on April 10, so keep checking back with CinemaBlend for more coverage. For now, learn when the rest of this year’s movies hit the silver screen with our 2020 release schedule.

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