How Rami Malek’s No Time To Die Character Compares To Spectre’s Villain, According To Cary Fukunaga

No Time To Die Rami Malek sitting in his lair

When you’re wading in the waters of the 007 legacy, playing the Blofeld card like 2015’s Spectre did is a pretty big move. Once you’ve established James Bond’s most notable arch-nemesis, and the crime organization he’s most famous for organizing, it’s a pretty tight spot you’ve put yourself in when you have to dream up a villain like Rami Malek’s Safin. However, if No Time To Die co-writer/director Cary Joji Fukunaga is to be believed, the adversary of the 25th James Bond film is going to make Ernst Stavro Blofeld quite obsolete.

As No Time To Die has been pushed to April 2021’s release window, there’s still plenty of press coverage coming from the hype machine surrounding the film. Just as Rami Malek has been talking up the presence of Safin, Cary Joji Fukunaga threw in his two cents about how much of a big deal Daniel Craig’s final cinematic opposition actually is. That led Fukunaga to tell GQ the following about Safin:

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.

This pretty much tracks with what we’ve both seen and heard about No Time To Die, as even Rami Malek went on record as saying that Safin is quite the unsettling character to play. For a man who's tackled projects like the USA thriller series Mr. Robot, that’s saying something. Though, of course, the more we learn about the mystery surrounding Safin’s plot and personal backstory, it becomes easier to see just what makes him so frightening.

Not only is Safin personally responsible for murdering the mother of Dr. Madeleine Swann, but he’s also a former assassin coming from the ranks of Ernst Stavro Blofeld’s SPECTRE. Now, Rami Malek’s No Time To Die baddie is calling the shots, making himself an adversary for Christoph Waltz’s currently captive madman. And while we don’t know the exact details of what his evil plot pertains to, everything from genetic manipulation to biological warfare seems to be on the table, as millions of lives are on the line.

No Time To Die had to come up with a big villain who could walk right behind Christoph Waltz’s Blofeld, but easily overtake him without diving back into the more ridiculous end of the James Bond pool of villainy. All of the clues we’ve seen in interviews and footage surrounding Rami Malek’s Safin seem to confirm that not only has this task been accomplished, but the results will truly be something worth waiting for. No Time To Die plans to end that wait, in theaters thank you very much, on April 2, 2021. But should that change in either direction of the calendar, CinemaBlend will be there to break the news. James Bond will return.

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.