'No Time To Die': Rami Malek's Bond Villain Is "Bigger" Than Blofeld, Cary Fukunaga Says

No Time to Die is already going to be a major event when it hits theaters next year: it's the swan song for Daniel Craig, who makes his final outing as James Bond, it comes after nearly a year of pandemic delays, and it features recent Oscar winner Rami Malek as a mysterious villain. And that villain, who we only know as "Safin," is going to be even "bigger" than Christoph Waltz's Blofeld from Spectre, according to director Cary Fukunaga.

There's plenty of mystery that cloaks No Time to Die, from its behind-the-scenes release plans, to the enigmatic villain played by Rami Malek. All we know from the trailers of the 25th Bond installment is that Safin wears a mask to hide his disfigured face, and that Malek has teased the character as "unsettling." But Fukunaga has a few more details about this mystery villain — namely that he'll be even "bigger" than Blofeld, one of Bond's most famous foes brought to the modern films by Christoph Waltz, according to Fukunaga in a GQ profile of Malek:

"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 supervillain, but you have to make someone that's threatening not only to Bond and the people he loves but to the world at large."

What could be even bigger than a famous archenemy like Blofeld? The only way is to go with another new take on a classic villain like Dr. No, a rumor that has been attached to this new baddie for some time. But the actor was tight-lipped about the speculation, responding, "That's interesting. I'm not going to bite on that, but I do think it's interesting. They'll just have to wait and see."

The Safin/Dr. No speculation stems from the characters' physical resemblance, with many drawing comparisons between Malek's Safin to Joseph Wiseman's iconic look from the 1962 Bond film Dr. No.

Fukunaga directs a screenplay by Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, Fukunaga, and Phoebe Waller-Bridge. Craig reprises his role as James Bond for the final time, leading a cast that includes Léa Seydoux, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, Jeffrey Wright, Christoph Waltz, Rory Kinnear, Ralph Fiennes, Malek, Lashana Lynch, Ana de Armas, Dali Benssalah, Billy Magnussen, and David Dencik.

No Time to Die is set to hit theaters April 2, 2021.

Recruited to rescue a kidnapped scientist, globe-trotting spy James Bond finds himself hot on the trail of a mysterious villain, who's armed with a dangerous new technology.