Welcome back to “This Week in James Bond”!
In SPECTRE news, Christoph Waltz has denied – again – in an interview in the May 2015 issue of GQ UK that he will be portraying Ernst Stavro Blofeld in the film.
“That is absolutely untrue. That rumour started on the Internet, and the Internet is a pest. The name of my character is Franz Oberhauser.”
He previously denied the ever-persistent Blofeld rumours in late December of 2014 in an interview with The Daily Beast. JBR listeners may recall that Naomie Harris also denied similar rumours concerning her casting as Moneypenny prior to the release of Skyfall – which, of course, were proven correct upon the release of the film.
The rumours that Franz Oberhauser will be revealed to be Ernst Stavro Blofeld have surrounded the film ever since the casting of Waltz and the announcement of the title, and have prompted numerous comparisons to similar villain bait-and-switches in the plots of Star Trek Into Darkness and The Dark Knight Rises; meanwhile, it remains to be seen whether Waltz is indeed portraying the primary villain of SPECTRE or if he is merely a figurehead for the real villain (Monica Bellucci? Andrew Scott?).
The May 2015 issue of GQ UK hits newsstands on 9 April; stay tuned to the next installment of TWIJB for a recap of Waltz’s interview with the magazine.
Daniel Craig promoting awareness for Mine Action Day
Daniel Craig took some time out of his undoubtedly busy SPECTRE schedule to record a video message on behalf of the United Nations, which has declared April 4 to be International Mine Awareness Day. Following in the footsteps of fellow Bond actor and famed humanitarian Roger Moore, Craig urged viewers to “join forces to defeat [the problem of landmines] and win the fight against fear and inhumane suffering”.
The actor recently underwent knee surgery in New York; Craig owns a home there with his wife Rachel Weisz. EON Productions released a statement saying that Craig would rejoin the cast and crew in Pinewood Studios on 22 April. (Source: Evening Standard and the Daily Mail – mild spoilers on both websites, proceed with caution)
Honor Blackman: Daniel Craig is the best actor to have played 007
Here’s a rather apropos piece of news after JBR host Tom Sears’ Goldfinger birthday celebrations. Breaking a long-standing tradition of Bond girls “standing alongside” their Bond actors, the great Honor Blackman revealed in an interview (to promote her new TV show You, Me, & Them) on 6 April that she regards Daniel Craig as the best actor to have ever played the role of James Bond – better at acting than her Goldfinger co-star Sean Connery.
“I think Dan is terrific. He’s capable of so much more. Sean was perfection as Bond only as Ian Fleming wrote it. He was a Mr Universe entrant, he was handsome and very, very sexy and had that ridiculous accent. Now it’s no longer like Ian Fleming, it’s more like The Bourne Identity. It’s a different kind of film. But that doesn’t make any difference to the fact they’re super films and Daniel is probably the best actor that ever played Bond.”
Blackman’s praise of Daniel Craig contrasts sharply with comments made by Ursula Andress one month ago, in which she expressed her own opinion of the current James Bond: “He’s a great actor, but not James Bond.”
In the interview, Blackman also spoke candidly about the future of the series and the possibility of Idris Elba playing James Bond after Craig hangs up the Walther PPK.
“I think [James Bond] can be anything he likes. Why can’t he be a black man? You have to be a good actor and you’ve got to be a very attractive man – that’s half the battle – otherwise you can’t play Bond.”
To read the full interview, including Honor Blackman’s comments on plastic surgery, scoliosis, and British politics, head over to the Daily Mirror.
Pierce Brosnan’s latest film: Survivor
JBR listeners may recall that TWIJB reported on 25 March about an upcoming film with Pierce Brosnan entitled No Escape, also starring Owen Wilson. It appears that Brosnan has been very busy indeed as the first trailer and poster for another action thriller entitled Survivor was released on 2 April, and has been circulated widely on the Internet over the past week.
The film stars Milla Jovovich and, of course, Pierce Brosnan; however, Brosnan will be playing against type here as he is the main villain of the film. Brosnan is not known for playing villainous roles (although his most recent villainous turn was in The World’s End, which also starred his former leading lady Rosamund Pike) so one expects this role to be an interesting one for him.
That’s all for “This Week in James Bond”! As always, don’t forget to tune in to the podcast and join the conversation on social media.