No Time to Die, the 25th film in the James Bond franchise, is finally slated to release in theaters on October 8. With 25 films, the James Bond franchise has been around for 60 years. During that time, the world’s most famous secret agent has faced off against many adversaries. So, today we are taking a look at five of our favorite James Bond villains of all time. But be warned: spoilers ahead!
1) Le Chiffre (Casino Royale)
We’ll start off our list of our favorite James Bond villains with a more recent one. Le Chiffre (Mads Mikkelsen) was a stateless, international financier of terrorism. He’s introduced at the start of Casino Royal by the shadowy Mr. White of Spectre to an African terrorist who asks him to invest millions of dollars. But Le Chiffre is playing fast and loose with everyone’s money. He plans on undercutting the stock of a SkyFleet, an aircraft company by blowing up its newest aircraft. Of course, Bond foils that action.
Le Chiffre then enters a high-stakes poker game in Montenegro to win back the money he has lost before his friends find out. Bond famously sits across from him in the Texas Hold’em tournament at the Casino Royale.
He later tortures a naked Bond, who is strapped to a chair, by swinging a thick, knotted ship’s rope into Bond’s testicles… ouch, before he’s done in by… Mr. White.
2) Silva (Skyfall)
Raoul Silva (Javier Bardem) was a former MI6 operative. He was given up by “M,” when she was the station chief in Hong Kong, in return for several British agents.
Skyfall marked the 50th anniversary of the Bond franchise. It takes Bond and “M” back to Bond’s childhood home in Scotland while being chased by Silva. During the fighting, “M” is shot in the hip and bleeds out. Bond kills Silva with his father’s old military knife as “M” dies in his arms.
3) Auric Goldfinger (Goldfinger)
Goldfinger is still arguably the most popular Bond film of the franchise and its namesake one of the most popular James Bond villains. The mastermind is ably played by Gert Fröbe.
Fröbe was an interesting character on several fronts. He was voted by a poll on IMDB as the “most sinister Bond villain” by fans of the franchise. He also was a member of the Nazi party quitting before the war started and risked death by hiding Jews in his home.
Goldfinger plots to set off a nuclear device at Fort Knox to irradiate the U.S. gold supply. His goal is to cripple the gold standard economy thereby exponentially increasing his bullion holdings.
The film introduces the audience to the former trapeze artist turned pilot Pussy Galore. It also features the classic line spoken by Goldfinger, “No Mr. Bond, I expect you to die!”
4) Ernst Stavro Blofeld (numerous Bond films)
Blofeld has been a nemesis of Bond in several of the films going back to the era of Sean Connery. As the head of Spectre, Blofeld, in the early films, was never fully shown. Instead, he would always be seen from the mid-chest holding a white cat in his lap talking in a monotonic, metallic-sounding European accent. And thus a villain standard was born.
In Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Blofeld, played by Telly Savalas, kills Bond’s wife (Diana Rigg). He has also been portrayed by Donald Pleasance.
Blofeld also appeared in Spectre played by Christopher Waltz. In the movie, it turns out that he and Bond had grown up together after Bond’s parents were killed in a tragic accident.
The archvillain will re-appear in No Time to Die where it appears he will play an important role from prison.
5) Dr. Julius No (Dr. No)
Dr. No, the first of the Bond films, contains perhaps the most famous of all James Bond villains. It is not a coincidence that we saved Dr. No for last.
Dr. No is a brilliant scientist with a rather large Napoleon complex. He specializes in radiation, but an accident cost him both of his hands. Properly for a villain, he replaced them with crude bionic metal ones. No’s hands are very strong but not dexterous. This will eventually lead to his demise at the hands of 007.
Early in the film, he tells Bond that he had offered his skills and expertise to the Americans, and then the Soviets, but was rejected by both superpowers. Seeking revenge, Dr. No joined Spectre and relocated to his island in Crab Key in Jamaica.
There he is interfering with NASA’s rocket launches in the hopes of igniting a World War III scenario so that Spectre can reap the spoils after the nuclear holocaust is complete.
Although the film was made on a low budget, it was enormously successful and spawned a bevy of secret agent spy films in the 1960s.
‘No Time to Die’ and the Newest James Bond Villain
No Time to Die begins with 007 living in Jamaica. He returns to active service when his old friend from the CIA Felix Leiter (Jeffrey Wright), turns up and asks his help about a mysterious case of a missing scientist and powerful technology.
The villain in this newest Bond feature is Sanfir, a disfigured mask-wearing global terrorist, played by Rami Malek. His character has been the subject of many rumors.
The new villain could be a replay of an old one. So far, the only leaked facts about him are that he once worked as an assassin for SPECTRE, has a background in the pharmaceutical/chemical industry, and has no connections to any religion or ideology. The last bit was something that Malek insisted on, stating that if he were playing a terrorist with a religious bent, it would be upsetting to his parents.
In an interview with Good Morning America, Malek was asked what his favorite James Bond movie was. Perhaps, tongue in cheek, he replied. “I liked Dr. No quite a bit.”
Even some of Malek’s character’s wardrobe is similar to Dr. No’s. And perhaps his facial scarring will likewise be the result of irradiation.
Still, there are some questions about who exactly Jame Bond’s nemesis truly is. The final trailer stated that all of Bond’s previous missions have led him to this moment… Hmm.
No Time to Die will be the fifth and final film with Daniel Craig as 007.