Details About Rami Malek's Mysterious No Time to Die Bond Villain Have Finally Emerged

Apparently he's "the one that really gets under Bond’s skin."

Tantalizing bits of information about the upcoming James Bond film have slowly been emerging. We’ve got a title, No Time to Die, a vague official synopsis, and an even less elucidating first poster. But there’s one hotly-anticipated aspect of the film that’s been kept well under wraps: Rami Malek’s new villain character. And finally, a new interview, Bond producer Barbara Broccoli is shedding a little more light on the new big bad.

First things first—Malek’s character is called “Safin."

“We’ve thrown the book at him on this one,” Broccoli told Empire. “He is really the supervillain. He’s the one that really gets under Bond’s skin. He’s a nasty piece of work.”

And that’s pretty much all we know so far. In a July interview with the Daily Mirror, Malek said that he wasn’t on board with his character being identified with "any act of terrorism reflecting an ideology or a religion,” and that the villain he plays is a “very different kind of terrorist.”

Last week, UK tabloids reported that the villain would apparently be “eco-friendly,” and his lair would contain a massive algae farm. We’ve got to take the unsourced-rumors with an obvious grain of salt, but if they’re true, an algae-loving nemesis would definitely qualify as a “very different kind of terrorist.” Perhaps he’s a baddie with Thanos vibes, someone who’s willing to sacrifice human lives for their environmentalist vision?

It’s tough to tell, but according to the official synopsis, No Time to Die will find Bond emerging from retirement "when his old friend Felix Leiter from the CIA turns up asking for help. The mission to rescue a kidnapped scientist turns out to be far more treacherous than expected, leading Bond onto the trail of a mysterious villain armed with dangerous new technology.”


Aside from Malek and Bond star Daniel Craig, the cast is set to include regulars Jeffrey Wright, Naomie Harris, Lea Seydoux, and Christoph Waltz, alongside newcomer Lashana Lynch, who’s set to play an agent who inherits the 007 codename. The film, which is directed by Cary Fukunaga, will debut next April.

This story originally appeared on Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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Gabrielle Bruney
Gabrielle Bruney is a writer and editor for Esquire, where she focuses on politics and culture. She's based (and born and raised) in Brooklyn, New York.
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