Safin (Rami Malek) in
NO TIME TO DIE
an EON Productions and Metro Goldwyn Mayer Studios film
Credit: Nicola Dove
© 2020 DANJAQ, LLC AND MGM. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Whether anyone else has caught it yet, there’s a conspicuous irony to releasing a film called No Time To Die during an exceedingly fatal global pandemic. But if there was a particularly pressing exigency to again hearing the words, “Bond…James Bond,” it is precisely now—because we very much need to see someone up on the screen who we know could take COVID-19 and beat it to a decisively bloody pulp, before dramatically throwing it to its demise from some or other bridge in Moscow, Bratislava, wherever. And, of course, also look smashing in a tux.
But 007 will be violently busy with yet another Cold War-ish, enigmatic/technocratic sociopath in the upcoming 25th installment of the Bond film franchise. And said villain, Safin, is as ruthless as they come; indeed, producer Barbara Broccoli has described him as, “a nasty piece of work,” and “the one who really gets under Bond’s skin.” That he will be played by Rami Malek seems perfectly reasonable, as he so effortlessly made the leap from anxiety-plagued, existential anti-hero (Mr. Robot‘s Elliot Anderson) to possible greatest rock star of all time Freddie Mercury (in Bohemian Rhapsody) without missing a believability beat.
Safin is an anarchist (why do they always get such a bad rap?) and former SPECTRE assassin, who says spine-chilling things to Bond like, “We both eradicate people to make the world a better place. I just want it to be a little…tidier.” (A good Bond villain always hates untidiness.)
Thankfully, MGM has just released a teaser, in which Malek attempts to explicate Safin in ways that do sort of fit the historical evil genius profile.
“What I wanted from Safin,” he reveals, “was to make him unsettling…thinking of himself as being heroic.”
Safin’s delusions of grandeur will arrive on the big screen when No Time to Die is released into theaters this November 20…the perfect kick off, surely, to what will no doubt be a pandemic plagued holiday season.