“We both kill people to make the world a better place. I just want to be a little tidier.” These are the words spoken by Safin, the latest megalomaniacal baddie who James Bond 007 needs to take down. Yet despite being played by one of the most interesting leading men in recent memory in one Rami Malek, the mysterious Bond villain has largely kept to the shadows in the marketing for No Time to Die—only coming into the light long enough to reveal gnarly scars or an elaborate mask and wig get-up that would work for a Phantom of the Opera movie (especially if it was one directed by Brian de Palma).
But just who exactly is Safin? We get a few new hints in the latest No Time to Die featurette video, which introduces the character in slightly greater detail with some new footage and dialogue. Malek and the Bond movie’s director, Cary Joji Fukunaga, are also on hand to tease some secrets about the fiend.
“What I really wanted from Safin was to make him unsettling,” said Malek. “[He’s] thinking of himself as being heroic.” This ties into what we’ve already seen in previous trailers with his insistence that he is going to make the world a better place. Even if it includes, as seen in this new video, threatening to kill the man Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux) loves most.
These are of course vague generalities but it promises Safin will be in line with a slew of 007 villains who tended to think they were saving the world by killing a hell of a lot of people. Think Hugo Drax attempting to wipe out 90 percent of life on Earth to create a new Garden of Eden for his chosen Arian race in Moonraker, as one example.
Of course a Bond villain this delusional and egomaniacal doesn’t appear so farfetched in 2020 given the current state of affairs, and some of the leadership steering them.
“You’re completely redundant,” Safin says in the above featurette. “No,” replies Bond. “Not as long as there are people like you in the world.” Oh, if only you actually existed, Mr. Bond!
The villainous character will be Malek’s first major role since winning an Oscar for playing Freddie Mercury in 2018’s Bohemian Rhapsody. We imagine Safin too could agree with the sentiment of “Don’t Stop Me Now.” And it looks like he’ll be having a very good time in the new movie.
No Time to Die opens in the UK on Nov. 12 and in the U.S. on Nov. 20.