Many 007 fans will tell you that the quality of a James Bond movie is largely dependent on its villain, and although there have been a few decent villains in recent years (Mads Mikkelsen as Le Chiffre, Javier Bardem as Raoul Silva), overall the past few decades of Bond movies have been filled with a lot of disposable chumps. Criminal masterminds and reclusive megalomaniacs just ain’t what they used to be, but I suppose it was a different time back then. For many people, Bond’s ultimate enemy is and always has been Ernst Stavro Blofeld, the head of criminal organization SPECTRE, who appeared in multiple films played by several different actors. Unfortunately, he hasn’t been seen on screen for 30 years, mostly due to legal complications. Now those legal complications have been resolved… but does this mean that they actually have plans for Blofeld in an upcoming Bond film?
According to The HMSS Weblog, MGM and the Broccoli family have worked out an agreement with the estate and family of the late Kevin McClory, former producer on Thunderball, and they have “acquired all of the estate’s and family’s rights and interests relating to James Bond.” McClory is credited with several story ideas that Ian Fleming used in the novel for Thunderball, including the creation of SPECTRE (Special Executive for Terrorism, Revolution and Espionage). This eventually led to some legal battles where, for example, Blofeld appeared in For Your Eyes Only but the name Blofeld could not actually be used.
The fact that they sought out a settlement would seem to imply that Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson want to bring back Blofeld at some point, although it seems unlikely for Bond 24. Still, it does seem like the character would need to be updated somewhat for a modern audience. Mike Myers’ parody of the character as Dr. Evil in the Austin Powers movies is so well-known in pop culture now that they probably could not actually go back to the classic Donald Pleasence version of the character. Are you interested in seeing Bond square off with Blofeld again in the near future? Are there any other Bond villains that you’d like to see make a comeback?