Rami Malek was announced as the latest James Bond villain shortly after his Oscar win for portraying Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody. The star has been said to be a “nasty piece of work,” by the franchise creator Barbara Broccoli. However, who really is Safin, and is he a new version of the first ever Bond villain to be seen on screen?
Since Rami Malek was announced as the villain in No Time to Die, speculation has been rife of his actually being the new version of Dr Julius No, the first Bond villain to be featured on screen.
One reason for this initial thought was how similar the two actors look.
Dr No was played by Joseph Wiseman, and had short, dark hair and fairly pronounced features, including a strong jawline and prominent cheekbones.
This is absolutely the same look as Malek but another aspect of his look which could lend himself to being the new Dr No is seen in the new No Time to Die posters.
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In there, Safin is wearing a large, kimono-like cake, with slickly arranged hair as he stares into the distance.
This kimono-like outfit is very similar to the kind of clothes worn by Dr No, and his hairstyle is even closer than his own hair.
Another reason is the name of the film, No Time to Die.
One suggestion from fans is that, if the emphasis on the word “no” is moved, this could be how the film ends: with James Bond killing his nemesis once and for all.
If the title was written as “No, time to die,” this would certainly double as a strong line given by Bond at the point where he kills his nemesis – given that his other nemesis, Blofeld, is in high security prison.
A final reason for this comparison comes in the trailer, as one part of Safin’s anatomy are kept out of view for the entirety: his hands.
Megafans will remember that Dr No looked as though he was wearing black gloves throughout the film, but he actually had prosthetic metal hands due to radiation exposure.
Dr No was also an operative from SPECTRE, meaning this would link him to the previous movie.
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The same could be said for Safin, who is clearly disfigured in the film shown by scarring on his face, and his hands are not shown except for in gloves.
Perhaps he has all the same injuries, and is living in a reclusive lair far away from civilisation, just like Dr No?
The final clue came in a line from the trailer, where Bond tells Safin: “History isn’t kind to men who play god.”
A very similar line was heard from Bond in Dr No, where he told his nemesis: “World domination. The same old dream. Our asylums are full of people who think they’re Napoleon. Or God.”
The final link is where Bond has chosen to retire at the start of the film: Jamaica.
Jamaica is where Bond is stationed as an MI6 agent when Dr No begins, and it is here he accidentally comes upon Dr No’s lair.
While it looks as though Safin is living in an icy lair, far away from the hotter climes of Jamaica, this could be another subtle link between the two films to guide fans to one conclusion.
Of course, fans will just have to wait and see.
No Time to Die is out in cinemas on April 2, 2020
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