Superspy James Bond is back when No Time to Die arrives on 30th September.
Daniel Craig returns for the fifth (and likely final) time in the 25th Bond film. Or hero is pulled back into active service when he’s recruited to help track down a missing scientist, consequently putting him on the hunt for mysterious and dangerous new villain Safin, who’ll be played by Oscar-winning Bohemian Rhapsody actor Rami Malek.
Series producer Barbara Broccoli has teased the significance of the new antagonist in an interview with Empire. She described Safin as "the supervillain. He’s the one that really gets under Bond’s skin. He’s a nasty piece of work".
If Malek’s villain is as formidable as Broccoli suggests, then we could have another iconic Bond baddie on our hands. As we wait for more information about Safin, here's a list of our seven favourite Bond villains.
7. Dr. No
Dr. Julius No was the first Bond villain to appear on the big screen, in the 1962 movie of the same name. He was portrayed by Joseph Wiseman, who set the bar high for the eccentric villains we’d come to expect in the decades to come.
A half-German-half-Chinese mad scientist with bone-crushing prosthetic metal hands, the bad doctor schemes to disrupt a US space launch with a radio beam from his underground lair. Not only is his plan foiled by Bond (Sean Connery), he also meets a gruesome fate: boiled alive in a cooling vat.
6. Le Chiffre
Le Chiffre first appeared in Ian Fleming’s 1953 Bond novel Casino Royale, and made his big screen debut in 2006’s Casino Royale, as played by Mads Mikkelsen. (That’s if we’re not including Orson Welles’ role in the misfiring 1967 spoof.)
Casino Royale is Daniel Craig’s first outing as 007, in which he heads on a mission to bankrupt millionaire terrorist financier Le Chiffre at a high-stakes poker game after earning his license to kill. Cold, calculating, and ruthless, Le Chiffre is an unforgettable villain, superbly brought to life by Mikkelsen.
5. Francisco Scaramanga
A highly skilled assassin known for his signature golden weapon and matching bullets, Francisco Scaramanga makes his appearance in The Man with the Golden Gun (1974) opposite Roger Moore as James Bond.
Starting his career as a marksmen in a circus act, Scaramanga later becomes a KGB operative and eventually an assassin for hire, living on his own private island where he intends to lure Bond for a duel after commandeering powerful solar technology as bait.
While Scaramanga is a cunning foe, what makes this villain so distinctive – aside from his third nipple – is the memorably creepy performance from film legend Christopher Lee (who happened to be real-life step-cousin of Ian Fleming).
4. Alec Trevelyan
GoldenEye (1995) didn’t just give us the iconic N64 video game. It also gifted us villain Alec Trevelyan, a rogue MI6 agent who defected to villainy to acquire – you guessed it – world domination. His plan: to deploy the titular satellite weapon and cause a global financial crash.
Trevelyan is played by Sean Bean, who clashes with Pierce Brosnan in his first outing as 007. Although they have similar training, which results in one of the most memorably bruising fight scenes of the whole series, Bond manages to gain the upper hand; and, being Sean Bean, Trevelyan meets his end in spectacular fashion.
Jaws is the near-silent assassin with deadly steel teeth, unforgettably portrayed by Richard Kiel in Roger Moore movies The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) and Moonraker (1979).
Seemingly unstoppable with superior strength, Jaws is more like a horror villain than your typical Bond henchman. It was originally intended that he would be killed by a shark at the end of The Spy Who Loved Me – however, he proved so popular in test screenings that the ending was changed and he survived.
However, in Moonraker he became more of a comedic character who eventually helped Bond defeat main villain Drax (Michael Lonsdale). He even got his own happily-ever-after with new-found girlfriend Dolly (Blanche Ravalec).
2. Auric Goldfinger
When it comes to Bond villains, you don’t get much more memorable than Auric Goldfinger. Appearing in 1964’s Goldfinger and played by Gert Frobe (but dubbed by Michael Collins), Auric is a gold-obsessed businessman, to the extent that his Rolls Royce is secretly plated with the stuff.
He aims to detonate an atomic device inside Fort Knox, therefore making the reserves radioactive and increasing the value of his own supply. Aside from his bonkers scheme, Goldfinger’s best known for his plan to kill Bond with a laser while giving his classic villain quip “No, Mr Bond. I expect you to die”.
Accompanied by bowler hat-throwing henchman Oddjob (Harold Sakata), Goldfinger is one of the most iconic Bond antagonists.
1. Ernst Stavro Blofeld
Not just the most iconic Bond villain, Blofeld is arguably one of the greatest villains ever to grace our screens. The head of evil organisation SPECTRE, Blofeld has appeared in a whopping seven Bond films (eight if you count Thunderball reboot Never Say Never Again).
He first appeared in 1963’s From Russia With Love (portrayed by Anthony Dawson, and voiced by Eric Pohlmann), and most recently in Spectre (2015,) played by two-time Oscar-winner Christoph Waltz. However, it’s probably Donald Pleasance’s performance in You Only Live Twice (1967) that’s the most famous.
With his scarred face, bald head and affinity for white cats, this portrayal has become the definitive archetype for a spy villain. It’s even been parodied in Austin Powers and Inspector Gadget.
Andy Murray is a writer who blogs for Cineworld as part of our news team.