The latest trailer for Spectre was released this week, and it looks to be yet another awesome entry into Daniel Craig’s James Bond run.
In the latest spot, we finally get a good look at Christoph Waltz’s Franz Oberhauser, which brings us to something fishy that’s been hanging out there about the film. It has been widely speculated that Waltz is actually playing Blofeld, Bond’s legendary arch-nemesis and the head of Spectre. When asked about this, Waltz has simply stated that his character’s name is Franz Oberhauser. In terms of footage we’ve seen so far, all signs point to him really being Blofeld.
Waltz seems to be in charge of Spectre, and this latest batch of footage shows him wearing Blofeld’s signature Mao suit. Skyfall also served as a return to the “classic” Bond feel, and Blofeld would be a huge part of that. If the fact he’s Blofeld is going to be framed a big reveal in this film, it will be extremely lame that they’re trying to keep that as some kind of secret.
Twists are fine in movies, but when the “twist” is that you’re playing a very popular character everybody expects to see, then it is pointless. Look at Star Trek Into Darkness. Benedict Cumberbatch was advertised as “John Harrison,” and despite the numerous rumors and reports for years that Khan was going to be in the movie, everybody working on the film said, “Nope, he’s not Khan. He’s John Harrison, guys!”
Not even halfway through the movie he stares right into the camera and says, “My name is Khan.” Shocked.
The back of the Blu-ray case even says Cumberbatch plays Khan. When your “twist” is something that can be openly acknowledged to people who haven’t even seen the movie because it actually builds up hype that a legendary character is being used, then what is the point of making it seem like a twist in the first place?
The latest Batman game, Arkham Knight, had a similar issue. Don’t worry, the game is newer so I won’t spoil everything. The titular villain was hyped by publisher Rocksteady as a brand new character created for this game. When you’re making your third game about an iconic character with a 75-year history, that’s a little hard to believe. The “Arkham Knight” moniker may be new, but there was no way the character’s true identity could be. And when his identity is revealed, we find that it is a familiar face, and was pretty obvious all along.
Of course Rocksteady couldn’t come out and say, “Arkham Knight is actually ______,” but that doesn’t make it any less corny to frame it like you have a totally new character when you’re actually going to use somebody from years of popular stories, and everybody knows it. It simply doesn’t fool anybody.
Liam Neeson’s reveal as Ra’s al Ghul in Batman Begins was one done right since he was announced as Ducard, a character from the comics, and Ken Watanabe was announced as Ra’s al Ghul. It wasn’t like there was no Ra’s, and then Neeson was cast as “Bob Jackson” and pictured wearing clothes and in situations that make people think he might be Ra’s al Ghul. They certainly handled it better than Marion Cotillard’s Miranda Tate/Talia al Ghul situation in The Dark Knight Rises.
Maybe Waltz isn’t Blofeld. Maybe he really is just Franz Oberhauser. But seeing what we’ve seen so far, and the fact the obvious identity twist is something that has happened before, it does make you wonder. All of this ranting could be for nothing, but if Waltz turns out to be Blofeld, it will be really lame that the whole, “This is a new character….not,” twist will have been used again.