No time to die debunks a theory by Dr No.

Bond fans had anticipated the return of a classic villain in No Time to Die, and while those theories weren’t necessarily correct, they weren’t wrong.

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for No Time to Die, in theaters now.

Daniel Craig’s latest Bond film goes all out to bid a fitting farewell to the current 007. And besides bringing all the gadgets, action jokes and vodka martinis fans that fans have come to expect. , it also means bringing a formidable new enemy to the table. This time around it’s Rami Malek’s Lyutsifer Safin, a megalomaniac with a vendetta against SPECTER and a terrifying biological weapon at his disposal. Once the promotional material for the film began to emerge, some fans thought they had guessed Safin’s true identity. But how close were they to the truth?

A popular theory had suggested that Malek’s Safin was actually a modern reinvention of the Bond franchise’s very first villain, Dr. Julius No, first seen in the 1962s. Dr No. 2015 Spectrum set a precedent for this, with Christoph Waltz’s villainous Franz Oberhauser turning out to be Bond’s old nemesis Ernst Stavro Blofeld. In the end, however, Safin turned out to be just Safin. No time to die.

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The first film in the Bond franchise, Dr No focuses on the machinations of his eponymous villain as he plans to interfere with US missile launches from his secret island base. No’s plans involve the use of atomic radiation, and he attracts the attention of MI6 when he assassinates John Strangways, their station chief in Jamaica. His interference with US missile launches also puts CIA’s Felix Leiter on the case. While Safin’s plan in No time to die, which involves the massive dispersal of genetically targeted nanobots, is deadlier than that of Dr. No, there are clear similarities between the bad guys.

Safin and No operate from similar island bases, where their state-of-the-art science facilities are located. When Dr No was released in 1962, atomic energy like that harnessed by the villain was at the forefront of minds as a terrifying new technology that was shaping the ongoing Cold War. No time to die uses nanotechnology and biological warfare as threatening areas of modern science in the same way to entrench Safin’s murderous plan. The films even include similar footage of their villains’ lairs, with equipment stationed above deadly pools – the reactor pool in which Dr. No meets his disappearance and the pool in which Safin refines his bioweapon – and the combinations. protective gear worn by Safin of henchmen echoing those worn by Dr No. spies.

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Bond also seems to make a direct connection between the megalomania of the two villains. Craig’s Bond tells Safin that “history is not kind to men who play god,” echoing Sean Connery’s Bond when he told Dr. No “Our asylums are full of people who think that they are Napoleon. Or God. ” There are differences between the characters, of course – the most important being that Dr. No was an agent of SPECTER, while Safin was committed to destroying the organization – but in many ways Safin appears to be a spiritual successor. Bond’s very first enemy. . And it’s a creative direction that makes sense. The shocking ending of the film sees the death of James Bond, so the decision to bring Bond back, to a certain level, where it all began, comes full circle in the character’s cinematic journey.

No time to diethe connections of Dr No expand beyond the ties between its villains. The opening titles of the film, on the haunting theme of Billie Eilish, begin with a sequence of animated multicolored dots, reminiscent of Dr Noown sequence of geometric titles. MI6’s new 007 Nomi (Lashana Lynch) presents Bond as a diver, perhaps as a nod to the iconic Honey Ryder of Ursula Andress, the original Bond girl. These are accompanied by various other nods to moments in Bond’s cinematic and literary history, all of which help to permeate No time to die with a final air.

To see how Dr. No plays out in the events of the 25th Bond film, No Time to Die is Coming is in theaters now.

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