Universal Pictures UK/Youtube Rami Malek as Safin
During a recent interview with British GQ, the actor — who plays the villain Safin in the highly anticipated but much-delayed film — would not give any hints about the plot of the movie, but said it was sure to leave fans "shocked."
"Let the rumors fly, because no matter what you expect from this movie, you will be shocked when you watch the film. I will not add any fuel to that fire," he said.
Malek, 39, also weighed in on speculation that his character is actually a 21st-century incarnation of James Bond's very first villain from the 1962 film that launched the Bond franchise, Dr. No.
"Yes," the Bohemian Rhapsody star said. "That's interesting. I'm not going to bite on that, but I do think it's interesting. They'll just have to wait and see."
He previously told fans that his character was sure to be "a formidable adversary" for Daniel Craig's James Bond. "What I really wanted from Safin was to make him unsettling. Thinking of himself as being heroic,” Malek said in a featurette released in September.
Speaking to GQ, Malek recalled how excited he was to be asked to play the villain and join the 007 franchise.
MGM Rami Malek as Safin in No Time To Die
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"Look, there was no way I was going to say no," he said. "It’s a 007 film, man. They’re a part of our cinematic history."
"An opportunity to go toe-to-toe, head-to-head with Daniel and give them all I got? That’s something I’ll look back on as big as it gets," Malek added.
Craig, too, was looking forward to the duel, telling GQ that he felt Malek was the right pick to play the character.
"I go up against people. I’m up against him," Craig, 52, explained. "Rami knows me. He understands the weight of what he’s playing. He understands he’s playing a Bond villain – what that means, what it means historically and the kind of Bond villains that have come before. Rami’s really good at his job. I mean, that’s an understatement."
Nicola Dove Daniel Craig as James Bond
No Time to Die was initially set for release in November 2019, but the date was first pushed to February 2020 and then to April 2020, following the departure of the movie's original director Danny Boyle and his replacement by Cary Fukunaga.
In March, it was announced that the film's release date was being postponed until November 2020 as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, but then in early October, No Time To Die was pushed back again to a new premiere date of April 2, 2021.
The film finds Bond no longer on active service and enjoying a tranquil life in Jamaica. However, his peace is short-lived when his old friend Felix Leiter from the CIA turns up asking for help.
No Time to Die opens April 2, 2021.