I have no Bond history today, so I thought I would short list some individuals that I think would have been or could be fascinating villains if cast in a Bond film.
He starred in a number of films directed by Werner Herzog, who solicited some of his best performances in Fitzcarraldo (1982), Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972) and Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979). If he had been Blofeld’s second in command who eventually became the head boss, instead of trying to take over the world, he probably would have set off the bomb that would have destroyed the world.
This German actor has an intriguing face and I have enjoyed his performances in Das Boot (1981) as Capt.-Lt. Henrich Lehmann-Willenbrock, The Keep (1983) as Woermann, The Seventh Sign (1988) as David Bannon, and In the Mouth of Madness (1994) as Sutter Cane. Even though Christopher Walken’s approach emphasized an appropriate amount of unbalance and unease, having Prochnow portray Maxillium Zorin in A View to a Kill (1985) would have lent more seriousness to the villainous role. I think it would have made the character more formidable against Sir Roger Moore’s James Bond.
Englishman Roger Rees came from the same cloth as John Hurt (Alien, 1984) and Alan Rickman (Die Hard, Harry Potter series) who I think I first saw in the comedy series Cheers (1989 – 1993) as Robin Colcord. Most recently, I watched him in the Survivor (2015) in which Rees played a darker, shifty character named Emil Balan. As I write this, I think that perhaps he would have played a second-in-command, hungry for power and being the second to last man standing against Bond before Bond goes against the main villain.
He nailed it as the Joker in The Dark Knight (2008), but this Australian actor showed his flexibility for roles. He was here and sadly, gone much too soon. Portraying a young dot.com millionaire turned villain through an obsessive greed for a particular resource has a nice ring to it and would have fit in with the other Bond bad guys nicely.
William Fichtner is one of those contemporary actors that can slip into a character and embody someone well. He’s been in a lot of roles over the years, but he unfortunately has not become a household name. Some of the roles I have enjoyed him in: Strange Days (1995), Albino Alligator (1996), The Amateurs (2005), and Crossing Lines (2013-2014). I think that any back-story given to Fichtner’s villain, he would take hold of it and make it his own. He just needs the opportunity.
Purefoy is another actor who has been in the business twenty years, but usually in smaller roles. Loved him in Solomon Kane (2009), Ironclad (2011) and The Following (2013 – 2015), where he definitely proved he has the stuff to be the penultimate villain. We need more Purefoy!
There are many others that would be great villains - who's on your shortlist?
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