Latino Review is reporting that the long search for a new Bond villain may finally be over, and that the behemoth stepping up to the plate is none other than Guardians of the Galaxy star and WWE wrestler Dave Bautista.
Though exactly what sources they're relying on are being kept under wraps, Bautista certainly fits the producer's physical brief that was circulating a few months ago:
We are looking to follow in the tradition of JAWS and ODDJOB in finding an iconic baddy.
Hinx (Male, 30 – 45)
Ideally over 6'2. Hinx is the main henchman/assassin. We are looking for an imposing extremely physically fit actor. He has several fights with Bond and will have to have stunt training. He has to drive. We are looking for someone very unusual, possibly from a sports background.”
They're certainly being specific, but is Bautista the right choice?
He fits the physical brief
Bautista is certainly unusual. More to the point, he's a gigantic wrestler, he's 45 years old and is probably the only person who could make Dwayne Johnson cry.
He can act
Although Bond 24 would only be Bautista's fourth movie, he's gaining a name for himself as an actor. His performance as Drax was one of the best things about Guardians, and it's clear that he has range; prior to charming us as Drax, he was an evil henchman in Riddick and a martial artist in The Man With The Iron Fists.
Jaws and Oddjob were scary, don't get me wrong. But there aren't many Bond villains you'd actually like to be. As the Bond series generally gets more sophisticated, maybe it's time for a sophisticated villain, too. Bautista can be cool, emotionally complex and scary all in one.