It was quite a coup for Eon Productions, the people behind the ever popular James Bond franchise, to snag Oscar winner Christoph Waltz as the villain for last year's Spectre.
Though the Austrian actor was ostensibly playing a new character called Franz Oberhauser, it didn't take long to figure out that it was a pseudonym and that (spoilers!) Waltz was actually Bond's iconic arch-nemesis Ernst Stavro Blofeld.
Blofeld was left alive (though scarred) by a merciful Bond in Spectre's final scenes, which leaves the possibility open for Bond and Blofeld to lock horns again in future installments.
Given the revelations in Spectre about Blofeld's ties to Bond's past and his hand in shaping the events from Casino Royale onward, it would make a lot of sense for Blofeld to continue wreaking havoc in Bond's life.
According to UK tabloid newspaper The Mirror, Christoph Waltz has said that he is open to returning to the franchise and has provisionally agreed to two more films - on one condition: that Daniel Craig reprises his role as the titular spy.
And that is where problems may arise. There has long been rumour and counter rumour about Craig's willingness to sign on for a fifth outing as the British super-spy. After Spectre was done shooting, Craig wearily commented that he would rather "slash [his] wrists" than play Bond again. He has backtracked since, claiming his comments were "sarcastic" (probably once his agent told him how much money he was waving goodbye to) and an unnamed source in The Mirror said it was "almost certain" Craig would return for another film as Bond.
Personally I would like to see Waltz as Blofeld again. He's a good, likeable actor and I felt he was underused in Spectre. My main issue with all of this is the Bond franchise's sudden desire for continuity. Spectre retconned the franchise and tied together all of Craig's films - Casino Royale, Quantum Of Solace and Skyfall - under the Spectre umbrella. According to the new continuity, Blofeld and the titular evil organisation had really been behind the evil machinations of Le Chiffre (Mads Mikkelsen), Dominic Greene (Mathieu Almalric) and Raoul Silva (Javier Bardem). The problem is that the Bond films have never been concerned with continuity. We've had numerous different Bonds, different Ms, different Moneypennys and different Blofelds! Why now does everything need to be interconnected?
Does Waltz apparent admission that he would only return if Craig does to "keep the continuity" mean that, if Craig doesn't return, the films won't continue on this path and will effectively start again? I don't see why Waltz can't carry on even if Craig doesn't, or vice versa.
In any case, it might be time to give someone new a shot at being the world's most iconic spy. Craig seems to complain about the role after every single film, only to recant when Eon drive a truck filled with money up to his house. His performance in Spectre seemed tired and "phoned in". I'm sure there are plenty of actors out there who would love a chance to say "shaken, not stirred" and drive a gadget-filled Jaguar. If Craig isn't one of them, let someone else have a go. And don't worry about continuity - it's never been a problem for Bond before.
Source: The Mirror