Just weeks after we reported that Christoph Waltz is playing the main villain in Bond 24, The Daily Mail claims that the actor is actually playing the classic James Bond nemesis Ernst Stavro Blofeld in this highly-anticipated sequel.
Eon Productions is expected to confirm Christoph Waltz's casting during a press conference to be held in the first week of December. At that time, they will announce that the actor is playing Franz Oberhauser, son of the late Hans Oberhauser, a ski instructor who was a father figure to 007 (Daniel Craig). However, one unidentified source claims that the announcement will be a misdirect, and that Christoph Waltz is actually playing Blofeld.
"Christoph Waltz is playing Blofeld in the next Bond film. The tone of the 007 films has changed significantly in recent years and the producers have changed the character to fit in with the new-look 007."
We reported in November 2013 that Eon Productions won the rights back to the Blofeld character and his evil organization S.P.E.C.T.R.E., after MGM won a 50-year legal dispute with the estate of writer Kevin McClory, who created Blofeld and S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Blofeld has appeared in six 007 movies, played by Anthony Dawson in From Russia with Love and Thunderball, Donald Pleasence in You Only Live Twice, Telly Savalas in On Her Majesty's Secret Service, Charles Gray in Diamonds Are Forever and John Hollis in For Your Eyes Only. Max von Sydow also played Blofeld in the "unofficial" James Bond movie Never Say Never Again.
Daniel Craig is returning as 007 in Bond 24, alongside Skyfall stars Ralph Fiennes (M), Naomie Harris (Eve Moneypenny) and Ben Whishaw (Q). Léa Seydoux has also signed on to play a femme fatale, while Dave Bautista is playing an evil henchman named Hinx.
In related news, The Hollywood Reporter reveals that Bond 24 will film some scenes in Rome, along with their primary location at Pinewood Studios in London. The production will shoot at least three key action scenes in Rome, including "nighttime high speed car chases" through the city's narrow and winding streets, and on the historic street Corso Vittorio Emanuele II. One scene will feature a car that ends up in the Tibur River.
Another scene will reportedly feature a Fiat 500 getting crushed at Borgo Vittorio near The Vatican, and 007 himself will be seen parachuting from a helicopter onto the 15th Century pedestrian bridge Ponte Sisto. Production will also take place outside of Rome at the Royal Palace of Caserta in Campania. Production in Italy will run from February 19 through March 12, with the production offices based in Cinecitta Studios.