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Why Safin Could Be The Most Dangerous James Bond Villain Yet

For as iconic as the James Bond series' protagonist is, there's an equal amount of fan interest in his many enemies over the years. Names like Dr. Julius No, Ernst Stavro Blofeld, and Hugo Drax, among others, have cemented themselves as pop culture mainstays, and for good reason. Their ability to take 007 to his very limits and bring the world to its knees just before having their maniacal plans thwarted makes for an entertaining big-screen spectacle. Also, they're rarely ever uninteresting, receiving a fair amount of backstory and personality to pull viewers into their schemes.

Naturally, every time a new Bond film prepares for release, discussions arise as to who his foil will be in this time around. The situation was no different for the upcoming 25th Bond adventure, No Time To Die, in which Daniel Craig will take down evil one last time in the title role. His opponent will be portrayed by Rami Malek, filling the antagonist role as Safin, who promotional material and cast interviews have revealed, is a cold, thoughtful individual who will stop at nothing to destroy James Bond and all others who stand in his way. 

Here's why the dangerously mysterious Safin is shaping up to be one of 007's most formidable foes to date.

Safin is motivated by vengeance

To understand Safin's legitimacy as a threat to James Bond and the rest of the world, it's important to look at who he is and why he's doing the things he's doing. As of this writing, there isn't a lot to work from regarding Safin's backstory, aside from the fact that he has a history with Bond, as mentioned in No Time To Die's second trailer. Details are virtually nonexistent as of now, but their previous encounters apparently went awry, since Safin is currently on a warpath to get revenge on 007.

Vengeance isn't a new phenomenon in the James Bond series, driving villains new and old to try and take down MI6's finest agent. Safin's approach to getting even, however, looks to take on a much darker, more sinister overtone than any who've come before him. At one point in the movie, he even tells Madeleine Swann that, "I'm willing to kill the person you love most," with not so much as a glimmer of remorse in his eyes. Safin is cruel, unfeeling, and only cares about pursuing his hate-driven motives.

Safin is scarily ignorant of his own villainy

There's nothing more intimidating than a bad guy who's completely unaware of their own sadistic nature, and Safin fits that description perfectly. At his core, he's an anarchist and a terrorist, with no adherence to strict ideologies or personal beliefs that would otherwise tie him down. He simply has goals that he finds violent and frightening methods to achieve, and he sees no real issue with that approach. This mode of thinking is what puts him in direct opposition to James Bond, who has no way to prepare for someone so unpredictable. 

"What I really wanted from Safin was to make him unsettling, thinking of himself as being heroic," Malek said in an interview for the James Bond 007 YouTube channel. He appears to have done just that, establishing Safin as someone who believes they're doing the right thing without once questioning the morality of their actions. Malek goes on to describe Safin as a "formidable adversary" to the MI6 agent, and the only way Bond can stop him is to adapt to his unconventional, supervillain-esque rampage. Without the movie even being released, it's evident that Safin one of Bond's biggest threats, quite possibly the biggest he's ever faced.

No Time To Die is scheduled to hit theaters on November 20, 2020.