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Waltz on, Blofeld

SPECTRE Waltz Blofeld

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#1 Dustin

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Posted 06 September 2016 - 11:47 AM

Just reading the new German bi-annual Zeit-Magazin Mann with an extensive Christoph Waltz interview as cover story. Naturally, his latest role in James Bond's life was also a topic.

 

 

 

Financially, SPECTRE has been a huge success. It had a box office of $ 880 million, only one other James Bond film earned more.

 

And yet, Waltz isn't satisfied - with his own performance, with the result. 'I cannot claim that I've really nailed Blofeld. Overall it held water, was okay. But it wasn't what I've been looking for. I was searching for more inspiration.'

 

He has been getting this vibe even before shooting started, but by then it was already too late.  

 

'An actor can only be really good when there are shared possibilities.'

 

He refuses to be any more specific about it, but it's clear what he means by that: apparently the chemistry between him and director Mendes didn't play out the way he would have wished for.

 

How does one survive a PR spectacle such as James Bond?

 

First he says 'I've survived worse' and then he adds 'There is a tendency to excessiveness. I understand you want invite as many guests as possible to a Premiere. But does it absolutely have to be the Royal Albert Hall? That doesn't really really help the whole cause. In the end it's a film, and it should remain a film. The next Premiere will probably be a national holiday; it almost was this time. I don't see what's so bad about the Odeon at Leicester Square for a premier cinema?'

 

 At the end of SPECTRE his Blofeld is still alive - is a sequel possible with Waltz?

'I don't know about that, nobody knows. It wasn't talked about, except in the press. Right now nobody even knows which studio will produce the next and if Daniel will return. All of that is filed under "carry on"'

 

Excerpt from Zeit-Magazin Mann No. 1 / 2016

 

 

 



#2 SecretAgentFan

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Posted 06 September 2016 - 12:32 PM

Great find!

 

I suspect that Waltz´ PR-guy suggested the expression of self-doubt, however.  Works every time to criticize something AFTER the internet has chimed in.  (I´m looking at you, Mr. Brosnan.)

 

And what´s wrong with the Royal Albert Hall for Bond?  Or a national holiday?  Seems like GB should use every chance to promote themselves now...   



#3 Dustin

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Posted 06 September 2016 - 01:34 PM

Yes, it's coming across a bit weak now. But I'm buying that he was expecting more himself. There is not a single really memorable line in his part - and however you look at it, the idea that he and Bond lived for a time together as youths would have you thinking of far more than the film ended up showing. Just as the torture scene isn't up to scratch. Waltz plays on a keyboard...and somewhere far away a robot is doing the Marathon Man act. The best part of this is his short giggle, the rest is utter tosh, good ideas burned up under loads of budget. 



#4 SecretAgentFan

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Posted 06 September 2016 - 01:56 PM

True.  

 

I wonder which version of the script he read when he signed on - or whether he signed on just for being the main villain in a Bond film (and the PR and the money and the chance to work with Sam Mendes).

 

The version in which Blofeld has a sit down with Bond talking about their past definitely gave him more chances to shine.

 

I would love to hear what Waltz really thinks about the way SPECTRE was shot - whether the whole Blofeld sequence in the third act was cobbled together with everybody, including Mendes, just scrambling to get it done, having no time nor desire to work with Waltz on the performance anymore.



#5 DaveBond21

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Posted 06 September 2016 - 10:44 PM

I like the sinister line in the meteorite room.

 

"Touch it. You can touch it if you want..."

 

 

______________________________________________________________________________________________



#6 Hockey Mask

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Posted 06 September 2016 - 10:49 PM

Yes, it's coming across a bit weak now. But I'm buying that he was expecting more himself. There is not a single really memorable line in his part - and however you look at it, the idea that he and Bond lived for a time together as youths would have you thinking of far more than the film ended up showing. Just as the torture scene isn't up to scratch. Waltz plays on a keyboard...and somewhere far away a robot is doing the Marathon Man act. The best part of this is his short giggle, the rest is utter tosh, good ideas burned up under loads of budget.

Cuckoo.

#7 tdalton

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Posted 07 September 2016 - 12:05 AM

Whether this is something from his PR guy or not, I don't know, but I'll give the man credit where it's due.  While he wasn't my first choice for Blofeld, the idea of Waltz in the role should have worked on paper.  I'm actually more inclined to see him return in the role now, as I'd like to see what he's got up his sleeve to try to correct what he sees as the faults in his performance and/or the material rather than bring in another actor who may or may not take it as seriously as it probably needs to be taken.



#8 Dustin

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Posted 07 September 2016 - 04:07 AM

For me the part is tarnished by this very very weak effort to tie it all up into one bundle, CR through SKYFALL, with the Oberhauser idea. In my opinion it would have been a much more rewarding strategy if Blofeld had been Silva's lover. His motivation would have been instantly more accessible to the audience and it would have given an opportunity to show him taking over White's outfit to get at Bond.

Now there will always be this stupid backstory looming over the Bond/Blofeld dynamic, no matter who they cast. I'd opt for Waltz's return, but only if they do a much better job in using his talents. But I suspect they may want to leave that part alone for a while; perhaps even the Craig era as a whole - until it's again up to the viewer whether it happened at all in a particular chronology.

#9 SecretAgentFan

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Posted 07 September 2016 - 04:35 AM

The stepbrother-idea was IMO the worst part of SPECTRE.  Bond and Blofeld do not need to have personal history at all.  But that is the shortcut that is en vogue for too many years now to establish something as "emotional".  Everything has to be personal - otherwise the audience (so studios think) will not get it.

 

A hero that risks everything for the greater good - no, that is not believable.  A hero who risks everything for a) his child or B) avenging his wife/child or c) his own good - yeah, that is the only way to go these days.

 

The idea that Blofeld was behind everything that Bond was fighting against is not bad per se, IMO - but again it is handled like an afterthought.  And it probably was.

 

SPECTRE should have been structured to have Bond follow every of his big missions, really going back into his own history on the job, finding clues about Le Chiffre´s death, the Quantum organization and Silva´s ties to someone who financed his terror acts - and then finding out for himself first that everything was connected to one man: Blofeld.

 

I also think that catching Blofeld at the end of the film is another problem.  If he had gotten away at least they would have established more menace to him.  Right now, however, Blofeld just seems to be a pompous idiot who could have gotten away easily but sticked around for too long, having no ace up his sleeve at all.  If he had gotten away his plan would have been much more sinister: Dear James, what is more important to you - catching me?  Or saving a girl you barely know?  Oh, you´re opting for the girl...  well, then - see you around...

 

If Craig returns I think they just have to tie this mess up and have Waltz return as Blofeld, have a final confrontation (after the obligatory "Blofeld escapes prison"-scene) and use the "Garden of Death"-sequence.

 

If Craig does not return - let´s give Blofeld and Spectre a long rest.  And then start fresh.  Another Bond actor, another Blofeld actor.  With a fresh backstory that is not personal.



#10 sharpshooter

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Posted 07 September 2016 - 01:02 PM

Waltz was okay, but not a patch on Javier Bardem. He was a real scenery chewer.

#11 SecretAgentFan

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Posted 07 September 2016 - 01:33 PM

I agree.  But to be fair, Bardem got many scenes with superb dialogue in which he really could shine.

 

Waltz got basically two sequences - and both were weighed down with "Basil Exposition".



#12 Mr_Wint

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Posted 07 September 2016 - 04:51 PM

He's bluffing.

#13 Dustin

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Posted 07 September 2016 - 05:37 PM

It's possible.

But I don't think he is. There can be a paragraph in his contract about picking up the role in a future production - these days it would be odd if there wasn't, for nearly any role, as long as the character isn't dead by the end - but it sounds entirely logic that nobody talked about further productions since nobody knew who was doing them yet. It would have been different with a different situation at MGM's end. And of course if Craig had said 'Let's roll, can't wait to do another!' Or if critics had been ecstatic about SPECTRE and fans raving.

But actual events have played out a bit different. I have no trouble to believe him here.

#14 univex

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Posted 07 September 2016 - 10:48 PM

Waltz was okay, but not a patch on Javier Bardem. He was a real scenery chewer.

 

This. Very much this.



#15 SecretAgentFan

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Posted 08 September 2016 - 04:30 AM

It would have been different with a different situation at MGM's end. And of course if Craig had said 'Let's roll, can't wait to do another!' 

 

That´s something I strangely have not contemplated yet - but you´re absolutely right: if Craig had wanted to go on would MGM still have taken their time with the re-negotiations concerning the distribution?

 

Unfortunately, I guess that even then MGM had used that willingness to stall in order to get the sweet deal for themselves.  It´s a business, it´s all about more money.



#16 Dustin

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Posted 08 September 2016 - 06:58 AM

It's likely MGM would have made the most of the situation, everything else would not fit to their business plan. But if there had been a different atmosphere on set, an air of YAAAY or however we want to call it, then I have little doubt the sheer momentum of enthusiasm would have pulled the next production already over a lot of hurdles, distribution and Brexit included.

I really think it's that lack of fun the production of SPECTRE telegraphed after wrapping up that made everything a good deal more difficult, with studios now being weary and hesitant about their own investments. It's a big difference if people on a production have just an option for a sequel in their contracts - or if nobody on the cast has any doubts they will soon meet again. That sense seems to have been lacking entirely, not just according to Waltz; Fiennes made similar remarks.

#17 SecretAgentFan

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Posted 09 September 2016 - 04:25 AM

Seems like den-of-geek.com has read your thread, Dustin!  They never report on interviews in DIE ZEIT.

 

http://www.denofgeek...-villain-either



#18 Dustin

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Posted 09 September 2016 - 05:45 AM

Glad to be of service.

#19 Toxteth_OGrady

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Posted 09 September 2016 - 09:27 AM

http://www.independe...n-a7231556.html



#20 Dustin

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Posted 09 September 2016 - 09:30 AM

Glad they are all so happy with my translation...


Mod note: topics merged.

#21 Vauxhall

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Posted 09 September 2016 - 12:35 PM

Hmm, Waltz doesn't sound like he'll be rushing back for BOND 25 any time soon.



#22 Dustin

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Posted 09 September 2016 - 12:54 PM

Moreover, he's quite in demand himself, also had a production of his own mapped out - stalled, likely dead now - and in general isn't the guy to sit around on his haunches. I think if they want to have him back they will have to give him a generous timeframe. Could turn out difficult...

#23 S K Y F A L L

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Posted 09 September 2016 - 02:59 PM

I got the impression Waltz would like to return as Blofeld and really sink his teeth into the role next time.



#24 Dustin

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Posted 10 September 2016 - 07:11 AM

I'd say he'll likely only return if there is more to get his teeth into.

#25 thecasinoroyale

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Posted 10 September 2016 - 10:02 AM

I watched this last night again, and 2hrs 28mins into a film about SPECTRE, Blofeld appears fully at 1hr 43mins. What the hell is that? 

 

A wasted character, a wasted talent and a role that carried no memorable moments for the return of an iconic villain such as Blofeld.

 

I wouldn't blame Waltz for feeling the way he does.



#26 Dustin

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Posted 10 September 2016 - 10:18 AM

I suspect every actor who signed on a Bond production for the last ten years expected to get material such as CASINO ROYALE or SKYFALL's, with great intense moments and brilliant dialogue. How can you expect anything less after SKYFALL? In SPECTRE Jesper Christensen got perhaps the best part of all, one single scene that stands largely above everything else before and after. I'm fairly sure Waltz hoped to be given at least something of that impact, if not more even. Well, it wasn't to be.

#27 Surrie

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Posted 10 September 2016 - 03:42 PM

I watched this last night again, and 2hrs 28mins into a film about SPECTRE, Blofeld appears fully at 1hr 43mins. What the hell is that? 

 

A wasted character, a wasted talent and a role that carried no memorable moments for the return of an iconic villain such as Blofeld.

 

I wouldn't blame Waltz for feeling the way he does.

 

Couldn't agree more with this. When he was first cast, I was sure he'd make a great villain. Unfortunately, the script didn't allow for this. 



#28 Gobi-1

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Posted 27 November 2016 - 06:17 AM

I'm I the only one here who loved Waltz as Blofeld? I thought he was great and I didn't mind the back story for him and Bond. I thought it was an interesting twist since the Craig era is a reinterpretation of Bond. It was also a way to continue exploring Bond's past within the narrative of Bond's mission. 

 

While I certainly understand the Austin Power's criticism regarding Bond and Blofeld's relationship they are not actual brothers or even step brothers. According to the film Bond stayed with the Oberhausers for the winter of 1983 and 1984. I'm assuming that Bond wasn't with them for the entire year and that he returned to his Aunt Charmain for the Spring, Summer, and Fall of 83. That means Bond and Lil'Blofeld only spent five or six months together under the same roof. While they certainly has an impact on each other it was only for a brief moment in their lives. Not unlike some bully who went to your school for one year and you thought you'd never see them again.

 

Also Dr. No himself was kept off screen for the majority of his film. At least we get to see and hear Waltz briefly in the Spectre meeting.



#29 SecretAgentFan

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Posted 27 November 2016 - 08:48 AM

I don´t think casting Waltz was an inspired idea.  But he did make a positive impression on me.  Unfortunately, he was not given the time and the story to really deliver.  

 

Therefore, I do believe now that Waltz should return and have the opportunity to finish business in BOND 25.  That way, SPECTRE could really be seen as just a prelude, an exposition, and gain status.  If SPECTRE remains the main course and climax of that story it will be a disappointing mark on the Craig era.



#30 Surrie

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Posted 27 November 2016 - 10:32 AM

I don´t think casting Waltz was an inspired idea.  But he did make a positive impression on me.  Unfortunately, he was not given the time and the story to really deliver.  

 

Therefore, I do believe now that Waltz should return and have the opportunity to finish business in BOND 25.  That way, SPECTRE could really be seen as just a prelude, an exposition, and gain status.  If SPECTRE remains the main course and climax of that story it will be a disappointing mark on the Craig era.

 

Exactly my thoughts. Waltz was brilliant casting for such a role, but the script did not allow for his talents to be fully exploited. It would be a shame if that's all we ever got...







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