Meet Safin, the 'unsettling' Bond villain played by Rami Malek in 'No Time To Die'

'Safin is a formidable adversary. James Bond has to adapt to that,' says Malek of his character

Safin (Rami Malek) in
an EON Productions and Metro Goldwyn Mayer Studios film
Credit: Nicola Dove

When the trailer to No Time To Die was released late last year, fans got an eagerly awaited glimpse of Rami Malek's villain, Safin.

In one scene, Malek's character appears trudging alone through the snow with an assault rifle in hand, wearing a mask that could have come straight out of the Phantom of the Opera prop-bucket. In another, we get a full view of his scarred face.

"James Bond," he says in the trailer in ambiguously accented English. "License to kill. History of violence. I could be speaking to my own reflection. Only your skills die with your body. Mine will survive long after I am gone."


However, we’ve just had a deeper glimpse into the motives and ambitions of Safin, as well as a little insight on the character from Malek himself.

"What I really wanted from Safin was to make him unsettling, thinking himself as being heroic," the Oscar-winner says in a new clip previewing the film. "Safin is a formidable adversary. James Bond has to adapt to that."

The film's director, Cary Joji Fukunaga, adds: "What he wants and what he is willing to do makes him a very frightening character. Both personally to Bond but also on a global level."

“We both eradicate people to make the world a better place, I just want to be a little tidier,” Safin is heard saying in the trailer as we come to understand that the character is out for revenge and is willing to kill millions to achieve his goal.

"If we don't do this," Daniel Craig's James Bond says, "There will be nothing left to save."

It seems the stakes are high for this new Bond film, believed to be the last in which Craig will take on the role of the spy.

Fans have had to be patient. The 25th Bond film was due to hit theatres worldwide in April, but was postponed as the coronavirus pandemic took hold. It is now scheduled to be released in the UAE on Thursday, November 19.