No Time to Die will mark the last outing of Daniel Craig's James Bond, and he's going up against Rami Malek's mysterious villain. The first trailer for the movie shows Malek's character making eerie threats against 007 and rocking a white parka and a jagged, Phantom of the Opera-esque mask. Officially, Malek is playing a character named Safin, but fans have a major theory that this is just a red herring to disguise the fact that he's actually one of the most famous villains in the Bond canon.
On a thread about the trailer's release, Reddit user theenglishtom asked, "So — Rami playing a new Dr. No?" Several commenters agreed with the user, pointing out similarities in the sets and costume designs, among other elements. SPECTRE baddie Dr. Julius No was the villain in the very first Bond film ever, Sean Connery's Dr. No, and he's one of the most well-known enemies in Bond lore. The title of Craig's final film does have "No" in it, which could just as easily be a coincidence or a clue for eagle-eyed fans.
This wouldn't be the first time that a film franchise played bait-and-switch by revealing that a supposedly new character is actually a new twist on a classic character. The most famous in recent years, of course, is the reveal in Star Trek: Into Darkness that Benedict Cumberbatch's character is not actually a rogue Starfleet operative named John Harrison, but the famous villain Khan. Even Craig's Bond franchise has gotten in on it, with 2012's Skyfall revealing that Eve, the fellow agent Bond flirts with, is actually Moneypenny.
One thing we do know about Malek's villain, whether or not he's actually Dr. No: he's not an ideological villain whose motives can be mapped onto real-life groups or beliefs.
"Another thing that I discussed with [director] Cary [Fukunaga]; I said we cannot identify him with any act of terrorism reflecting an ideology or a religion. That's not something I would entertain, so if that is why I am your choice then you can count me out. But that was clearly not his vision," the Oscar winner told Digital Spy. Since this is Craig's last adventure as Bond, it would make sense to give him a send-off tied to such a famous Bond villain. Either way, we're sure it will be a tense and appropriate farewell for Craig's era of Bond.