Christoph Waltz denies he is playing classic Bond villain Blofeld in 'Spectre'

'Inglourious Basterds' actor insists he is playing a mysterious new character instead

Christoph Waltz has denied he is playing classic Bond villain Blofeld in this year's Spectre.

Shortly before the Inglourious Basterds actor's role in the 24th Bond film was confirmed in December, rumours online suggested he would be reviving the infamous baddie. Blofeld – an evil genius with aspirations of world domination, famed for his bald head and fondness for stroking a white cat – has previously appeared in seven Bond films, the most recent being 1983's Never Say Never Again. Actors who have played the iconic supervillain over the years include Donald Pleasence, Telly Savalas, Charles Gray and Max von Sydow.

However, in a new interview with GQ, Waltz has insisted he is playing a mysterious new character instead. "That is absolutely untrue," he said of the Blofeld rumours. "That rumour started on the Internet, and the Internet is a pest. The name of my character is Franz Oberhauser."

Asked whether he hesitated before taking on his role in Spectre, two-time Academy Award winner Waltz replied: "I did, yes. I always hesitate... You ask yourself, hang on: what James Bond are we talking about? The thing about Spectre is that it is not the work of hack writers. It does not have a hack director. The actors are not hams. The action sequences in Mexico are extravagant to say the least. The scenes in Austria are traditional Bond action in the snow. These films with Daniel Craig have shifted the tone. They don't depend on a set formula that forces actors simply to go through the motions."

Director Sam Mendes started shooting Spectre in December and locations for the 24th Bond film will include London, Mexico City, the Austrian Alps and Rome. The first trailer premiered last month (March) and the film is set for release on October 23.

Joining Daniel Craig's 007 and Christoph Waltz's Franz Oberhauser in in Spectre are former Sherlock star Andrew Scott as a member of MI6 called Denbigh, Blue Is The Warmest Colour's Lea Seydoux as a Bond girl named Madeleine Swann, Guardians Of The Galaxy's Dave Bautista as a character called Mr Hinx, Italian actress Monica Bellucci as another female lead, Lucia Sciarra, and Mexican actress Stephanie Sigman as a character named Estrella.

Also returning alongside Daniel Craig are his Skyfall castmates Naomie Harris (Moneypenny), Ben Whishaw (Q), Rory Kinnear (Bill Tanner) and Ralph Fiennes (M). The film's official plot synopsis teases: "In Spectre, a cryptic message from Bond's past sends him on a trail to uncover a sinister organisation. While M battles political forces to keep the secret service alive, Bond peels back the layers of deceit to reveal the terrible truth behind SPECTRE."

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