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Christoph Waltz reportedly playing classic villain Blofeld in next Bond film

Director Sam Mendes is set to start shooting his follow-up to 2012's 'Skyfall' in early December

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Two-time Oscar winner Christoph Waltz will reportedly revive classic Bond villain Blofeld in the next 007 film.

It was reported last week that Waltz will play a "significant role" in the 24th Bond film as a character who is "extremely cunning". Now the Daily Mail claims to have learned that Waltz's casting will be officially confirmed in early December, and while it will be announced that he is playing an unknown character called Franz Oberhauser, this will actually be a red herring and Waltz will in fact be appearing as Blofeld.

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.

Director Sam Mendes is set to start shooting his follow-up to 2012's Skyfall – the most successful Bond film ever at the box office – in early December.

The 24th Bond film, which is currently untitled, will mark Daniel Craig’s fourth outing as 007. He will be joined by Naomie Harris, who reprises her role as Moneypenny, along with Ralph Fiennes as M, Ben Whishaw as Q and Rory Kinnear’s Bill Tanner.

Other actors linked to the film – but not yet confirmed – include 12 Years A Slave star Chiwetel Ejiofor, Guardians Of The Galaxy's Dave Bautista and Blue Is the Warmest Colour actress Léa Seydoux.

The film is set for release in the UK on October 23 next year before opening in US cinemas on November 6.

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