One of the most controversial aspects of SPECTRE was the new relationship between Bond and Blofeld/ Oberhauser. I feel that that Oberhauser was an interesting idea for a villain, it was the execution that was off and making him Blofeld was a mistake. Since things are quiet here right now I thought I’d share an alternate idea I had for their relationship
First I’d drop the whole ‘you stole my father’s affection’ motivation as Oberhauser’s reason for hating Bond. Bond his loved by his adopted family and he and Franz remain close into adulthood as the two serve in the military of their respective countries.
During this time Bond is approached by Mi6. They have uncovered evidence of a cabal who deal in military secrets and have reason to believe Franz Oberhauser is connected. Given their relationship Bond is seen as the perfect man to infiltrate the group. At first Bond is reluctant as he doesn’t want to believe his brother could be involved with an international criminal organisation. Ultimately his loyalty to his country outweighs his loyalty to his family and he agrees to take the assignment. Bond uses his history with Oberhauser to successfully infiltrates the cabal which allows Mi6 to shut them down. Key members are arrested and Oberhauser is seemingly killed (if you still want to use the angle of Bond believing him to be dead). Bond’s exceptional performance in the operation results in him being recruited into Mi6.
I feel that this would set up a stronger conflict between the two while being more in keeping with their characters; Oberhauser is motivated more by personal gain and is already part of an international criminal organisation. Bond is motivated by his loyalty to Queen and Country and so is willing to work against his own family.
The thing is, while this would no doubt give the Oberhauser element a new twist, it would really call for at least some of that backstory actually shown in the film - and since it largely deals with Bond‘s recruitment for the Service it would also be the most personal story a Bond film ever told; Young Bond through the backdoor and possibly with important flashbacks strewn over the story. I would have been very surprised if Eon had gone for this.
Personally, I would have preferred if Blofeld had been introduced into Bond’s world via his work, possibly as a shady character who plays an ally role at first. Your idea brings in the intelligence angle, so much so Oberhauser is actually responsible for Bond becoming who he is. But is that entire loyalty-and-family element not really wasted on Bond?
What I mean is, when we see a character in a moral dilemma then much of the resulting drama depends on it being at least in doubt what decisions that character then will make. With Bond, there’s not really any question, all the more as we never see him as part of a family. That would stop the moral dilemma right in its tracks there. With another hero, an unknown hero ideally, that story would have considerably more effect.
How about, in the next one, another actor playing another character is using the Blofeld name. Whoever is commanding SPECTRE adopts this alias - reversing the usual ‘code-name’ theory and picking on the Princess Bride for a while, instead of Goldmember and Hawaii Five-0.
I agree the “brother” shtick could have been done better, but the real problem is it shouldn’t have been done at all. Enough with the “this time it’s personal” crap already, how about a movie that explores whether Bond is capable of taking on an assignment that somehow doesn’t connect to his private life? Wow, what a concept.
Intriguing idea about having future villains adopt the “Ernst Stavro Blofeld” moniker as a nom de guerre. I’d go for it except it’s a pretty dumb name to be honest, and wouldn’t realistically intimidate anyone. Why not " Claude Kadiddlehopper? "
But I get where you’re coming from. I had a similar idea after the 1989 Batman film, which cheesed me off by making The Joker the Waynes’ murderer. I thought it would be cool if in the sequel, Batman yelled at Penguin, “You killed my parents!” And went through it again with the Riddler, Two-Face, etc, so we’d know just how nuts this guy really is.
Might be terribly cliched but if they were so desperate to create a link between all the Craig films, then:
- there had been a chance meeting many years previously but the two boys’ paths never really crossed (Oberhauser having been much older) and this was nothing actually personal; Oberhauser Senior just happened to foster Bond Jr.
- by chance and - it is suggested - by using some of the stolen gold Oberhauser Senior had squirreled away (he wasn’t necessarily a nice man) Bond came to prominence in his own line of work
- as did Oberhauser Junior, if parallels there must be - but they were basically ignorant of one another
- the gold SPECTRE ring is cast from that haul; this is what puts Bond on notice, but he cannot tell anyone lest it be discovered he benefited from it in the past.
- Bond killing off various characters in the previous three films had inadvertently helped Blofeld’s ascendency to the top, mush as it had advanced his own career and status; in other words, Bond is the best henchman Bloberhauser had, even though Bond didn’t know this (the question arising whether he would have stayed his hand if he had known and become an ineffective blunt instrument as a result); in all the chat about the significance of information, this is the one piece of information no-one knew except Blofeld who steered it all to happen
- things come to a head in the fourth film as Blofeld is now top of the tree and has no further use for Bond (mirrored by M’s sidelining of him), lest Bond’s attention become focused on Blofeld. James Bond has to die. No-one wants him any more. He is an orphan again. It’s all so very terribly angst-driven.
To stop Blofeld, Bond has to cease being “James Bond”. An existential crisis, as suffered by the security services in the film, and the film series in general. You wouldn’t have to change the ending much to suit this the throwing away of the gun, the driving off with whatever-she’s-called, etc; he is choosing other than “Bond”.
The family connection marginal, at best, but still in there if so demanded.
Just to clarify one point here; for the purposes of this post I’m treating Oberhauser and Blofeld as entirely separate entities and I wanted to remove Blofeld from the story entirely. I was just trying to take the concept of Franz Oberhauser and work it into a more more interesting villain dynamic.
And I don’t feel that this would necessitate the backstory being shown on screen. Over the years we’ve had bits and pieces of Bond’s backstory dropped throughout the film but they’ve never linger on them too long. The story wouldn’t need much more detail than I gave and could easily be explained in dialogue as it become relevant to the story. I don’t even see it as showing Bond a moral dilemma, it’s the backstory that inform the current conflict, the decision that came back to haunt him.