Almost as soon as Oscar-winning actor Christoph Waltz was attached to star in Spectre, the rumors began that he would be playing legendary James Bond villain Ernst Blofeld. Yet, when the cast was officially announced (via a press conference in London), Waltz was announced as playing “Franz Oberhauser”. In the time since, 007 fans have debated whether this is all an elaborate ruse (not unlike the Benedict Cumberbatch / John Harrison / Khan Star Trek Into Darkness debacle), or whether Waltz really and truly is not playing Blofeld. Now, Spectre director Sam Mendes has finally chimed in to try and clear things up.

Mendes was interviewed in the latest issue of Empire Magazine (which he also guest-edited) and was asked about the Blofeld rumors and said, “there are depth charges you hopefully don’t see coming.”

The B-word! We talk about it all the time. It’s the great figure from the Bond vault, as it were. There was this big spectre hanging over the movie and the franchise, which is Blofeld, and what happened to the supervillain. That’s all I’m going to say […] There’s some big stuff the movie is moving towards.

Oh really? (BTW, splendid “spectre” pun there, Sam Mendes.)

The rumor has always been that Spectre would introduce Blofeld as a new, overarching villain who would appear in multiple movies. But, when we spoke to Waltz and asked him straightforward if he would be playing Blofeld, he said, “No. That’s a fact. I can guarantee.” A Christoph Waltz Guarantee™!

The way Mendes talks it certainly seems like Blofeld is a part of Spectre, but with no Blofeld announced as part of the cast, that can only mean that one of the existing actors is actually playing Blofeld under a different character name. That could be Christoph Waltz, but it could also be…a woman?

Blofeld first appeared in From Russia with Love, where he was presented as an unseen mastermind behind all of Bond’s earliest villains. As the head of S.P.E.C.T.R.E., his henchmen fought 007 until he was ultimately revealed to be a bald, scarred, cat-stroking lunatic with a volcano lair in You Only Live Twice.

Blofeld appeared a few more times throughout the early Bond films, always played by a different actor. His final appearance was an uncredited cameo in the pre-credits sequence of 1981’s For Your Eyes Only (he does also appear in 1983’s Never Say Never Again, but that film isn’t considered an official Bond canon.)

The official plot for Spectre goes as follows:

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.

Spectre opens in theaters on November 6.

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