One of James Bond's most iconic villains may be set to make a return after producers settled a long-running legal dispute over the character. Ernst Stavro Blofeld, along with his white cat and dreams of world domination, is one of Bond's most instantly recognisable villains after appearing in films such as From Russia with Love, Thunderball and You Only Live Twice.
He was dreamed up by Bond's creator Ian Fleming with the help of Kevin McClory, the screenwriter who adapted the 007 books for cinema. Courts later ruled McClory owned substantial elements of the Bond mythos, allowing him to make the 'unofficial' Bond film Never Say Never Again in 1983 and ruling Blofeld out of later additions to the spy franchise.
The Irish writer died in 2006 and his family has now sold its remaining stake in the Bond franchise to the companies behind the 007 movies, meaning Blofeld could make a reappearance in future films.
A statement reads, "Danjaq, LLC, the producer of the James Bond films, and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), the longtime distributor of the Bond films, along with the estate and family of the late Kevin McClory, announced today that Danjaq and MGM have acquired all of the estate's and family's rights and interests relating to James Bond, thus bringing to an amicable conclusion the legal and business disputes that have arisen periodically for over 50 years."
This is it, people: after ten countries, more than 30,000 miles, and countless eyebrow raises from the host with the most magnificent brows in the biz, Phil Keoghan, one pair of globe-trekking reality show contestants took home the million dollar prize on The Amazing Race Season 22.
So, was it hockey-playing brothers Bates and Anthony? Newlyweds Max and Katie? How about roller derby moms Mona and Beth, or country singer blondes Caroline and Jen? In the end, Bates and Anthony pulled through for the win. But here's how they got there:
All four teams left Scotland and headed to Northern Ireland for the second-to-last leg of their race. Soon, they'd come into a million dollars just like they always dreamed! With good old fashioned hard work — snorkeling in murky bog water, running up and down stairs with lukewarm food, and spray painting graffiti at a skate park.
Aside from completely skipping over the first course on the menu, the thing about the food-serving detour that tripped up all the teams was the fact that none of them knew what color chartreuse was. Soon you'll be telling me that most people don't quote That Thing You Do! on a regular basis. Come on! Unfortunately, the blondes wasted too much time getting lost before they even made it to their spray-painting detour that they didn't make it to the return-to-America final leg.
Max and Katie beat out Bates and Anthony for first place, but the three teams made it on the same flight back to the States. Once in Washington, DC they took part in some delightful espionage-themed challenges, including exchanging briefcases with men in suits and aviators and a ridiculous code phrase.
But first, the derby moms totally sabotaged themselves by assuming 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. would be close enough to 1100, which is pretty insane even in a normal town but especially so in a big city — and one with crazy-tight security in front of the former address, too. Between that blunder and the fact that they didn't even realize that they should probably read the menu at the Titanic detour instead of just the seating chart, it's clear they were outclassed. There's no way they could've ever won this thing.
Bates and Anthony proved they are more than just athletes and not only made it to the final, knowledge-based challenge first, but also handily completed it before Max and Katie even got there. Barring the most horrific traffic jam in the world, there's no way they were going to lose — and they didn't.
While Katie and Max were formidable competitors (and Katie was the brains of the operation), Bates and Anthony made it to the finish line on George Washington's estate to take home the $1 million prize.
Did the best team win? Who did you think would come in first?
More:'The Amazing Race' Recap: Scotland Blows (Bagpipes)'The Amazing Race' Recap: Berlinsanity'The Amazing Race' Recap: One Swiss Mistake
Follow Jean on Twitter @hijean
From Our Partners:Nina Dobrev, Julianne Hough Bikini in Miami (Celebuzz)33 Child Stars: Where Are They Now? (Celebuzz)
If there's a cinematic alchemy award to be given this year director Bill Condon deserves to take it home after magically turning the tedious Twilight franchise into entertainment gold. 2011's Part 1 was a horror camp romp that turned the supernatural love triangle — the naval gazing trio of Bella Edward and Jacob — on its head. Breaking Dawn - Part 2 continues the madcap exploration of a world populated by vampires and werewolves mining even more comedy thrills and genuine character moments out of conceit than ever before. The film occasionally sidesteps back into Edward and Bella's meandering romance (an evident hurdle of author Stephenie Meyer's source material) but the duller moments are overshadowed by the movie's nimble pace and playful attitude. Breaking Dawn - Part 2 will elicit laughs aplenty — but thankfully they're all on purpose.
Part 2 picks up immediately following the events of the first film Bella (Kristen Stewart) having been turned into a vampire by Edward (Robert Pattinson) to save her life after the torturous delivery of her half-human half-vampire child Renesmee. She awakes to discover super senses heightened agility increased strength… and a thirst for blood. One dead cougar later Bella and the gang are able to focus on the real troubles ahead: Renesmee is rapidly growing (think Jack) and vampiric overlords The Volturi perceive her a threat to vampiric secrecy. Knowing the Volturi will travel to Forks WA to kill the young girl (a 10-year-old just a month after being born) The Cullens amass an army of bloodsucking friends to end the oppression once and for all.
Packed with an absurd amount of backstory and mythology-twisting plot points (some vampires can shoot lightning now?) Condon and series screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg mine revel in the beefed up ensemble of Breaking Dawn - Part 2 and thanks to a wildly funny cast it never feels like pointless deviation. Along with the usual suspects Lee Pace adds swagger to the series as a grungy alt-rock vampire Noel Fisher appears as a hilarious over-the-top battle-ready Russian coven member and Michael Sheen returns has Volturi head honcho Aro and steels the show. Flamboyant diabolical and a steady stream of maniacal laughter Sheen owns Condon's high camp vision for Twilight and he lights up the screen. There are a few throw away nations of vampires — the oddly stereotypical Egyptian and Amazonians sects are there mostly there to off-set the extreme whiteness — but the actors involved bring liveliness to a franchise known for being soulless. Even Stewart Pattinson and Taylor Lautner give personal bests in this installment — a scene between Bella and her dad Charlie (Billy Burke) is genuinely heartfelt while Jacob's overprotective hero schtick finally lands.
Whereas Breaking Dawn - Part 1 stuck mostly to the personal story relying on the intimate moments as Bella and Edward took the big plunge into marriage and sex Part 2 paints with broader strokes and Condon has a ball. Delving into the history of the vampires and the vampire world outside Forks is Pandora's Box for the director. One scene where we learn why kids scare the heck of the Volturi captures a scope of medieval epics — along with the bloodshed. Twilight might be known for its sexual moments but Breaking Dawn - Part 2 will go down for its abundance of decapitations. The big set piece in the finale is something to behold both in the craftsmanship of the spectacle and in its bizarre nature.
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2 had the audience hooting hollering and even gasping as it twisted and turned to the final moments. There's little doubt that even the biggest naysayer of the franchise would do the same. No irony here: the conclusion of Twilight is a blast.