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Max Zorin
Character from the James Bond franchise
Max Zorin by Christopher Walken.jpg
Affiliation KGB, Self-employed
Portrayed by Christopher Walken

Max Zorin is a fictional character and the main antagonist in the James Bond film A View to a Kill. He was portrayed by Academy Award winner Christopher Walken. The role was initially offered to David Bowie, who turned it down, saying, "I didn't want to spend five months watching my stunt double fall off cliffs."[1]



Zorin was born in Dresden around the end of the Second World War, after which Dresden became part of East Germany. He later moved to France and became a leading French businessman, operating on the microchip market. However, it is revealed later in the movie that he was the product of Nazi medical experimentation during World War II, in which pregnant women were injected with massive quantities of steroids in an attempt to create "super-children." Most of the pregnancies failed. The few surviving babies grew to become extraordinarily intelligent—but also psychopathic.

After the war, Dr. Hans Glaub (alias Dr. Carl Mortner), the German scientist who conducted the experiments, was spirited away by the Soviet Union, where he continued his experiments with steroids. It is strongly implied that the young Zorin was raised by Mortner, who was one of Zorin's closest allies in the movie, and explicitly stated that Zorin was trained by and long affiliated with the KGB. Among other activities, Mortner organizes a doping program for Zorin's thoroughbred race horses.

Despite Zorin's longtime KGB affiliation, his outside activities draw attention that the KGB sees as unwelcome, and at a meeting between Zorin and KGB head General Gogol, Gogol rebukes him. Zorin responds by telling Gogol that he no longer considers himself a KGB employee.

Zorin forms a plan to destroy his only competition in Silicon Valley by triggering a massive earthquake in the San Andreas Fault at high tide, causing the valley to flood. Zorin's plan is foiled by Bond and Zorin's former lover and henchman May Day, who joins Bond's side after Zorin attempts to kill her and his men and sacrifices her life to ensure that the bomb set by Zorin could not trigger the quake - she was killed in the explosion seconds after managing to push a trailer full of explosives out of the valley and into open air.

Bond and his girlfriend Stacey Sutton both witnessed the explosion, which devastated Zorin and made him even more determined to gain revenge on Bond. When leaving the valley in his airship with Scarpine and Mortner, he captures Stacey and makes away with her, only for Bond to grab hold of a mooring rope as the airship heads from the Golden Gate Bridge. Zorin attempts to kill Bond by flying him into the bridge, but Bond manages to hold on and bring the airship to a halt by mooring it to the framework. Stacey attacks Zorin and in the scuffle both Scarpine and Mortner are knocked out. She escapes onto the bridge with Bond, and Zorin attempts to attack them both, but in the scuffle he loses grip of the framework and is killed when he falls into the water below. Mortner and Scarpine, meanwhile, have regained consciousness and Mortner is determined that Bond will not get away even now Zorin is dead. Mortner attempts to kill Bond with dynamite, but Bond cuts the airship free from the ropes and Mortner drops it, causing the dynamite to explode in the airship second later - killing both him and Scarpine.

Legal problems arose when producers became aware there was a pre-existing company named the Zoran Corporation which makes microchips. The Zoran Corporation threatened to sue for defamation. Pre-production crew had neglected to do a trademark search prior to filming. The parties came to an agreement and, because of this, A View to a Kill is the first 007 film with a legal disclaimer inserted.


Other appearances

Zorin is a playable multiplayer character in the 2002 video game Nightfire.

In the 2004 video game Everything or Nothing, it is revealed that Zorin had an apprentice named Nikolai Diavolo (voiced by Willem Dafoe), who plans to use nanobots to commence the rebirth of the Soviet Union. Diavolo also wishes to kill Bond in order to enact vengeance for Zorin's death.


  1. ^ Nicholas Pegg (2004). The Complete David Bowie. Reynolds & Hearn Ltd. pp. p.561.  
Preceded by
Kamal Khan
General Orlov
James Bond Villain
A View to a Kill
Succeeded by
Brad Whitaker
General Georgi Koskov

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