- "You can't kill me. I'm already dead."
- ― Renard alludes to the bullet lodged in his head to James Bond.
Victor Zokas (Виктор Zokas), more commonly known as Renard, is a fictional international terrorist and one of the two main antagonists in the 1999 James Bond film The World Is Not Enough. Portrayed by Scottish actor Robert Carlyle, the character also appeared in Raymond Benson's accompanying novelization and would later to be appears in various videos games including James Bond 007: Nightfire, as a playable character.
Victor Zokas was born in Moscow, the offspring of an unwed Russian bar hound and an unknown Bosnian father. Zokas' childhood was particularly traumatic as he was raised in poverty, often beaten by his drunkard mother, and frequently ridiculed by his three half-sisters. At the age of fourteen, he ran away from home and soon-after joined the Soviet Army. In time, Zokas became unpopular among his peers, notorious for his vicious nature. His particularly brutal methods were noted by his superiors and it was decided that a place at the KGB was better suited for him. During the later years of the Cold War, Zokas served as an assassin, earning further notoriety among those he crossed paths with. It was during this time that he gained the epithet of "Renard The Fox" due to his cunning and effectively discrete ways. Shortly before the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Zokas was ultimately expelled from the KGB due to his evident mental instability. Afterwards, Zokas began to fully embrace his "Renard" alias and became one of the world's most feared terrorists.
Kidnapping The World's Favorite Heiress
Throughout the early 1990's, Renard operated as a freelance assassin, working for various anti-capitalist groups. Upon amassing sufficient resources to fund his own agenda, Renard managed to form his own terrorist cell, comprised purely of loyal anarchic zealots. According to MI6 records, Renard had been spotted during that time in several turbulent areas around the globe, including his homeland of Russia, Bosnia, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Cambodia, and North Korea. In 1998, Renard's focus had been directed towards billionaire heiress, Elektra King, who had received international fame for her glamorous socialite lifestyle. Renard had secretly become smitten with Elektra's beauty and desired nothing more than to meet the girl. Deviously setting up a scheme to hold King for ransom, Renard and three of his men abducted her in Cyprus. Unable to handle the situation on his own, Elektra's father, Sir Robert King, turned to MI6 for assistance. Agent 009 was soon dispatched to track down Renard, rescue Elektra, and kill the terrorist. Elektra miraculously managed to escape Renard's clutches before 009's arrival, nevertheless 009 ended up locating Renard in Syria, and shot him in the head. Although a doctor was able to save Renard's life, he was unable to extract the bullet from his patient's skull, and Renard killed him in-turn. Due to its retention within his brain matter, the projectile would ultimately terminate the terrorist as it progressed into his central cortex. Until that moment however, the bullet would render Renard virtually invulnerable as slowly tore through his Medula Oblongata numbing his senses of touch, smell, and pain in the process. This allowed him to push himself much further than the ordinary human limits.
During Elektra King's kidnapping, Elektra managed to gain Renard's trust and became his ally and lover. After discovering that the same bullet which granted him superhuman abilities would also take his life, Renard had one last mission in life: he vowed to help Elektra get revenge on her father and take over his oil empire. In return, Elektra would help Renard exact his own vengeance upon the woman who had sentenced him to death, Sir Robert King's old friend: M. After Sir Robert's murder, MI6 suspected Renard of being behind the attack and a guilt ridden M sent James Bond 007 to protect Elektra, who was predicted to be Renard's next target.
- "She's beautiful isn't she? You should have had her before, when she was innocent. How does it feel, to know that I broke her in for you?"
- ― Renard mocks Bond, referring to Elektra King.
- "A man tires of being executed ... but then again, there's no point in living if you can't feel alive."
- ― Held at gunpoint, Renard quotes a phrase Elektra used earlier.
While tracking Renard's activities, James Bond caught up with him at a nuclear arms facility in Kazakhstan. After a tense standoff, Renard soon escaped with six kilos of weapons-grade plutonium and reunited with Elektra back in Istanbul, Turkey. Elektra provided Renard with a Victor III-class, nuclear submarine. Now with both major elements obtained, Renard and Elektra's plan was about to go full-circle. The details of the plot involved inserting the plutonium into the reactor of the submarine, thus creating a nuclear blast in the waters of the Bosphorous which would effectively ruin the shipping methods of Elektra's competitors.
That night, Renard professed to Elektra of his dissatisfaction in not being able to feel, unable to properly make love with her and barely capable of remembering the sensation of pleasure. This signaled that his time alive was now running short. Due to his intermittent life expectancy, Renard volunteered to oversee the plan personally but in the end it would all work in his favor: the plan to destroy the Bosphorus would not only be a parting gift to the woman he loved, but it would also give him the satisfaction of bringing about the ultimate act of chaos: The destruction of 8 million lives and the crippling the world's oil economy in one fell swoop.
The next morning Renard gave his heartfelt goodbye to Elektra and boarded the vessel that would lead him to his imminent death. Onboard the submarine, the plutonium was melted down into a reactor rod that Renard planned on inserting into the submarine's reactor core. Unbeknownst to him however, Bond had snuck aboard and due to a fire fight between the British spy and Renard's henchmen, the sub was sent crashing down into the sea-floor.
Renard locked himself inside the reactor and prepared to proceed with his objective, but Bond further attempted to sabotage the terrorist's plans by engaging him in combat. After receiving news from Bond of Elektra's demise, an enraged Renard began to pummel his foe and locked him below the reactor. Yelling that Bond was lying, Renard chose to go ahead with the mission. As he inserted the plutonium rod into the reactor, Bond was quick to use his wits and connected a loose pressurized air-hose to the reactor.
Bond then looked over to Renard and proclaimed that Elektra was "waiting for him" before he launched the rod at breakneck speed into Renard's black heart, ending his reign of terror once and for all.
Personality & appearance
Renard is an extremely sinister and sadistic man, showing hardly any emotion or remorse. He enjoys toying with his victims, such as when he watched with amusement as he burned Davidov's hand with a searing coal. Most often his henchmen who fail him will rather opt to committing suicide than face his wrath. Although his depravement of senses made him nearly invincible, he suffered depression from not being able to feel anything, and even felt alienated towards Elektra due to him not being able to make love to her.
Rather slight when compared to Bond's physique, Renard is nevertheless a very imposing man. His neatly-buzzed crew cut combined with his dark eyes and various scars give Renard's facial features a rather ghoulish appearance. It also appears that as a result of the loss of his senses, the right side of Renard's face (the same side containing the bullet wound) has been stricken with Bell's Palsy, which has also caused noticeable Ptosis in the eye. Renard usually operates in a covert manner and dresses himself to suit whatever the occasion calls for. When not in disguise, Renard's garb of choice is typically all black in color, consisting of a leather double-breasted coat, worn over a zip-neck jumper, and cargo trousers.
Henchmen & Associates
Renard is featured as the final boss of every platform variation of The World Is Not Enough, albeit each version differing significantly from the other.
The World Is Not Enough (Nintendo 64)
The plot of the game follows that of the film, closest of all it's other video game counterparts. Only appearing in two levels, Renard is first seen at the nuclear facility in the level "Masquerade". During the level, Bond confronts Renard and is almost successful in eliminating him but is ultimately stopped when a barrage of henchmen intervene. Renard manages to escape and isn't seen until the final level, "Meltdown". During the level, Bond must swim through the flooded nuclear submarine in order to reach the reactor. Once in the reactor room, Bond notices that Renard has sealed himself inside an impenetrable glass tube protecting the reactor core. Though Bond doesn't battle Renard himself, he must still defeat the remaining henchmen as the terrorist prepares to insert the plutonium rod into the reactor's core. Once all enemies are dispatched, Bond presses a button which ejects the rod into Renard's chest, prompting the villain to utter the phrase "I feel... nothing" before finally dying inside the chamber. The Nintendo 64 version of the game is the only one to feature a multiplayer mode. As such, Renard is a playable character, seen wearing the blue boiler suit from "Masquerade".
The World Is Not Enough (PlayStation)
As with the N64 version, Renard only appears in two levels of the game and never actually makes any physical contact with Bond. Seen at the very end of "Masquerade", Renard stands inside a lift, behind a window of bullet-proof glass. He taunts Bond as he makes his escape, setting off a bomb in the process. During "Meltdown", Renard will occasionally pop up at the end of hallways, fire a shot at Bond, then promptly run away; this makes completing the level unscratched almost impossible, thus making the task of earning a platinum medal extremely difficult. At the level's climax, Renard locks himself inside a room containing the reactor core. Bond must destroy the reactor's massive computer while also taking down all of Renard's guards. Once the computer is destroyed, Bond must push a button which releases the door to the reactor room and sends the rod flying into Renard's chest, pinning him up against the adjacent wall.
The World Is Not Enough (Game Boy Color)
Renard only appears during the game's finale; the level is similar to the layout of Donkey Kong. In the reactor, Bond must climb to the top of the room by jumping from one moving platform to another while evading electrical discharges and bombs being lobbed by the anarchist. Once the top platform is reached, Bond confronts Renard and snaps his neck.
Renard appears as an unlockable character in Nightfire's multiplayer mode. Similar to his model in the multiplayer for The World Is Not Enough, Renard is presented wearing his nuclear bunker suit. The character can be obtained by either earning a platinum medal on "Paris Prelude" or submitting the password "HEADCASE" in the cheats option.
- Renard is the only Bond villain who's defined and called as an anarchist.
- Renard is the French name for "fox" and acts as a play on the alias of real life South American terrorist: Carlos "The Jackal" Sanchez.
- In the first draft of the script, the character's true name was identified as Claude Serrault, who was of French ethnicity and written as having a much larger build. As such, Renard's final spoken line to Elektra is "Au revoir", a holdover from the discarded element.
- There was much more emphasis on the deterioration of his complexion in the movie's script, as Renard's dead eye was described to be droopier with every passing scene. The novelization of the film took this even further by establishing that it was a physical side effect of the Bell's Palsy brought on by the bullet's damage to his cerebral neurons.
- His pain-killing brain injury was originally written for Stamper in Tomorrow Never Dies; this idea was cut from the film, but a variation of it used in that film's novelization, which stated that Stamper's nervous system was somehow 'reversed' in such a way that what caused pain in normal people would cause pleasure in Stamper and vice-versa.
- It appears that Renard pays somewhat of a physical homage to Donald Pleasence's portrayal of fellow Bond villain: Ernst Stavro Blofeld; as both posses a shaved head, disfigured right eye, and a penchant for high collared apparel.
- His surname is most likely a tribute to production coordinator, Elena Zokas, who worked on every Bond film during Pierce Brosnan's tenure.
- While most others tend to be apolitical or have autocratic aspirations, Renard is the only Bond villain to be identified as an anarchist.
- Renard and his thugs masquerade as nuclear technicians during their operation at the nuclear facility, utilizing the same standard jumpsuits worn by the other faculty members. This mirrors Auric Goldfinger's raid on Fort Knox and how he and his men disguised themselves in military uniform in order to pass through the compound undetected. On a side note; the script originally called for Renard to wear a Kazakh military uniform at the ICBM base. As evidenced by pre-production storyboards, this outfit would have been in a similar vein to Goldfinger's.
- Seconds prior to being impaled with the plutonium rod by Bond, Renard evidently accepts that he is about to die. This is a rare feature among Bond villains as others have either attempted to save themselves or plead for mercy.
- Despite sharing no screen time together in the film, Robert Carlyle and Robbie Coltrane, who portrays Valentin Zukovsky, had previously appeared together on the British television series, Cracker.