- "You can't kill me. I'm already dead."
- ― Renard alludes to the bullet lodged in his head.
Victor Zokas (Виктор Zokas), commonly known as Renard, is a fictional Russian terrorist and one of the two main villains in the 1999 James Bond film The World Is Not Enough. He was portrayed by Scottish actor Robert Carlyle.
Victor Zokas was born in Moscow, the offspring of an unwed bar hound and an unknown man. 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 piers, 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 adopted the alias of "Renard" and became one of the world's most feared terrorists.
Kidnapping The World's Favorite Heiress
When he abducted billionaire heiress Elektra King for ransom, MI6 sent Agent 009 to Syria where he was to rescue Elektra and kill Renard. Elektra managed to escape Renard's clutches before 009's arrival, nevertheless 009 ended up locating Renard and shot him in the head. Although a doctor was able to save Renard's life, he could not remove the bullet, for which Renard killed him. Due to the bullet remaining inside his skull, it would eventually kill him as it progressed into his brain. But until that point, as it moved through Renard's medala oblong gata, it would render Renard virtually invulnerable, numbing his senses of touch and smell and leaving him immune to pain, allowing him to push himself 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 007 to protect Elektra who had been 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 uses a phrase belonging to Elektra.
While tracking Renard's activities, Bond caught 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. 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.
That night, Renard professed to Elektra of his dissatisfaction in not being able to feel, barely capable of remembering the sensation of pleasure. This signaled that his time alive was now running short but in the end it would all be worth it, the plan to destroy the Bosphorus with a nuclear explosion would not only be a parting gift to the woman he loved, but it would also bring 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. Despite the fact that destroying Istanbul was now pointless, Renard chose to go ahead anyway 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.
Henchmen & Associates
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 short when compared to Bond's stature, Renard is still a very physically imposing man. His neatly-buzzed crew cut combined with his dark eyes and various scars give Renard's facial features the distinct likeness of a human skull. 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. When not in disguise, Renard's usual garb of choice is a black leather double-breasted coat, worn over a black polo-neck sweater, and black or grey cargo trousers.
- Renard is the French name for "fox", which is a play on the alias of real life terrorist: Carlos "The Jackal" Sanchez. This reflects the first draft of the character, who was French and named Claude Serrault.
- There was much more emphasis on the deterioration of his complexion in the 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, but it was used in that film's novelization (Albeit rewritten so that Stamper's nervous system was somehow 'reversed' so 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.
- 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 amongs Bond Villains as most others would either attempt to save themselves or plead for mercy, although Renard may be accepting his death due to the fact that he would probably have died soon afterwards anyway or to join Elektra in death, rather than genuinely accepting defeat from Bond.