Contributed by: The James Bond Movie Encyclopedia by Steven Jay Rubin

Billionaire industrialist and horse breeder, portrayed by Christopher Walken, who intends to monopolize the world’s supply of microchips by destroying Silicon Valley in A View to a Kill. Born in Dresden, Zorin was the product of a cruel Nazi experiment conducted by Dr. Carl Mortner (Willoughby Gray) on pregnant concentration camp inmates. Attempting to prove his theory that steroid injections could enhance the intelligence of children, Mortner succeeded in killing most of the newborns. Those that survived were, indeed, born with phenomenal IQs, but they each suffered a glaring side effect: they were all psychotic.

Zorin fled East Germany in the 1960s on a French passport. By then he was a top KGB agent, working for General Gogol (Walter Gotell). Zorin Industries, his brainchild, was financed by the Russians, who hoped to benefit from its new technologies. Zorin’s wealth increased as he made his first fortunes in oil and gas trading, continuing on to electronics and high technology. Perceived in France as a top industrialist and anti-Communist, Zorin continued his work for Mother Russia, but those ties began to weaken. Surrounded by wealth and power, Zorin mentally snapped when he conceived of Project Main Strike—a plan to destroy Silicon Valley and thereby gain a monopoly on the world’s microchip manufacturing.

That plan is short-circuited by James Bond (Roger Moore), who tracks Zorin and his henchwoman May Day (Grace Jones) from France to San Francisco and on to the Main Strike silver mine. There, 007 manages to stop a bomb from detonating along the San Andreas Fault. That explosion, combined with the pumping of seawater from Zorin’s oil wells into the nearby Hayward earthquake fault, could have turned Silicon Valley into a lake.

Bond battles his way aboard Zorin’s blimp, and during a climactic fight above the Golden Gate Bridge, he forces the psychotic industrialist to lose his footing and fall to his death.

Note: Singer/actor David Bowie was considered at one point for the role of Zorin, eventually losing out to Christopher Walken.


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