When he created James Bond, Ian Fleming did not intend him to be a hero; the British journalist had simply wanted to craft a spy story.
However, paradoxically, Fleming also presented Double-0 Seven as a St. George-style figure who routinely slayed the dragon that was posing a threat to the British Isles. This was carried over into the successful series of movies that followed the novels.
Nevertheless, in the Bond films inspired by Fleming's works, whilst the main Bond villain is usually punished at (or towards) the end of each movie, there are plenty of other villains who have escaped seemingly unscathed. Usually, these villains are henchpersons or other lesser antagonists, but some can arguably be of even greater importance than the film's main villain.
Some of these characters have deserved a reprieve from our man at MI6 for switching sides at the last moment (although that has not necessarily saved them). Yet, more often than not, they have either been lucky or may have perished all the same, albeit not exactly at Double-0 Seven’s hands. Nevertheless, their fates remain unexplained onscreen for various reasons, both plot-wise and due to decisions made by the filmmakers.
Take a look at ten Bond villains who simply vanished without trace or explanation.
10. General Chang
Although he is seen only briefly in Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), it is arguable that Chinese General Chang (Phillip Chung-Fung Kwok) is actually the film’s main villain.
After all, megalomaniacal media tycoon, Elliot Carver (Jonathan Pryce) purely wants exclusive broadcasting rights in China for the next 100 years, whereas Chang is seeking to destroy the Chinese establishment, leaving himself in control of the entire country. Therefore, he clearly has more to gain.
Although he is mentioned several times in the film, he is seen only once, passing James Bond (Pierce Brosnan) and his Chinese counterpart, Colonel Wai Lin (Michelle Yeoh) in Carver’s headquarters in Saigon. He then vanishes and, although he is presumably tried and executed offscreen, this is never confirmed.
In Raymond Benson’s novelisation of the film, based on an earlier draft of the screenplay, Chang is seeking to overthrow the Chinese government and instate the Crown Prince Hung - said to be a descendant of the Ming dynasty - in its place as Emperor. The Crown Prince is described as looking like a "Michael Jackson impersonator" and is implied to be merely a puppet leader.
When Carver is defeated, the Carver Media Group Network headquarters in Saigon are raided by the Chinese People’s External Security Force. Whilst the Crown Prince surrenders, Chang is found cowering in a lady’s lavatory and is assured that, if he is found guilty of treason, he will be executed with a bullet to the back of the head.
Additionally, Phillip Chung-Fung Kwok was a stunt arranger on Tomorrow Never Dies who assisted Michelle Yeoh with her stunt sequences, having worked with her on the Jackie Chan films for which she was famous at the time.