Kevin McClory worked with Bond creator Ian Fleming and another writer, Jack Whittingham, during the late 1950s, and the result was the novel (and then the 1965 film) Thunderball. But alongside the underwater adventures of Sean Connery, another result was a seemingly never-ending legal battle between McClory's estate and the rights owners of the Bond franchise, MGM / Danjaq / EON, which has finally been resolved.
The simple solution was that McClory's estate has sold off any remaining rights to the Thunderball story - which was also remade in 1983 in the non-canon Never Say Never Again - allowing both Blofeld and SPECTRE back into the Bond fold.
Die-hard 007 aficionados, aware of how Moneypenny and M are set up thanks to the end of Skyfall, will be very excited to imagine how Sam Mendes and his Bond 24/25 writer John Logan might - with the emphasis on might - bring everyone's favourite cat-stroking evil genius into the new Daniel Craig era.
It's a long shot, of course, as this sort of campness has been ignored by the Broccolis recently (aside from that commuter's quip in the tube station, midway through Skyfall) but if Moneypenny worked, Blofeld might too. The trouble will be between Lex Luthor and that Ernst Stavro fellow, should both bald bad guys appear in the cinematic traffic jam that is 2015.
For those keeping score, The Biggest Year For Films In All The History Of Ever now features Star Wars: Episode VII, Avengers 2, Terminator 5 (in theory), The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2, and Superman Vs. Batman. Not to mention other potentially huge animated films, non-sequels and the rest of the slate. The UK release for Bond 24 is currently earmarked for October 23, 2015, while it has a US release scheduled for November 6.
As a reminder of when we last saw 'Blofeld' - in For Your Eyes Only back in 1981 - here's a dummy in a wheelchair being thrown down an industrial chimney.