Some questions about SPECTRE

SPECTRE teaser poster

SPECTRE teaser poster

The world now knows the 24th movie in the James Bond series produced by Eon Productions will be called SPECTRE. As usual, however, new information raises more questions. So here are a few.

Are we going to have more British political intrigue as in Skyfall? Looks like it.

Skyfall featured a sequence where M (Judi Dench) had to testify about problems at MI6. It ended with M reciting a poem to summarize her position, giving Dame Judi a dramatic moment.

In the PRESS RELEASE FOR SPECTRE, there’s a brief plot summary that says that Mallory (Ralph Fiennes), the new M, “battles political forces to keep the secret service alive.”

Whether that means a similar sequence for Fiennes, or some other behind-the-scenes political intrigue, it appears SPECTRE will follow in Skyfall’s foot steps, at least to some degree.

So is Blofeld really coming back? For the record, director Sam Mendes wouldn’t say so. CLICK HERE for a BBC interview where he gives a brief interview where he specifically declines to confirm Blofeld is coming back and very specifically declines to say if actor Christoph Waltz is playing Blofeld.

Still, it seems if you’re going to bring SPECTRE back (after securing the rights last year from the Kevin McClory estate), SPECTRE leader Blofeld would be part of the package. That’s especially true after coming out with a teaser poster (see above) that evokes the old SPECTRE octopus logo. But we don’t know for sure at this point.

Is it spelled SPECTRE or Spectre? The press release spells it SPECTRE, but then again, the THE SKYFALL PRESS RELEASE spelled it SKYFALL, but that was just a matter of putting in all capital letters for emphasis.

For now, we’ll spell it SPECTRE. The original SPECTRE was an acronym. Whether that’s the case with the new SPECTRE remains to be seen.

How did the SPECTRE announcement (which didn’t include a press conference) compare with Skyfall’s media event? Better.

The SPECTRE announcement avoided cliches such as, “The money’s up on the screen,” and “I’d tell you but I’d have to kill you.” The SPECTRE announcement was more straight forward. Afterwards, Mendes as well as Daniel Craig and other members of the cast did some brief interviews that seemed more relaxed than the Skyfall press conference.

Admittedly, we may be prejudiced, given THIS SEPTEMBER POST where we suggested doing something similar.

Bond 24 title is SPECTRE, cast includes Waltz, Bellucci

Bond 24’s title is SPECTRE, director Sam Mendes announced this morning at Pinewood Studios.

The director also confirmed the casting of actors Christoph Waltz, Monica Bellucci, Dave Bautista, Lea Seydoux and Andrew Scott, all of which had been reported but not officially acknowledged until today. It was an announcement only, with no questions taken from reporters.

The title appears to indicate that villain Ernst Stavro Blofeld will return to the film series. Mendes, however, declined to comment on the significance of the title.

Blofeld and SPECTRE were part of several previous Bond films but haven’t been in Eon’s series for decades because of legal complications. Rights to the character were secured last year in a settlement with the Kevin McClory estate. Blofeld’s last film appearance was in Never Say Never Again, the 1983 non-Eon Bond film where McClory had the title of executive producer. The U.K. Mail on Sunday has reported that Waltz will play Blofeld in the film.

Scott will play a “member of the Whitehall family,” Mendes said. Batista will play Mr. Hinx. Mendes didn’t specify what Mr. Hinx does but it has been widely reported Batista would be the movie’s henchman.

Mendes and Barbara Broccoli began the announcement but the co-boss of Eon Productions let the director do all the talking.

Besides the actors, Mendes confirmed the return of Neal Purvis and Robert Wade to the writing team.

Mendes only said SPECTRE has the same writing team as Skyfall, with John Logan, Purvis and Wade. The Daily Mail in the U.K. reported over the summer that Purvis and Wade were summoned to rewrite Logan’s draft. Purvis and Wade will now get a sixth Bond movie scripting credit. Only Richard Maibaum, with 13, has more.

Also coming back is Mendes’ preferred composer, Thomas Newman. Newman becomes only the third composer, after John Barry and David Arnold, to score multiple Bond films.

Daniel Craig was introduced last, with Mendes saying the movie would be “built around” Bond as all 007 movies “should be.”

Mendes also disclosed Bond will drive a new Aston Martin DB10 in the film. SPECTRE will have a seven-month shooting schedule.

UPDATE: Scott Hand of the 007 Forever page on Facebook passed along a press release that includes a plot summary:

A cryptic message from Bond’s past sends him on a trail to uncover a sinister organisation. While M battles political forces to keep the secret service alive, Bond peels back the layers of deceit to reveal the terrible truth behind SPECTRE.

UPDATE II: The Bond Lifestyle website has a copy of THE SPECTRE PRESS RELEASE.