Some questions about SPECTRE (no spoilers)

SPECTRE teaser poster

SPECTRE teaser poster


No spoilers in this post.

SPECTRE, the 24th James Bond film produced by Eon Productions, has been in the news lately. Part of it is the start of principal photography and part of it is the hacking at Sony Pictures, which will release the film in November 2015.

What follows are some questions, which will likely never be answered in full.

What was John Logan’s pitch that originally got him the job to script the movie?

One version of SPECTRE’s script was sent out by hackers. But well before that, it was reported that scribes Neal Purvis and Robert Wade were summoned to significantly revise SPECTRE’s scrip. Playwright Jez Butterworth was also involved in altering it. So even without the hacking, you could conclude something went awry.

Likely, we won’t know the exact details of Logan’s pitch or why Eon Productions and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, which control the 007 franchise, found it appealing. MGM executives disclosed Logan had been hired to write the movie in November 2012, the same month that Skyfall was released in the United States.

What will SPECTRE’s ultimate budget be? Again, hackers put out emails concerning the film’s budget, which indicated the 007 film could be one of the most expensive ever made. But even without the hacking, it was clear SPECTRE’s budget was likely to be higher than Skyfall’s.

Star Daniel Craig was reported in 2012 to be in line for a raise. Eon desperately wanted director Sam Mendes to return, which virtually assured he’d be due a big raise. And, as news dribbled out, it was clear SPECTRE would have more location shooting than Skyfall.

Skyfall’s estimated production budget was $200 million. So the question, which again won’t likely be known completely, is how high is up for SPECTRE?

Will Sony’s involvement with the 007 series end with SPECTRE?

MGM, after coming out of bankruptcy, emerged as a small company, with only limited movie production. So far, it has done movie-by-movie (or franchise-by-franchise) deals with other studios to release its films.

Sony cut a deal to release what would emerge as Skyfall and SPECTRE. That extended a relationship, where Sony released Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace.

Does MGM cut another deal with Sony? Or does the hacking at Sony encourage MGM to look for another studio to release future 007 films? There are no indications yet what that answer will be.

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