Grupo Vidanta says it provided SPECTRE financial help

Image that accompanied a Groupo Vidanta e-mail.

Image that accompanied a Grupo Vidanta e-mail.

Grupo Vidanta, a major resort developer and operator, says it was among the Mexican companies that provided financial support to SPECTRE, the 24th James Bond film.

Here’s the text of an e-mail sent to Grupo Vidanta customers that also includes the image on the right:

Just as we’re constantly striving to inspire happiness for you and your family, we’re constantly working to provide innovative opportunities that will benefit Mexico’s people and economy. That’s why we’re incredibly excited to announce our financial support of the new James Bond movie, Spectre, which is to be filmed in Mexico City.

In addition to stimulating the local economy during production, Spectre will showcase the spectacular scenery and rich cultural heritage of the city. Bringing this famous franchise to Mexico supports our aim to promote our beloved country as a premier global tourist destination just as we did with JOYÀ, our groundbreaking collaboration with Cirque du Soleil. As part of a franchise that’s made almost $5 billion dollars, this movie offers a prime opportunity to highlight the best of what Mexico has to offer to millions — riches that are yours to explore during your visits to the Vidanta destinations.

We hope you’re as excited as we are about this news and all it means for Mexico, your home away from home. We can’t wait to see you again soon!

The MI6 James Bond website had a STORY ON MARCH 18 quoting Eon Productions co-boss Michael G. Wilson as saying the movie had support from private Mexican companies interested in promoting Mexican tourism. Wilson made the comments during a news conference in Mexico City.

SPECTRE’s pre-credits sequence takes place in Mexico. The movie has gotten tax incentives from Mexico. Memos that became public because of the hacking at Sony Pictures included discussions of how to maximize the incentives. The Sony hack also made public memos that indicate SPECTRE’s budget could exceed $300 million, making it one of the most expensive ever made.

“Nine hours, 35 minutes and COUNTING”

…to the SPECTRE teaser trailer
counting

Who’s in, and out, of the U.N.C.L.E. movie poster credits

The Man From U.N.C.L.E. teaser poster

The Man From U.N.C.L.E. teaser poster

We decided to take a look at THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. OFFICIAL WEBSITE and examined the credits that go with the teaser poster. If you go to the page, you can view them, but you have to put your cursor on the lower left where it says “Legal.”

A reminder before we go further. Credits in a poster sometimes vary from the film. With 2012’s Skyfall, for example, the poster only listed one editor, but the movie’s credits listed two, the second being listed in small type. With that in mind:

Who’s not there: The credits simply say, “Based on the Television Series The Man From U.N.C.L.E.” No mention of developer Sam Rolfe, nor of Norman Felton and Ian Fleming, who came up with the character Napoleon Solo.

Vanity credits: We’re told it’s “A Witchie/Wigram Production,” “A Davis Entertainment Production,” and “A Guy Ritchie Film.”

Who gets the “p.g.a.” mark: Since mid-2013, most movies include “p.g.a.” after those considered the primary producers of the film by the Producers Guild of America.

The movie lists four producers, with John Davis (who has been involved trying to develop an U.N.C.L.E. movie since the early 1990s), Lionel Wigram and Guy Richie getting the p.g.a. mark. (It’s in lower case letters with periods to avoid confusion with the Professional Golfers’ Association, or PGA.)

Steve Clark-Hall, listed second among the four, doesn’t get the mark. David Dobkin gets an executive producer credit. In television, executive producer is supposed to be the big boss. That’s not true for movies. Regardless, Dobkin’s name was associated with the project, circa 2010.

Writing credit: “Story by Jeff Kleeman & David Campbell Wilson and Lionel Wigram & Guy Ritchie, Screenplay by Lionel Wigram & Guy Ritchie.” This was included in the teaser trailer but it goes by very quickly.

Others jobs that get credits: Composer, costume designer, editor, production designer and director of photography.

Other tidbits: According to this, the soundtrack will be available on Watertower Music.

Official 007 website starts countdown to SPECTRE trailer

SPECTRE LOGO

The OFFICIAL 007 WEBSITE has begun a countdown to the SPECTRE teaser trailer.

As of 1:55 p.m. New York time, it was two days, five hours and 48 minutes, meaning the trailer would be available in the early evening on the U.S. east coast. No other details, just a small display on the upper right-hand side of the home back.

It’s the second spy-related movie to debut a teaser trailer this week. Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation unveiled a television commercial on March 22, with the teaser trailer going online the following day.

The first trailer for 2012’s Skyfall, the most recent 007 film, didn’t come out until May of that year.

UPDATE (4 p.m.): An announcement was made via the official 007 Twitter feed:

Return of the mysterious, shadowy organization

Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation's teaser poster

Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation’s teaser poster

It’s like the mid-1960s all over again.

–Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation unveiled its teaser trailer this week, in which a mysterious, shadowy organization called the Syndicate is trying crush the Impossible Missions Force.

–SPECTRE, the 24th James Bond film, is in the midst of production, featuring a 21st century take on the organization that opposed 007 in the early Bond films.

–Avengers: Age of Ultron, the latest Marvel Studios film is coming out May 1 and may include the latest appearance by Hyrdra, a vast group that infiltrated SHIELD in last year’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

–The Man From U.N.C.L.E. movie is due out Aug. 14. It, too, features a mysterious organization. The question is whether it will be Thrush, the “supra nation” that opposed U.N.C.L.E. in the original 1964-68 series.

At this point, all we need Galaxy (two Derek Flint movies) and BIGO (three of four Matt Helm movies) to come back. KAOS, may be lurking as well (having been included in a 1980 theatrical movie and a 1989 made-for-TV film).

The notion of the huge group that, in some cases, was like a shadow government fell out of favor after the 1960s. Bond was the last man standing by 1971 and 007 encountered mostly one-off independent menaces (though some were affiliated with unfriendly governments). At the same time, the cinema Blofeld was the subject of jokes in Austin Powers movies.

What’s more, there were legal disputes about SPECTRE, with producer Kevin McClory saying the rights to the criminal organization belonged to him. A specific reference to SPECTRE boss Ernst Stavro Blofeld was taken out of the script of 1981’s For Your Eyes Only. The script had a line where a mysterious guy who resembled Blofeld said this was the 10th anniversary of his last encounter with 007. Even though it didn’t make the movie, it was too late to take it out of the Marvel Comics adaptation.

SPECTRE teaser poster

SPECTRE teaser poster

By 2012, Eon Productions said it wasn’t even interested in SPECTRE.

“I mean, we’ve talked about Blofeld over the years,” Eon Productions co-boss Barbara Broccoli said in an interview with CRAVE ONLINE. “The thing is Blofeld was fantastic for the time but I think it’s about creating characters that are, villains that are more appropriate for the contemporary world. It’s more exciting for us to create somebody new.”

Eon whistled a different tune after a 2013 settlement with the McClory estate secured the rights to Blofeld and SPECTRE. Recently, Broccoli acknowledged to Empire magazine that SPECTRE is a new take on the old villainous organization. The cast of SPECTRE includes Jesper Christensen, who played Mr. White, an official of a group called Quantum in Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace (the name wasn’t revealed until Quantum of Solace).

Marvel Studios also was bringing back the vast villainous organization. In 2011’s Captain America: The First Avenger, set during World War II, viewers were introduced to Hydra, formed by Hitler but a group that has its own ambitions to take over for itself. In the 2014 Captain America movie, we see Hydra is alive and well and moving forward on its ambitions.

Hydra in the comics made its debut in Strange Tales 135 in a story by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby that introduced Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. Later, writer-artist Jim Steranko connected Hyrdra to Fury’s World War II past, establishing that Hydra’s leader was Baron Wolfgang Von Strucker, a World War II foe of Fury’s.

The Man From U.N.C.L.E. teaser poster

The Man From U.N.C.L.E. teaser poster

With M:I, the existence of the Syndicate was teased at the end of 2011’s Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol. In the original television series, the Syndicate merely was an alternate name for the Mafia. The trailer unveiled this week makes clear the Syndicate is a much larger animal.

Which brings us to Thrush, which U.N.C.L.E. was waging war against in that television series. (At one point, WASP and MAGGOTT were considered as alternate names.) Thrush had vast resources, with thousands of employees on the U.S. West Coast alone. In the show’s final season, Thrush spent billions of dollars in various failed schemes. The Thrush name, however, wasn’t mentioned in the teaser trailer that came out in February.

Why the surge in popularity for such organizations?

Well, Hydra has been part of successful Marvel movies. Also, naming specific countries as being responsible for mayhem can be tricky. In 2002, Die Another Day had the North Koreans as villains. In 2014, North Korea was the leading suspect for being responsible for hacking at Sony Pictures, including leaks of SPECTRE’s script. What’s more, no studio wants to offend China and its vast market for movie goers.

Thus, what is old is new again. Don’t bet against the return of Galaxy and BIGO.

Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation’s trailer debuts

MI RogueThe first trailer for Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation debuted around 11 a.m. New York time on the movie’s OFFICIAL WEBSITE.

The trailer, which lasts about 2:40, is similar to the commercial for the movie released March 22, just with some more detail. For example, there’s a move afoot in Washington to disband the Impossible Missions Force. Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) is “out tracking the Syndicate,” but a bureaucrat played by Alec Baldwin asks why the CIA has never turned up any information regarding the shadowy group.

Later, Hunt tells his colleagues that the Syndicate “is coming after us with everything they’ve got” and “this very well may be our last mission.” There’s also a bit more of the movie’s signature stunt of Cruise handing on the side of a plane.

This is bound to draw comparisons with SPECTRE, the 24th James Bond film, now in production. That film features a 21st century version of the criminal organization featured in early 007 films. Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation features a 21st century take on the Syndicate, which in the original televisions series was just another name for the Mafia.

Here’s the trailer:

UPDATE: The Double O Section’s Tanner has penned A DETAILED ANALYSIS of the history of the Syndicate on the series and how it will differ in this movie.

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