Some notes about the Daily Mail’s SPECTRE story

SPECTRE poster

SPECTRE poster

This weekend, the U.K. Daily Mail’s Event arts section had A STORY about SPECTRE, the 24th James Bond film.

Here were some things in the article that caught our eye:

200 million/300 million: Price in British pounds and U.S. dollars for SPECTRE’s overall budget.

The figure, which makes SPECTRE one of the most expensive movies of all time, was originally disclosed in the hacks at Sony Corp. But the Daily Mail was given a lot of access for this article. The fact the publication is using it amounts to a tacit confirmation of the hacked information.

24 million/36 million: The price in British pounds and U.S. dollars for the budget for expensive sports cars (Aston Martins and Jaguars) to be smashed up in chase sequences.

Possible cost of delays: During filming of a Rome car chase, “one of the crew tells me that every hour of rain could cost the production a cool million pounds,” according to the Daily Mail story.

It took a few months, but we finally got our Barbara Broccoli “the money’s up on the screen” quotes. In fact, we got two.

Long-serving producer Barbara Broccoli tells Event she is immensely proud of those stunning pre-title scenes: ‘My dad Cubby Broccoli always said, “Put all the money on the screen.”

‘There’s a lot of money on the screen in this one! Bond has such an extraordinary tradition of awe-inspiring openings, it is difficult to top them. But this sequence is up there as one of the greatest.’

To read the entire story, CLICK HERE. No real story spoilers, but those especially sensitive fans (i.e. the ones who consider trailers and commercials to be spoilers) may want to think twice.

U.N.C.L.E. awakes: The Rip Van Winkle Affair

Bus for participants in U.N.C.L.E. movie press junket in Rome

Bus for participants in U.N.C.L.E. movie press junket in Rome

For one day, The Man From U.N.C.L.E. was truly back after a slumber of more than 30 years. Rip Van Winkle only slept for 20 years.

May 9 was a press junket in Rome for The Man From U.N.C.L.E. movie. Images and comments flooded social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

There hasn’t been an official U.N.C.L.E. production since The Return of The Man From U.N.C.L.E. television movie aired on CBS in 1983. Principal photography for the Guy Ritchie-directed feature film took place in the late summer and fall of 2013.

There have been milestones since then, including test screenings in 2014 and release of a first trailer in February. Still, the Rome press junket represented the biggest push by Warner Bros. to begin to raise visibility for the film.

Warner Bros. is in an unusual situation for the “summer” movie season (which begins the first weekend of May). It has no “tent pole” movie, so AS NOTED IN THIS VARIETY STORY, it’s releasing more films than other studios for the summer, looking to make up in volume what it lacks in spectacle. Thus, U.N.C.L.E. has become part of the studio’s “flood the zone” strategy.

Anyway, that’s for studio executives. For U.N.C.L.E. fans — at least those who want new U.N.C.L.E. tales — May 9 marked a beginning (or reawakening).

The U.N.C.L.E. movie, by 2015 standards, is modest ($75 million production budget). It’s in the shadow of the James Bond franchise, whose new installment, SPECTRE, has a $300 million budget, making it one of the most expensive movies of all time.

On the very same day Warners had its coming out party, SPECTRE released its latest “clapperboard” shot, one of the ways the 007 franchise uses social media to promote its product. (If you want to see all the SPECTRE clapperboard shots in scene order, CLICK HERE.)

In the end, despite U.N.C.L.E.’s Ian Fleming connection (the 007 author helped name Napoleon Solo), the two are different animals. Bond is the big kid on the block. U.N.C.L.E. is trying to get established again after a long layoff.

The U.N.C.L.E.’s movie’s Napoleon Solo is played by Henry Cavill, passed over for the role of 007 in favor of Daniel Craig in 2005. Both movies filmed in Rome, but SPECTRE spent $60 million there, almost as much as U.N.C.L.E.’s entire budget.

May 9 was a big day for U.N.C.L.E. fans. It remains to be seen whether the U.N.C.L.E. movie so long in development will be worth the wait. For at least one day, many U.N.C.L.E. fans felt a surge of excitement that it might be.

U.N.C.L.E. press event in Rome includes screening

Twitter is providing some details about The Man From U.N.C.L.E. press event in Rome as participants post about what’s doing on.

For example, there was a screening of about 20 minutes of footage from the Guy Ritchie-directed film. Some of the Tweets:

Some of the press materials might become collectibles.

Meanwhile, Jim Chapman also used Instagram to post A SELFIE WITH A DOUBLE DECKER BUS WITH U.N.C.L.E. MOVIE POSTER ART all over it. That and other photos got put out via Twitter as well.

UPDATE (10:14 a.m.): One of the viewers did a Twitter-sized review of the movie footage shown. To view it, CLICK HERE.

UPDATE (11:25 a.m.): The cast, including Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer, in Rome.

007.com posts video blog about SPECTRE car chase

SPECTRE teaser poster

SPECTRE teaser poster

People who don’t want to know anything about the movie should stop reading now.

The official James Bond website, 007.com, posted a new video blog today which looks at a car chase scene in SPECTRE.

In the film, Daniel Craig’s James Bond is driving an Aston Martin DB10 and is being chased by a Jaguar driven by henchman Mr. Hinx (Dave Bautista).

The video includes comments from special effects man Chris Corbould and director Sam Mendes. The latter calls the sequence “a cat and mouse game through the night time streets of Rome.”

Here’s the video, it runs about 100 seconds. No real story spoilers, but, as stated above, the super-spoiler averse should not view.

UPDATE: To view a related tweet from the official 007 Twitter account, CLICK HERE.

Things we know about SPECTRE so far

SPECTRE teaser poster

SPECTRE teaser poster

No substantive spoilers, but super spoiler averse people should not even begin reading.

SPECTRE began seven months of principal photography on Dec. 8. That means we’ll soon be at the halfway mark of filming.

For other movies (say The Man From U.N.C.L.E. film) things would have wrapped up now. But this is a Bond film and one of the most expensive movies of all time. So here’s what we know as the halfway mark approaches.

This will be a new take on an old idea: At the Dec. 4 media event to kick off filming, nobody wanted to even acknowledge the story concerns the same criminal organization featured in early 007 films.

Earlier this month, Eon Productions co-boss Barbara Broccoli told Empire magazine the movie does feature that organization, albeit a new version. That’s not much of an admission, but it’s more than the principals were willing to say in December.

The movie includes an extensive, intricate car chase: The production this week wrapped up said car chase, involving an Aston Martin (driven by Bond) being chased by a Jaguar. Because the sequence was filmed on public streets in a major European city (Rome), a lot of video from the chase has ended u on the Internet. Some footage on the Internet (we’re not linking to it in this post) even shows how it finishes.

The Sony hacking is the 800-pound gorilla in the room: Eon’s talking point is that only an early draft surfaced in the computer hacking at Sony Studios, which is releasing SPECTRE. Based on the news accounts where reporters reviewed the script, that’s not the case. What has been written about is not the current shooting script (last-minute alterations are often made during filming). How close the script from the hacks is to the final version of the movie remains to be seen.

Given how expensive the movie is ($300 million or more, another fact that came out in the hacks), it’s understandable the hacking would be sensitive. Nevertheless, the hacking is a complication other 007 films haven’t had to deal with.

This is going to be a costly movie: Already, there has been footage shot in Austria, Rome and Pinewood Studios. There will soon be filming in Mexico, which we now know will include sizeable subsidies from the Mexican government (another fact from the hacks), as well as other locations.

Audiences won’t care as long as they feel they’ve been entertained. The executives (like the ones at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer) who have to sign the checks for all involved, may be a little more nervous until the movie comes out in November.

The spoiler debate

"Rosebud is the sled."

“Rosebud is the sled.”

With yet another James Bond movie in production, the old debate about spoilers flares up again.

Over the past couple of weeks, Eon Productions has been filming a car chase for SPECTRE, the 24th James Bond film. This has occurred on public streets in the capital city (Rome) of a major European country (Italy).

This is the kind of thing that draws publicity, including a video posted by The Associated Press, one of the largest news-gathering organizations in the world. Some 007 fans want to learn more. Some 007 fan sites have written about it. But others complain it’s a spoiler and shouldn’t be covered by the media at all and shouldn’t even be discussed by true fans at all.

Once upon a time, some of the biggest 007 spoilers came from the official Bond apparatus. The novelization of The Spy Who Loved Me came out before the movie’s U.S. debut. That pretty much gave away the ski jump stunt performed by Rick Sylvester in the film. Ditto the novelization of Tomorrow Never Dies, which gave away much of that film’s plot and action sequences. The only differences were changes made in the script after the novelization was written.

Nor was this restricted to novelizations. 007 soundtracks gave away key plot points. Goldfinger’s soundtrack had a track called Death of Goldfinger. Thunderball’s soundtrack had a track called Death of Fiona. You Only Live Twice’s soundtrack had a track called Death of Aki. Doesn’t leave too much to the imagination.

Still, this is the 21st century. There’s this thing called the Internet. Once upon a time, fans who experienced momentary disappointment with finding out details about a movie ahead of time had to accept their fate and move on.

With the Internet, you don’t have to worry about moving on. It becomes a big echo chamber.

As that applies to spoilers, well, people will complain about spoilers when a movie has been out for three months. (CLICK HERE for a September 2013 post on this blog and scroll down to one of the comments.) Some will even complain about spoilers seven years after a movie has come out. (CLICK HERE for a November 2011 post and scroll down to one of the comments there.)

The blog got some flak on Facebook this week for THIS POST, which embedded a couple of SPECTRE car chase videos, including the one the AP posted to YouTube. We arranged the post so, on Facebook, its preview would only show a SPECTRE logo. To actually see the videos, you’d have to click on the link itself. Still, that wasn’t good enough for some, who argued “true fans” shouldn’t even be interested in any video of one of the most expensive movies of all time filming a scene in a major European capital.

To be fair, SPECTRE is an unusual case. Because of the hacking at Sony (which will release the film in November), it’s possible to read memos and a script and get information as late as November. the Gawker website did so back on Dec. 12. (Warning: there are spoilers if you click on that link.)

In a perfect world, fans curious about the movie and those not wanting to see anything before it comes out could come to an understanding. But the Internet, for the most part, works against being reasonable. When people cry foul about movies that have been out for months and years, it’s hard to be reasonable.

SPECTRE car chase video keeps surfacing

SPECTRE LOGOSpoiler adverse readers should stop now.

More and more video is surfacing concerning an action sequence filmed in Rome for SPECTRE, the 24th James Bond film.

The specific sequence involves a car chase involving an Aston Martin DB10, a limited edition model that Bond drives in the film.  Video has been coming out for the past several days.

On March 4, two new videos came out. Here’s one from The Associated Press news service. It lasts under a minute.

Here’s another, also posted the same day. It was spotted by The James Bond Dossier, which PUBLISHED A POST about it. This video is just under 90 seconds.

Meanwhile, the James Bond Brasil website HAS A POST with stills from the chase.

For all of the NEWS ACCOUNTS about Rome stressing out over SPECTRE’s filming, things appear to be progressing, and viewers of the movie won’t notice there ever was a fuss.