What SPECTRE’s song tells us about the Craig era of 007

SPECTRE poster

SPECTRE poster

Sam Smith’s title song for SPECTRE stirred strong reaction, from former 007 actor Sir Roger Moore giving it a big vote of approval while a number of fans on social media declared it to be “the worst Bond theme ever” with some even launching an instant petition drive to have the song moved to the end titles from the main titles.

All of that may be missing the forest for the trees. In some ways, the title song for the 24th James Bond film reflects the Daniel Craig era of 007 films.

Starting with 2006’s Casino Royale, this isn’t a Bond who always wins.

In Craig’s 007 debut, Bond won money from terrorism banker LeChiffre, only to see a mysterious organization steal it back. This never happened to the other fella. It was also a major deviation from Ian Fleming’s first novel.

In 2012’s Skyfall, Bond “failed” (Craig’s own words in a recent ESQUIRE INTERVIEW) when Judi Dench’s M dies at the end of the film. “That was a big decision,” Craig told Esquire.

And, of course, in all three Craig 007 films to date, the agent doesn’t get the girl at the end, formerly part of the Bond film formula.

Part of Smith’s “Writing’s On the Wall” evokes a similar mood. At one point, Smith (who’s singing from Bond’s point of view), tells us this:

A million shards of glass
That haunt me from my past
As the stars begin to gather
And the light begins to fade
When all hope begins to shatter
Know that I won’t be afraid


How do I live? How do I breathe?
When you’re not here I’m suffocating
I want to feel love, run through my blood
Tell me is this where I give it all up?

In other words, Smith singing as Bond evokes the struggles of Craig playing Bond. The song also appears to contain hints of SPECTRE’s story.

Here’s a non-spoiler example.Early in the song, Smith sings, “I feel like a storm is coming.” In the trailers, Mr. White, Bond’s nemesis from Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace, tells Bond the agent is “a kite dancing in a hurricane.”

Coincidence? We’ll see when the movie comes out — especially when the song is matched with Daniel Kleinman’s title design.

Craig tells Esquire he can’t ‘conceive’ of doing more Bonds

SPECTRE teaser poster

SPECTRE teaser poster

Caveat emptor: Daniel Craig told Esquire IN AN INTERVIEW that, “At the moment” he “can’t even conceive” doing another 007 film after SPECTRE. However, he certainly doesn’t close the door.

The interview, by Alex Bilmes, was conducted in July, days after SPECTRE, the 24th James Bond film, completed production, according to the Esquire story.

Here’s an excerpt:

There has been much speculation that Spectre will be Craig’s last film as Bond. I thought he’d signed on for two more after Skyfall, meaning there would be at least one more after Spectre.

“I don’t know,” he says. He really doesn’t know? “I really don’t know. Honestly. I’m not trying to be coy. At the moment I can’t even conceive it.”

Would he at least like to do another one? “At this moment, no. I have a life and I’ve got to get on with it a bit. But we’ll see.”

That’s pretty much all the interview touches upon the subject. Craig discusses other subjects in more depth. Some samples:

–“His mentor and substitute mother died in his arms. ‘[Bond] failed,’ he says, of Judi Dench’s character’s death at the end of Skyfall. ‘That was a big decision.'”

–On whether he likes the character of James Bond. “I don’t know if I’d like to spend too much time with him…Maybe an evening but it would have to be early doors.”

–Describing Bond’s life. “He’s very f***ing lonely here’s a great sadness. He’s f***ing these beautiful women but then they leave and it’s… sad.”

To read the entire interview, CLICK HERE.

The ‘Hunt’ for Bond — M:I connections to 007

Spoilers after second paragraph.

A Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation poster

A Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation poster

By Nicolas Suszczyk, Guest Writer

It is uncertain if Tom Cruise wanted to join the Bondwagon in 1996 when his first Mission: Impossible film debuted, one year after the successful return of James Bond to the big screen in GoldenEye.

But thing is certain: Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation, the producer-star’s fifth movie based on the 1966-73 TV series, features a number of connections, intentional or not, with Bond films starring Daniel Craig.

Feel free to omit the over-hyped pre-titles scene of Cruise’s Ethan Hunt hanging of a plane on mid-air that reminds us of what Roger Moore (or one of his stunt doubles) did with Kamal Khan’s plane in Octopussy, or Hunt’s stylish exit shortly after when he activates the parachute attached to nerve gas tanks similar to Bond and Kara’s escape from the Hercules plane in The Living Daylights.

Moments later, a new character is introduced: Hunley, the CIA director played by Alec Baldwin, questioning the IMF’s procedures and asking to a Senate committee for the force’s disavowal. This character is somewhat reminiscent to Mallory, played by Ralph Fiennes in 2012’s Skyfall and now returning in SPECTRE.

Action moves to Vienna, to a performance of the opera Turandot. What is seen here could perfectly be a mash-up between Quantum of Solace and Skyfall, with Hunt fighting one of his enemies and trying to prevent a sniper shooting the Austrian chancellor, all as the play ensues.

Not to mention the shots of Ilsa (Rebecca Ferguson) preparing her weapon hidden in a clarinet are very similar to those of Patrice doing the same at the Shanghai tower, before shooting his victim.

(Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation may also owe a debt of gratitude to Alfred Hitchcock’s 1956 The Man Who Knew Too Much, which featured an attempted assassination during a concert.)

M:I Rogue Nation composer Joe Kraemer’s music is somewhat close to “African Rundown,” composed by David Arnold for 2006’s Casino Royale, when a high-speed bike chase comes along between Hunt and Ilsa through the Moroccan roads.

The IMF agent is stopped in a unique way – the woman stands right in front of him. Ethan crashes and falls in order to avoid her, a bit similar to the way Eva Green’s Vesper was tied on the road to make Bond (Daniel Craig) crash his Aston Martin DBS.

Just like in Skyfall, London is also used prominently in the film, including the last action scene that features Jens Hultén, who played one of Silva’s henchmen in the 2012 film. Solomon Lane himself, the villain played by Sean Harris, has a loose connection with Silva by being also a former British agent.

In another scene, the prime minister (actually Ethan Hunt in disguise) menaces MI6’s head Attle (Simon McBurney) with an enquiry, a situation Judi Dench’s M faced in Skyfall, too.

A big wink to the first Sam Mendes’ James Bond film is given right before the closing credits: Hunley, admitting his mistake, asks for the reactivation of the IMF. As the committee reinstates the force, Brandt (Jeremy Renner) addresses him as “secretary,” very much like Mallory becoming M at the end of Skyfall.

Mendes again says ‘probably’ no more Bonds

Sam Mendes

Sam Mendes

Sam Mendes has once again said he’s “probably” won’t again direct a 007 film.

The director gave an interview TO THE BBC, which was SUMMARIZED BY THE MIRROR NEWSPAPER.

“But I do think this is probably it…It was a fantastic life-changing thing, but I don’t think I could go down that road again,” he said in the BBC interview, according to the Mirror. “It’s more a lifestyle choice than a job. You do have to put everything else on hold.”

In the spring of 2013, following 2012’s Skyfall, Mendes said the thought of directing another 007 film “made me physically ill.”

A few months later, it was announced he’d be back to direct Bond 24, later titled SPECTRE.

The new Bond film recently completed filming and is in post-production for release this fall.

To view the entire Mirror article, CLICK HERE. To listen to the BBC interview, CLICK HERE. The SPECTRE comments begin around the 23:15 mark. According to the BBC website, the program is available for listening for a limited time.

Thanks to reader Ricardo Cantoral for the heads up.

UPDATE: Having had a chance to listen to the BBC interview itself, there are these tidbits:

–“This is a bigger movie than Skyfall,” Mendes said. “We shot in more places.”

–There’s 100 minutes of music in SPECTRE, according to the director.

–Ian Fleming “is a great unknowable figure,” Mendes said.

–The title song has been recorded. Mendes provided no additional details.

SPECTRE concludes filming, MI6 site says


SPECTRE, the 24th James Bond film, concluded principal photography this weekend, according to a story on the MI6 JAMES BOND WEBSITE.

The website said production officially ended on Sunday, July 5, the MI6 site said. Principal photography began Dec. 8, 2014.

The film is the most costly 007 film and one of the most expensive movies ever, with a budget of $300 million or more. It follows 2012’s Skyfall, which had worldwide box office of more than $1.1 billion. The new movie features a revamped version of the SPECTRE organization featured in the early James Bond films.

The end of filming was referenced on social media. Here’s a July 4 tweet from Donald Mowat, a makeup artist:

On July 5, he sent out another Tweet:

SPECTRE is scheduled to be released in early November by Sony Pictures.

007 veteran crew member talks to James Bond Radio

The Internet series James Bond Radio today debuted a new podcast featuring veteran James Bond crew member Terry Bamber.

Bamber worked on Bond films from The Man With The Golden Gun through Skyfall. He’s not involved with SPECTRE (though his wife is a crew member). He was also assistant director and production manager of The Man From U.N.C.L.E. movie, which debuts Aug. 14.

Bamber’s father worked on the early 007 films. Given the family history, he makes some observations of note:

Favorite Bond movies: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (“fantastic film, fantastic film”), followed by Casino Royale and Diamonds Are Forever (“I could watch it over and over again.”) The Living Daylights is “in my top third” of Bond films.

First experience on a Bond set: Being taken by his father to the You Only Live Twice volcano set.

Favorite Bond: By “millimeters of a point,” Sean Connery.

Why he’s not working on SPECTRE: He says he got a phone call saying the production team decided “to go in a different direction.”

Bamber also makes some brief comments about his work on The Man From U.N.C.L.E. movie, where he was assistant director and production manager on the second unit.

The interview lasts more than 90 minutes and covers more ground than this post can really cover. You can listen to the podcast below. The Terry Bamber interview starts around the 17:00 mark.

MGM may end ties with Sony for 007, Variety says

SPECTRE teaser image

SPECTRE teaser image

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer may seek another studio as a James Bond partner when MGM’s current deal with Sony Pictures expires after the release of SPECTRE, VARIETY REPORTED, citing people it didn’t identify.

Sony has released the last four 007 films, starting with 2006’s Casino Royale. The current MGM-Sony deal was for two movies after MGM emerged from bankruptcy.

Variety’s Brent Lang’s story includes this passage:

However, insiders speculate that the close relationship between MGM chief Gary Barber and Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara could result in the super-spy shifting addresses to the Burbank studio. MGM and Warner Bros. have partnered on several films including the “Hobbit” trilogy, the May box office dud “Hot Pursuit” and the upcoming Rocky Balboa spin-off, “Creed.”

In an exclusive sit-down interview, newly-minted Sony Pictures Entertainment motion picture group chairman Tom Rothman acknowledged that the fight for the Bond rights will be fierce.

“The reality is that Sony’s had a fantastic run with the Bonds,” said Rothman, adding, “Sure we’re going to compete for (the rights), but let’s be honest, so is everybody in the business.”

The deal isn’t as financially rewarding for Sony as fans might suppose. The New York Times, IN A MAY 2013 STORY detailed how Sony was third in line behind Eon Productions and MGM for its cut from Skyfall. According to that story, the Wilson-Broccoli clan took its cut and then MGM got 75 percent of what was left over.

Still, 007 films come as close to a sure thing in the movie business so studios naturally would still be interested.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 207 other followers