Bleeding Cool discloses SPECTRE spoilers from WikiLeaks

SPECTRE LOGO

No spoilers in the text of the post, but obviously links to something full of spoilers.

That didn’t take long.

The Bleeding Cool website PUBLISHED A LONG POST extensively quoting from hacked Sony Pictures e-mails concerning SPECTRE, the 24th James Bond film.

Bleeding Cool examined the e-mails after WiliLeaks published a searchable database of the material hacked from Sony last year. Sony will release SPECTRE in November, which is why the 007 material was included in the hack.

The Bleeding Cool post contains references to early script drafts by John Logan and later rewrites by Neal Purvis and Robert Wade.

Generally (and to phrase this in a non-spoiler way), the quoted e-mails give the reader how extensively the story changed. Some characters from earlier drafts disappear from later ones. There’s a lot of discussion from various executives about what the villains should be doing.

Even the title is spoiler-related (it concerns something from an earlier draft). So, if you click on the link above, just remember you can’t un-see what you read.

WikiLeaks publishes Sony hack data (no spoilers)

sonylogo

WikiLeaks, the group that has published leaked U.S. government documents, SAID IN AN APRIL 16 STATEMENT it has put more than 30,000 hacked Sony Pictures documents and more than 173,000 company e-mails into a searchable database.

The Sony documents first surfaced in November 2014. Part of the hacked documents concerned SPECTRE, the 24th James Bond film, which is being released by Sony this coming November. Stories were published in various media outlets at the time about the movie’s $300 million budget and details about its script. The hacked material also included personal information about Sony employees.

“Whilst some stories came out at the time, the original archives, which were not searchable, were removed before the public and journalists were able to do more than scratch the surface,” the group said. WikiLeaks said the material should be in the public domain because Sony “is an influential corporation…with an ability to impact laws and policies.”

WikiLeaks said Sony is “a strong lobbyist on issues around internet policy, piracy, trade agreements and copyright issues. The emails show the back and forth on lobbying and political efforts.”

Sony, in a statement quoted by THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, criticized WikiLeaks.

“We vehemently disagree with WikiLeaks’ assertion that this material belongs in the public domain and will continue to fight for the safety, security, and privacy of our company and its more than 6,000 employees,” Sony said in the statement, according to THR.

Family model vs. corporate model Part II

Avengers: Age of Ultron poster

Avengers: Age of Ultron poster

We’re on the verge of the newest chapter in the family model vs. corporate model of filmmaking. Once more, some big numbers are being discussed.

Weeks before it opens, there are already box office projections for Avengers: Age of Ultron, the latest entry from Walt Disney Co.’s Marvel Studios, representing the machine-like corporate model of predictability. A story at the DEADLINE entertainment news website says the new Avengers film is “tracking a little better than (2012’s) The Avengers at the same point in the cycle…and is expected to be one of the highest — if not the highest — opening in history.”

Marvel’s The Avengers movie in 2012 had a U.S. opening weekend of $207 million on its way to an eventual $1.5 billion worldwide box office.

The family model is represented by Eon Productions, which makes the James Bond film series. Eon is controlled by Michael G. Wilson (stepson) and Barbara Broccoli (daughter) of Eon co-founder Albert R. Broccoli.

Eon’s most recent offering, 2012’s Skyfall, scored $1.11 billion at the box office.  Things were closer outside the U.S. where The Avengers had a box office of $895 million while Skyfall had at $804 million, according to the Box Office Mojo website.

The projections cited by Deadline tend to set expectations within the movie industry. If you meet or exceed the projections, you’re doing great. If you fall short, even if the numbers are still substantial, it’s seen as disappointing.

“Geez, what will Disney/Marvel do if they only open to $200M on this one?” Deadline’s Anita Busch wrote.

Eon’s newest 007 installment, SPECTRE, is due out in November. It will also have high expectations when its tracking numbers begin to appear. That’s because of Skyfall’s success as well as SPECTRE’s $300 million budget, which became known because of the computer hacks at Sony Pictures, which is releasing SPECTRE.

Sony appears to confirm a SPECTRE spoiler

SPECTRE LOGO
Like the headline says, this involves a spoiler. The spoiler adverse shouldn’t read.

Last month, a photo emerged of a SPECTRE spoiler, specifically involving a vehicle in the movie. The photo showed the vehicle during filming of SPECTRE.

On April 2, Sony Pictures Canada put out a Tweet that appears to confirm said vehicle will be in the 24th James Bond film.

For the spoiler adverse, this is your last chance to leave without seeing.

Here’s the tweet:

On Dec. 4, it was announced SPECTRE would feature the Aston Martin DB10, a limited-production model. Nothing was said about the Aston Martin DB5, which was blown to bits in the climatic sequence of Skyfall.

As you can see, Sony Pictures Canada tweeted a picture of the DB5 as it appeared in Goldfinger. So, it would seem Sony has confirmed the return of the iconic car yet one more time.

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.

The case for and against SPECTRE

SPECTRE's soon-to-be-replaced teaser image

SPECTRE’s soon-to-be-replaced teaser image

This is a weird time for SPECTRE, the 24th James Bond film.

The movie is coming off a huge financial success with 2012’s Skyfall. This should be like 50 years ago, when Thunderball was in production coming off Goldfinger. But it isn’t.

Instead, the past few days have concerned how the production may have made script changes to qualify for as much as $20 million in Mexican tax incentives. The reason for going for the tax incentives was that the budget may have shot past $300 million, making it one of the most expensive movies of all time.

Images of what appears to be an elaborate car chase in Rome have come out (it is hard hard to disguise your intent when filming in public locations). But that’s gotten drowned out by the publicity about the other matters. We know that because of the hacking at Sony Pictures, something that didn’t happen with other Bond movies.

Regardless, here’s a guide to some of the pros and cons for the movie’s prospects.

PRO: Bond has a built-in audience: No question. Around the globe, there are 007 maniacs eagerly awaiting SPECTRE, regardless of recent publicity. For these folks, Marvel’s Avengers aren’t super heroes, 007 is.

CON: SPECTRE is playing around with serious money: The rule of thumb for movies is they need to have box office equal to 2.5 times to 3 times the production budget to be profitable. Marketing costs total almost, or as much as, the production budget. Theaters take a share. Taxes must be paid, etc.

With Skyfall, with an estimated $200 million budget, its $1.1 billion worldwide box office was like the cherry on top of the sundae. For SPECTRE, a $1 billion box office is almost a necessity. Put another way, if SPECTRE’s worldwide box office totals $750 million, it will be seen as a disappointment. That sounds crazy. But that’s the way it is.

PRO: Eon Productions has been in this place before and it always turned out well in the end: True enough.

There were a lot of questions about the cinema future of 007 in 1977 when The Spy Who Loved Me came out. It wasn’t an easy production, with many scripts written. It went through one director (Guy Hamilton) before Lewis Gilbert brought it home. And it was the most expensive 007 film up to that date. Yet, it was a hit and Bond would go on.

Just two years later, Moonraker’s budget almost doubled from initial projections. Producer Albert R. Broccoli refused the financial demands of leading special effects companies for Agent 007’s journey into outer space. But Broccoli’s boys, led by Derek Meddings, did just fine and got an Oscar nomination. Moonraker also was a big hit.

In 1997, Tomorrow Never Dies was a chaotic production with a number of writers (only Bruce Feirstein got a credit) taking turns on the script. Feirstein returned to do rewrites during the middle of filming. Still, Pierce Brosnan’s second 007 outing did fine in the end.

Past performance isn’t a guarantee of future performance. Yet, it would seem extremely premature to bet against 007 at this point.

CON: The Sony hacks showed there were a lot of troubles during pre-production, particularly with the script: The Sony hacks are unprecedented in that they revealed inside information while an expensive movie was in production. To say more would mean major spoilers. We’ll avoid that here.

Suffice to say, the hacks revealed the kind of detail that, for other 007 films, only emerged many years after they were released, when people could research the papers of 007 principals such as screenwriter Richard Maibaum.

On March 17, a teaser poster for SPECTRE is to be unveiled. This may be the start of changing the conversation about SPECTRE compared with the past few days. 007 fans certainly hope so.

The spoiler debate: the sequel

"I understand Rhett Butler doesn't give a damn."

“I understand Rhett Butler doesn’t give a damn.”

On March 6, we ran a post ABOUT DEBATES AMONG FANS WHAT CONSTITUTES A SPOILER. It turns out some fans are even more sensitive than we described.

We had a spoiler-free post (as in no plot details were disclosed) about the implications related to Eon Production, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Sony Pictures trying to maximize filming incentives from a government for SPECTRE, the 24th James Bond film.

The post included what government — Mexico — was involved. The disclosure that SPECTRE was going to film in Mexico was MADE IN THE DEC. 4 PRESS RELEASE JUST AHEAD OF THE START OF FILMING. An excerpt:

The 007 production will be based at Pinewood Studios, and on location in London, Mexico City, Rome and Tangier and Erfoud, in Morocco. Bond will return to the snow once again, this time in Sölden, along with other Austrian locations, Obertilliach, and Lake Altaussee.

On Facebook, we got a complaint that “having read it on that basis I now know the name of a country associated with the movie I didn’t know before…”

Here’s the deal. This blog really does try to be reasonable about spoilers. Potential spoilers are labeled as such. If anything, this blog errs on the side of the spoiler adverse when it comes to warnings.

But, when the spoiler adverse complain about information already disclosed in an official press release, that’s too much. If you’re that spoiler adverse, you should not just stay away from this blog. You should stay off the Internet.

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