For many 007 fans, the Daniel Craig era has proven as significant a cinematic reboot as Christopher Nolan’s Batman movies. Most even regard the last James Bond thriller, 2012’s Skyfall, as The Dark Knight of the series’ current incarnation. So few films are as eagerly awaited as Craig’s next Bond epic. This morning, the film’s director Sam Mendes (joined by executive producer Barbara Broccoli) finally addressed a few of the questions and rumors surrounding the project at a press event held at London’s Pinewood Studios, where almost every Bond movie has been filmed — including classics like From Russia with Love, Goldfinger, and The Spy Who Loved Me.
Mendes began by revealing the name of the twenty-fourth movie in EON/MGM/Sony’s superspy series based on the novels of Ian Fleming — Spectre — a direct reference to the global terrorist organization (the initials of which stand for “SPecial Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion”) led by Bond’s single greatest enemy Ernst Stavro Blofeld. Mendes then brought out the film’s cast: Craig, of course, as well as returning Bond cast members Ralph Fiennes (as M), Ben Whishaw (as Q), Naomie Harris (as Moneypenny), and Rory Kinnear (as Tanner).
Joining them will be a “new addition to the Whitehall family,” Sherlock‘s Andrew Scott as Denby. (Scott was previously rumored to be playing a villain, though his character could always prove to be traitor or double agent.) Along with Guardians of the Galaxy‘s Dave Bautista as Hinx (already revealed to be “in the tradition of Jaws and Oddjob… an iconic baddy”); Monica Belluci as Bond girl Lucia Sciarra (previously thought to be played by Penelope Cruz, kudos to Mendes for casting a fifty-year-old in the kind of role too often given to twentysomethings); and Blue is the Warmest Color‘s Léa Seydoux as the film’s second Bond girl, Madeline Swan. Christoph Waltz was also introduced, though his character’s name was not announced. Yet with the film’s title suggesting Blofeld’s return, it’s a pretty safe bet he’ll play the super-villain.
Also unveiled was the film’s Bond car, the brand-spanking-new Aston Martin DB10…
Mendes further confirmed that principal photography will begin on Monday, December 8th. (The cast is now in the midst of rehearsals in London.) Listing the film’s shooting locations — including Rome, Tangiers, Mexico City, and Pinewood — Mendes mentioned one especially intriguing locale, the Alps, saying that the film would bring Bond back to “the snow.” As longtime Bond fans well know, one of Fleming’s three novels to feature Blofeld is On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (the film adaptation of which was released back in 1969), and a large portion of it indeed takes place in the Alps.
In addition to returning screenwriters Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, and John Logan — and composer Thomas Newman — Mendes announced that Spectre will have a new editor in Lee Smith and a new cinematographer in Hoyte van Hoytema, both of whom worked on Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar.
Finally, the official James Bond Facebook page has debuted a new video showcasing the film’s title, as well as a pane of bullet-shattered glass (the final image of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service), the cracks of which resemble the tentacles of an octopus, the symbol of SPECTRE…
You can also check out a video of the complete press event below.
What do you guys think of the title, the car, and the cast? Is Bond’s greatest opponent long overdue for another battle with MI6’s finest, and, if so, is Waltz the perfect guy for the role of Blofeld? Since these films never see both of their Bond girls survive, which of Spectre‘s lead actresses is more likely to live? And is that shattered glass more than a reference to On Her Majesty’s Secret Service — could the film serve as a remake or a kind of sequel? Let us know your thoughts below.