So, it’s been some months now since it was announced that Skyfall director Sam Mendes would return to helm the next instalment in the James Bond film series and this week finally saw the big reveal – Bond 24 is now titled SPECTRE.
Deriving its name from the evil SPECTRE (SPecial Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion) organisation featured in Ian Fleming’s novels and which due to legal wrangles has been prevented from featuring in the film series since Sean Connery’s departure in the early seventies, it provides tantalising hints into what may be in store for the iconic super-spy as we learn that the plot will see a cryptic message from Bond’s past sending him on the trail of the sinister organisation.
Given that the major critical and commercial success of Skyfall set the bar rather high, there’s certainly a sense that producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson are taking every step to ensure that SPECTRE is (at least) equally successful, not only by securing Mendes (who will be joined by Interstellar cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema) as director but by once again enlisting screenwriters John Logan, Robert Wade and Neal Purves. This will give the film a sense of continuity and consistency given that both Mendes and Craig have cited that the narrative of SPECTRE will be affected by the events of Skyfall – perhaps not as direct a follow on as Quantum of Solace was to Casino Royale but it seems that there will be significant links.
The excellent Daniel Craig will be back as Fleming’s James Bond – 007 and will be accompanied by returning Skyfall cast members Ralph Fiennes (the new ‘M’), Roy Kinnear (Tanner), Naomie Harris (Moneypenny) and Ben Whishaw (‘Q’). They will be joined by Bond girls Monica Bellucci (The Matrix) and Lea Seydoux (Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol) together with Sherlock’s Andrew Scott and Guardians of the Galaxy’s (and muscular power-house) David Bautista.
That leaves the most enticing and arguably most exciting casting coup of all – double Academy Award winner Christophe Waltz (Inglorious Basterds). Of course we’ve been told that Waltz will be playing a character named ‘Oberhauser’ but would a James Bond film going by the title of SPECTRE fail to feature the head of the organisation – Ernst Stavro Blofeld (previously played onscreen by such notable actors as Donald Pleasance and Telly Savalas), surely a role suited to an actor of such incredible presence and stature?
Now, to await the announcement of who will be providing the film’s title song…
Principal photography on SPECTRE commences on Monday 8th December with locations including London, Rome, Mexico City, Morocco and Austria. The film is due for worldwide release from November 6th 2015.
What are your hopes (and fears?) for 007’s next cinematic adventure? Share your thoughts below!