SPECTRE draws near

Spectre_posterToday is my birthday – which means I aim no longer younger than current James Bond star, Daniel Craig. But, for as long as he plays 007 there is a little extra beat in my heart, a benign murmur telling me ‘I could be Bond, I could be Bond’. But once Craig is gone that window of opportunity shuts forever (at least the current Doctor Who star is older than me – phew!). This means I plan to make the most of him! Despite some claims to the contrary, he is apparently doing one more after this. But in the mean time … The new poster, theme song and final trailer are all out (and have been greeted with a mixture emotions, as ever). But really, what do we know about SPECTRE so far? Well …

“So what’s going on James? They say you’re finished …” – Miss Moneypenny

What do we think we know, about SPECTRE? Here are 10 exciting things (to me, anyway) about the film that have occurred to me from absorbing the trailers, theme song and looking at the rubbish new poster art (did I mention how naff it is?):

  1. This may be the longest Bond movie so far, with some sources claiming the final running time is 155 minutes long …
  2. Why is SPECTRE always spelled in capitals? Because it is an acronym for: Special Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion. It was introduced, along with recurring Bond villain Ernst Stavro Blofeld, in Thunderball. But Blofeld and SPECTRE have been MIA in the series since 1971 – why? Because they tied up in the decades of litigation brought by Kevin McClory (who worked with Fleming on a projected film project that included some of the material used in Thunderball that the author then used in his novel foolishly without agreeing to terms beforehand). Now that has been finally resolved – so this is a pretty exciting opportunity.
  3. Daniel Craig is now a credited producer on the film – absolutely a first for this series
  4. The playwright Jez Butterworth (author of the extraordinary Jerusalem starring Mark Rylance), who did uncredited rewrites on Skyfall, finally gets his name on screen.
  5. SPECTREI think somebody on the production team must be a fan of The Man from UNCLE (the 1960s TV show, not this Summer’s forgettable cinema reboot), which Ian Fleming briefly worked on in fact. In the new trailer there is a sequence of a shooting through the glass that, while clearly also inspired by Fleming’s opening to Man with the Golden Gun, is shot for shot taken from the original UNCLE TV pilot (see it here).
  6. The film is partly set in Rome, which is my home town – makes me love this even more.
  7. Monica Bellucci
  8. The new song by Sam Smith is … pretty interesting, goes against the grain in many ways, is very reminiscent in its orchestration of John Barry’s work and has even gone to number 1 in the UK charts. Bodes well.
  9. Why has the final poster artwork for all the Craig Bonds been so consistently poor? Sad to say, SPECTRE doesn’t just fail to break away from this pattern. The original teaser art with the octopus logo re-imagined was pretty good – but the new Photoshop cookie-counter blandness featuring Craig is easily the worst so far … sigh.
  10. Expect lots of loose ends to be tied up as this is a direct sequel to Skyfall, with MI6 still being rebuilt and the plot linked to the recover of family assets from the ruins of the eponymous Bond family home. There will also be links to the generally unloved Quantum of Solace via the return of Jesper Christensen as ‘Mr White’ who gets to spout one widely and musingly misheard line of dialogue from the first trailer: “You are a kite … dancing in a hurricane, Mr Bond”

And finally, a potential spoiler … is Christoph Waltz playing Blofeld? The producers adamantly say no. But in the trailer he sports a Nehru jacket like the one worn by Donald Pleasence in You Only Live Twice but he is actually playing ‘Franz Oberhauser’ (a genuine Fleming character, referenced on Fleming’s ‘Octopussy’). So, what do we think? Well, and this actually is a potentially spoiler, so the faint of heart should look away now,but I think the trailers released so far tell us that Blofeld does appear in the film, but that Waltz may not play the part. But I think I know maybe who does … and if you have watched and listened to the trailers closely, then you should be able to spot the misdirection that would make this possible …

I’m not a big one for spoilers but I love it when a trailer campaign teases without giving away too much. Here is the final trailer, released just the other day:

James Bond will return on 26 October in the UK and aim to dominate global cinemas shortly thereafter. I will be going to a screening on the 30th at the Odeon Leicester Square, where most of the Bond world premieres have taken place since the 70s. Hope to see you there. I’ll be the one carrying the Lektor decoder and wearing my fedora …


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36 Responses to SPECTRE draws near

  1. tracybham says:

    Looking forward to the movie, even though we will not see it until it comes out on disc. Happy Birthday; hope you are enjoying your day. You are just a young thing.

  2. Margot Kinberg says:

    Happy 21st Birthday, Sergio! I hope you had a wonderful time!! It’ll be very interesting to see how the film is received. As to SPECTRE? It’s iconic by now as the quintessential evil organisation. There’s just something about it…

  3. le0pard13 says:

    Oh, yes. And happiest of birthdays, Sergio.

  4. realthog says:

    The original teaser art with the octopus logo re-imagined was pretty good – but

    Oh, yes, comparing the two above, you’re too damned right about this.

    Craig is actually my favourite of all the Bonds. I hope he carries on for a while longer than curently mooted.

    Myself, I think that as long as I retain the lightning reflexes, the incredible fitness, the easy psychopathy, the rugged good looks, the six-pack abs, the glitteringly dashing smile and of course the extraordinarily powerful babe-magnetism, I’m metaphysically younger than any Bond you care to name. Well, perhaps not yer actual James Bond, but certainly his little-known great-uncle, Decrepit Bond. The name is Bond, Decre . . . what was I talking about?

    • Thanks for that John 🙂 I agree, Craig is great and I love what’s been happening with the series, though I suspect Craig will want to sail off to Shrublins before he hits 50 and I can’t say I blame him.

  5. Santosh Iyer says:

    Tanti auguri di buon compleanno !

  6. Mike says:

    Happy birthday matey! I was at the cinema yesterday (The Martian, and I enjoyed it) and am now hitting the point where the Bond hype is starting to become cloying. Not only was there the obligatory trailer – not even the new one! – but a promotion for Bond’s phone that had Moneypenny (or someone doing an impressing of Naomie Harris) doing all the stunts. Enough already!

    I am enjoying this series of films though. I like the over-arcing plotlines, which hark back to the series’s early days rather than just hit reset for each successive Roger Moore adventure, and I like Craig too, in fact I’ve liked him since Our Friends in the North, which suggested for not a single moment that we were watching the man who would one day be 007. Who’s next for the role? I’d quite like it to be Idris Elba, I suppose because (i) he’s a cool actor (ii) it’ll be worth it for all the naysayers suddenly realising, to their shock and guilty sense of pleasure, that despite all their issues he’s actually bloody brilliant. It’s unlikely I know, but wouldn’t it be nice for another bold, shake-up casting choice rather than someone safe like Damien Lewis?

    • Thanks Mike – yes, the product placement is a such a fixture but I could do well without it (I think they literally lay off about half the budget with cross-promotions). He was amazing in Our Friend in the North and great to think that the cast went on to become modern incarnations of Bond, Moriarty and Doctor Who! The problem with the likes of Elba and Lewis is that they are practically the same age as Craig so will never get it as they would be almost 50 by the time the position needs to be filled! Sad, but true …

  7. Colin says:

    First, I hope your birthday is a great one and you do all the stuff you enjoy most.
    Now, the new film. I had a great time with Skyfall and I’m looking forward to this quite a lot. All the elements for something good seem to be in place, except that song. I think the basic orchestration is good but Smith’s vocals is are just fingernails on the blackboard for me – I truly cannot bear that style of singing.

    • Thanks for that Colin – birthday celebrations are going to be spread out over a fortnight as this weekend is a bit crap unfortunately due to work commitments encroaching into “me time”. I know what you mean about the singing style, but to be honest I think only NOBODY DOES IT BETTER and WE HAVE ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD have really stood the test of time as proper songs – the rest, even GOLDFINGER and LIVE AND LET DIE, are purely of the moment and only have to work in context.

  8. neer says:

    Happy Birthday Sergio. Live long and prosper.

    Never seen a Bond movie so cannot comment. Have seen Craig in FLASHBACK OF A FOOL . Okay stuff.

  9. Jose Ignacio says:

    Happy belated birthday, Sergio!

  10. Patti Abbott says:

    Happy belated birthday, I saw your cake on facebook.

  11. Richard says:

    I’m in the opposite boat (?) from John, I have watched none of the films since Craig took the role. He is physically so far from my picture-in-the-head from Bond I just can’t accept him in the role. Sort of like if Pee Wee Herman played Dr. Who. What? Not a fit. I suppose one day I’ll just pick them all up and watch them, but in order, so my seeing this new one is very far in the probable future.

    • Well, what’s interesting is that because it rebooted the series, it allows itself to be slightly different but film by film it has got nearer and nearer to the traditional Bond movie model. I think his CASINO ROYALE is a truly great movie – shame to miss them in the cinema though.

  12. Happy Birthday Sergio! I’m not a Bond fan, but still enjoyed reading your charming list. Enjoy the movie when it comes. I think you would make a great 007, don’t give up hope!

  13. Kelly says:

    There’s something about the Bond films that’s never grabbed me, though I confess I haven’t seen very many. I generally like action/spy stuff, so I don’t know what it is.

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