Saturday, December 06, 2014

SPECTRE: It's The Return Of....And Mendes & Craig Speak

We learned this week that the official title of Bond 24 is Spectre.

The name "SPECTRE," (an acronym for Special Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion) refers to the criminal organization that served as the main antagonist during the Sean Connery-era. This would all but confirm rumors of the return of Bond's nemesis Ernst Stavro Blofeld here

This Blofeld will get a fresh start. The tone is said to be more sophisticated and along the lines of Telly Savalas' version in "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" and less like Donald Pleasence (still my favorite incarnation) big screen reveal in 1967's "You Only Live Twice" or Charles Gray's turn in "Diamonds Are Forever". 

Daniel Craig is back as Bond--we will also see the return of Ralph Fiennes, Ben Whishaw and Naomie Harris reprising their roles from "Skyfall" as M, Q, and Moneypenny.  Rory Kinnear is back as Tanner

New cast members include Christoph Waltz as the villain Oberhauser (Blofeld?), Dave Bautista as Mr. Hinx, Monica Bellucci plays Lucia Sciarra, Blue is the Warmest Colour star Léa Seydoux as Madeline Swan, and Andrew Scott appears as a new MI6/Home Office staffer Denbigh.

 "...a cryptic message from the past of 'James Bond' sends him on a trail to uncover a sinister organization. While 'M' battles political forces to keep the secret service alive, Bond peels back the layers of deceit to reveal the terrible truth behind 'Spectre' a global crime organization, for 'Special Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion'..."

Sam Mendes is once again directing the film. Veteran James Bond screenwriters Neal Purvis and Robert Wade have returned to perform rewrites. The duo have been the early writers on the film series since 1999's "The World is Not Enough,"and  they would often do the initial script drafts while other writers like Paul Haggis and John Logan would  polish. The pair were set to retire from the series after handing in their early drafts of "Skyfall," with Logan subsequently taking over the later drafts. Logan was writing the latest adventure solo.

Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson will produce the new film.

The new Aston Martin DB10 will also be featured in the film and was unveiled at the announcement.

 "Spectre" will shoot at Pinewood Studios as well as in London, Rome, Mexico City, Tangier, Erfoud and the Austrian Alps.

The sequel is targeting a November 6th 2015 release

Now we find out that the new film will address the some plot threads left unanswered in"Quantum of Solace" seeing the return of actor Jesper Christensen as Mr. White. Christensen played the Quantum rep in "Casino Royale," as well  The baddie was last seen attending the opera in Austria with other members of Quantum.

Christensen confirmed the news of his comeback to EuroMan.Dk: "I am looking forward to working with Sam Mendes and Daniel Craig. It is a truly exciting script and a very capable team. So it'll be fun."

Meanwhile Mendes is talking about his plans for the film in an interview with BBC Radio.

First up, he discussed the reasons why he returned after feeling "exhausted and strung out" by the last film, and how bringing back key characters from "Skyfall" was an important part of that:

"I felt an attachment to the characters that we created in Skyfall. I felt like there was unfinished business, and that there was a lot more I could do with them once I'd kind of stepped aside and had some time off."

He says the new film will tie back in with "Skyfall" in quite a few ways, but will also have "more variety and more locations" than the last film:

"A lot of the last movie was shot in and around London, which I loved, but there's a limited amount of stuff you can shoot in London, and I feel this has more mischief in it, perhaps, a little bit more of the unexpected. But it also does relate back to Skyfall in many ways."

Mendes confirmed that the title hints that the film would also relate to Bond films pre-"Skyfall", but is keeping how it does under wraps. In order to keep the title secret, false names for the film were being spouted about all over the place by the cast and crew to keep people confused.

Craig also chatted with BBC Radio (via Sky News) and says he thinks the script for the new film is better than the previous one (which says a lot):

"We've got an amazing cast and, I think, a better script than we had last time. We started something in 'Skyfall', it felt like a beginning of something. This feels like a continuation of that. We're going to put all of those elements in, and much more."

Craig also talked to MI6 magazine (via MI6 HQ) earlier this week about the change in tone between "Skyfall" and his two earlier films.

His comments here are very interesting:

"I am very, very keen that you can't make films in a reactionary way. You can't do it. There has been a lot of talk, from the beginning from 'Casino' into 'Quantum' because everyone has gone, 'Where's the 'Bondness'? Where's all the old stuff?' I was given this chance by Barbara and Michael, which is the first of the books, and the conceit is we began again, but I couldn't come in and pretend to be James Bond, because everyone knows Bond as Pierce or Roger or Timothy or Sean. I couldn't come in and go, "Hmm, Martini," or whatever. It's not who I am, and how I kind of approach things. The truth of it is that I always had this plan in my head is that we got to make them and begin them again and bring all that back in, but it had to happen the way it did. I can't see it happening any other way. We had to destroy the myth because Mike Myers [and the Austin Powers films] f--ked us - I am a huge Mike Myers fan, so don't get me wrong - but he kind of f--ked us; made it impossible to do the gags. What I am proudest of in Skyfall is the lightness of touch we've been able to bring to back into it but not lose the drama and the action. Who knows? I think we set a good tone, I think we set a real tone, but I am happy for f--king exploding volcano lairs. Obviously I am joking but what I love and what I really wanted to achieve with Skyfall was a level of fantasy, it's one of the less violent ones, there's less blood, and people aren't dying in a horrible way, and it feels like much more of a family movie, and they should be family movies. I don't want to go ludicrous and we've got to keep them in reality, but Christ almighty, the world's f--king weird and there's plenty we can start mining and taking out. If Blofeld turned up again, it wouldn't be a bad thing."

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