So as the whole world probably knows by now Bond 24 now has a new title. As a fan – how do I feel about yesterday’s announcement? (potential spoilers ahead):
Firstly – I’m not sure where Michael G Wilson was in all of this. Barbara Broccoli took a strangely back seat at the proceedings also. Generally speaking I prefer a more dynamic press interview with questions than this type of fluffy promo piece – but understand why they did this.
So, the title “Spectre”. Didn’t see that one coming at all, the first genuine surprise. I was half expecting “Property of a Lady” being the one of the few unmade Fleming titles. I like the font and in particular the bullet effect with cracks in the style of the old Spectre logo (with a hints of that final shot from On Her Majesty’s Secret Service). Deceptively simple, has layers, effective – I like!
The locations were as previously rumoured: London, Rome, Mexico City, Morocco and the Austrian Alps. Personally I think this is a stunning set of locales, the Alps in particular. Craig’s Bond has seemingly been avoiding snow after the Brosnan movies where it always featured prominently. A ski-chase or car-chase here would be amazing. The production is once again based in Pinewood Studios, the 7 month shooting schedule beings on Monday.
Many of the production crew are returning from SkyFall such as Jany Temime (Costumes), Chris Corbold (Special Effects), Gary Powell (Stunts), Steve Begg (Visual Effects). Great to hear Dennis Gassner is back as production designer and Thomas Newman is doing the music (both of which were unconfirmed before this point). With regards to Newman, I personally enjoy his Skyfall score, I can see why some didn’t (but I liked the fact it was toned down a little and had a different identity). This said, I hope he comes up with his own interpretation of the Bond theme rather than just rehashing the David Arnold orchestration. Same writing team – interesting that Mendes mentioned John Logan first, then our old friends Purvis and Wade. If you’ve been following behind the scenes you will have heard that Logan’s draft was “extensively reworked” by them (and there seemed to be some fall-out after the Logan draft). Two new names are the editor Lee Smith (I liked Stuart Baird’s work for both Casino Royale and Skyfall, some big shoes to fill here) and extremely talented cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema replacing Roger “why hasn’t he won an Oscar yet” Deakins. Mendes forgets to mention 2nd Unit director Alexander Witt (oops), he is back also. No mention about the artist(s) for title song. Sam Smith seems to be the favourite for this at the moment, he also seems game! Early days, so no word on whether main-title designer Daniel Kleinman will return, fingers crossed. If he does, I hope they sort Craig’s damn Gun-Barrel out and put it in the right place this time (you can stop screwing around with it now).
The next big reveal was the car. Aston Martin are back – woof – can I have one for Christmas please (there are only going to be ten in existence). The new DB10 is not only a thing of extreme sleek beauty, it looks menacing – a perfect Bond-mobile. Mendes hints we will get to see the car in action (fingers crossed, sounds more exciting than Bond driving a Fiat in Rome). I feel they should have kept the car reveal for the end.
Now for the cast. MI6 personnel all as expected, Rory Kinear as Tanner (yay, please give him more to do this time), Ben Wishaw as Q, Naoime Harris as Moneypenny, Ralph Fiennes as M.
Then comes the first proper reveal “Denbigh” played by Sherlock’s Jim Moriarty – Andrew Scott. Admittedly the first thing in my mind was crockery. I’ll go against popularity here and say I don’t like his portrayal of Moriarty on the show (I don’t entirely blame him for it either). Way too showy for Moriarty, no evidence of a criminal mastermind, lacks menace, less equal more immature brat. Happy to give him a chance in this providing he can temper those OTT Sherlock antics.
Dave Bautista next. I still haven’t seen Guardians of the Galaxy so can’t comment. Looks imposing enough, can’t say I’m a fan of his name Mr Hinx though (too close to Jinx – a Purvis and Wade hangover!?). Looks to be a classic henchman.
Monica Bellucci playing Lucia Sciarra, very interesting one this. It’s wonderful to see an older Bond women (and she looks completely stunning at 50!). She has been rumoured for almost every Bond film since Tomorrow Never Dies. I lament the fact she lost the Paris Carver role to Teri Hatcher (a terrible last-minute casting decision). Am I the only one who thinks we might be getting a gender role reversal for “Number one” in this entry? Just me then!
Moving on Léa Seydoux to play Madeleine Swann as long rumoured. I’m not familiar with her other than Mission Impossible 4 but it sounds like she is a fine actress, fingers crossed it all works out.
Then the (supposed) big reveal at the end (which we knew anyway): Christoph Waltz playing some mysterious character – who may or may not be Blofeld but is called “Franz Oberhauser”. I find his casting intriguing, and perhaps more so because of his alliance with Quentin Tarantino who threw his toys out of the pram with the Bond producers for dropping Pierce Brosnan and not allowing him any opportunity to direct Casino Royale. Tarantino is also a “Craig-basher”, clearly Waltz is far more diplomatic – both he and Daniel Craig seemed to have nice chemistry together already.
Daniel Craig looked strangely just a tad younger than he did for Skyfall, more tanned, longer hair. Perhaps it’s the lack of grey beard which he sported during the first part of Skyfall.
For me the most interesting tit-bit (no mentioned in the event) is that Jesper Christensen (aka Quantum’s Mr White) is coming back. Can’t wait to see him back again and guessing what Quantum’s involvement in the film might be. Roll on November 6th 2015!