Spectre: What We Know So Far
On 6 November 2015, Daniel Craig will be pointing a loaded Walther PPK at the screen and pulling the trigger for the fourth time.
Until then, this is where we’ll keep you up to date with everything we know about Spectre so far, from who’s playing who to which vehicles – and Bond girls – will be making you wish you’d gone to spy school come November.
1 | The Title Harks Back To The Bond Of Old
On 4 December 2014, the world watched as the title of Bond 24 was announced by director Sam Mendes (his second 007 outing after 2012′s Skyfall). That it was to be Spectre sparked excitement among anybody who has seen Connery-era Bond, specifically Dr No (1962) and Thunderball (1965).
That’s because SPECTRE – an acronym for Special Executive for Counter-Intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion (quite the mouthful) – is the sinister organisation intent on world domination led by Ernst Stavro Blofeld (Donald Pleasance), leading to rumours that everyone’s favourite bald-headed villian would be making a return (more on which below).
2 | The Cast Is The Most Impressive Yet
The acting talent amassed for Spectre has been a chief cause for excitement so far, and with good reason.
Joining returnees Daniel Craig, Ben Whishaw (Q), Naomie Harris (Miss Moneypenny), Ralph Fiennes (replacing Judi Dench as M) and Rory Kinnear (Tanner), we have: Andrew Scott (Sherlock’s Moriarty) joining the MI6; Christoph Waltz on unconfirmed-but-highly-probable villain duties as Franz Oberhauser and Dave Bautista (the wrestler-turned-unlikely-actor from Guardians of the Galaxy) playing – you guessed it – a henchman.
Oh, and we have not one, but two exotic Bond ladies in the form of Léa Seydoux and Monica Bellucci as Madeleine Swann and Lucia Sciarra respectively.
3 | The Shoot Is Suitably Exotic
Filming is currently seeing cast and crew globe-trotting around several locations including London, Rome, Mexico City, Tangier (Morocco) and Sölden in Austria (catch a glimpse of Bond’s first return to the Alps since 1977′s The Spy Who Loved Me above).
4 | …But Rome’s Having None Of It
The Italian capital isn’t exactly welcoming the British agent with open arms. The crew have been forced to veto several filming locations following opposition from campaigners, including a chase scene that was due to occur at the famous Quattro Fontane locale – where you can find four 16th-century baroque fountains – and a scene at Verano cemetery, where they’ve been refused entry by an ancient order of Christian monks.
Separate campaigners are in the process of preventing a scene which would see Bond parachuting out of a helicopter onto the Ponte Sisto bridge. Nothing religious about this one though – locals just think filming the graffiti-covered stone would reflect badly on their city.
Still, filming has commenced anyway with both Craig and Bellucci attending a photocall near the Colosseum.
5 | Motorheads Are In For A Treat
As if the announcement that Bond’s ride was to be an upgraded Aston Martin DB10 wasn’t exciting enough, Jaguar Land Rover revealed their own line-up of vehicles set to star in Spectre: the Jaguar C-X75, the Range Rover Sport SVR and the Land Rover Defender Big Foot.
The C-X75 is rumoured to feature in a car chase through Rome alongside the DB10 (fingers crossed this one doesn’t get blown sky high), while the other two vehicles already appear in the Sölden-set scenes seen above.
6 | This Could Be Spectre: Part 1
No spoilers here, but intel suggests Spectre could extend into a two part series with Bond 25, a rumour encouraged by the fact almost all of the cast members are signed to a two-film contract. Which ones exactly? We’re not sure, but we’ll hazard a guess and say Daniel Craig will probably be in it.
Intriguingly, it’s also been reported that Bond will be running into two characters from his past – one of which is cited as being “very much a part of his future.”
Waltz is widely expected to be playing an incarnation of SPECTRE honcho Blofeld despite continually insisting he isn’t (don’t lie to us, Christoph).
As for which other character could be popping up, let the speculaton begin: will Bond marry? Is Bautista playing Oddjob? Will Dench return as a zombie?
7 | It’s All About Bond As The Old Guard
In the latest behind-the-scenes video, director Sam Mendes infers that Spectre might be a personal one for 007, ‘what you have is a movie driven almost entirely by Bond. He is on a mission from the very beginning.’
Mendes also points out that it was he who established many of Spectre’s key players – Ralph Fiennes as M, Naomie Harris as Moneypenny, Ben Whishaw as Q – and as such, Bond is in the unique position of being the old guard at MI6, an interesting reversal on the ‘new 007′ arch we saw in Casino Royale.
8 | Add Another Bond Girl To The Ever-Growing List
Léa Seydoux and Monica Bellucci are so used to being Spectre’s Bond girls they never saw Stephanie Sigman coming.
The Mexican-born actress – the first to ever appear in a Bond film – has been cast in the role of Estrella.
You can acquaint yourself with Sigman, who has previously starred in the film Miss Bala, as well as short-lived TV drama The Bridge, via this Arctic Monkeys music video.
Naturally, little is known about the character – but if the late announcement of Greek model Tonia Sotiropoulou joining Skyfall back in 2011 is anything to go by, Sigman’s services aren’t going to be required for very long; Sotiropoulou ended up appearing in the briefest of sex scenes.
Seydoux and Belluci have kindly introduced their own characters via this handy video on 007.com, released in August. Thanks girls. Sam Mendes explains that Seydoux was cast because “she’s the whole package”. We second that.
9 | The Official Teaser Poster
The first official teaser poster for Spectre has been released and it features Bond turtleneck’ed up, Walther in hand.
If the film’s title didn’t already tip to the fact it’s going to hark back to the franchise’s 60s roots, there’d be no doubt in our minds after this.
Roll on November.
10 | The First Teaser Trailer
The first teaser trailer for Spectre has been unveiled and hints at a much darker outing for 007.
Straight off the bat we’re told that secrets have been recovered from the ruins of Skyfall, then Bond’s off tracking down Mr. White, the Quantum villain from both Casino Royale and Quantum Of Solace (he’s the one James had in his car boot for a while).
After that we see brief scenes of Monica Bellucci attending a funeral in Rome before the big reveal… Christoph Waltz (or rather, his silhouette) in what may well be an old school S.P.E.C.T.R.E meeting.
As well as the general ‘super-villain’ vibes here, the theory that Waltz will be taking on the role of Blofeld are alluded to with the lines ‘Welcome James. It’s been a long time, but finally, here we are.’
Whatever role he ends up playing, the thought of Hans Landa taking on Britain’s finest might make for the best Bond film ever.
11 | The Opening Sequence Will Be Epic
If all of the above isn’t enough, long-time Bond producer Michael G Wilson has dropped the tantalising news that the opening sequence will be the biggest sequence of any Bond film.
“The whole vision that Sam Mendes has come up with is very exciting and amazing,” he told Empire Online. “We’ve got 1500 extras in Day Of The Dead costumes and make up and we’ve occupied the centre of Mexico City for days.
“The only thing that’s come close to it was putting on the carnival in Rio in Moonraker, and I think this is a much bigger operation.”
Rooftop gunfights, thousands of skeleton masks and a punch-up inside a helicopter might make this the most meorable pre-title sequence since Goldeneye.
12 | Bond Is No Longer Invincible
Or rather, Daniel Craig isn’t. Following on from Harrison Ford injuring himself on the set of the new Star Wars film, 47 year-old Craig has undergone surgery in New York after injuring his knee while shooting. It’s unknown what happened to cause the injury (although our bet is a tumble with an over-vigorous henchman), but EON Studios released a statement saying Craig underwent a “minor procedure” of “arthroscopic surgery”. Let’s hope a Thunderball-style stay in a shady health resort isn’t required.
13 | UK fans are in for a treat
With the release of Spectre comes a world first – it’s been announced that the film will be released across the UK and Ireland on the same night as its London world premiere. For those of you who haven’t done the math, that news means we’re getting to see the finished product two weeks earlier than expected…
14 | The first full-length trailer
A full trailer for Spectre has finally been unveiled and, unlike the teaser that gave away nothing a few months back, more light has been shed on what to expect from 007′s latest outing.
Following on from events which occurred in Skyfall, the story follows Bond on a rogue mission overseas where he uncovers the existence of sinister organisation, SPECTRE.
Highlights include Q (Ben Whishsaw) unveiling Bond’s new Aston Martin, the agent at Mexico’s Day of the Dead festival and Bond girl Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux) in ski-gear.
Also, any doubts about Christoph Waltz playing a villainous role are immediately dispelled with his line: “It was me, James – the author of all your pain.”
Seems Bond’s got quite the battle on his hands.
Article originally By Jacob Stolworthy and Tom Ward for Esquire UK