Bond 24 has a title: SPECTRE. For those new to the franchise (the Daniel Craig era has certainly created new fans) SPECTRE (SPecial Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion) is a criminal organisation that first appeared in Thunderball (1961), Ian Fleming’s eighth full length Bond novel. They appeared in the film sereies form the start replacing SMERSH (fictional Soviet counter-intelligence agency whose name is a portmanteau of Směrt Špionam meaning Death to Spies) as the antagonist in Dr. No (1962) and From Russia with Love (1963). Check out the new title card. The way the glass has cracked is no coincidence, if you don’t know what I am talking about check out the old SPECTRE logo.
A few extra names have been added to the cast along with their characters names. Little else has been said about them but a few of them fit Bond archetypes: The 29 year old French actress Léa Seydoux is playing Madeleine Swann she is most likely the main “Bond Girl” a versatile actress who has already worked with Woody Allen, Wes Anderson, Quentin Tarantino and Ridley Scott. Her most impressive performance was in Blue Is the Warmest Colour (2013), but she can also do action as we saw in the great fight scene with Paula Patton in Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (2011).
Christoph Waltz is playing Oberhauser. He has to be the main villain, there has been speculation that he will be revealed to be Ernst Stavro Blofeld. For all his great work he will always be associated with the character that introduced him to most audiences Col. Hans Landa in Inglourious Basterds, that is why he has to be a villain, and a particularly menacing one. Or does he? The only problem with this is the name. Hans Oberhauser is a character from a Bond story, Octopussy (the book is nothing like the film). Oberhauser is a mountain guide who is killed by a former British soldier and war hero to conceal his crime, stealing Nazi gold. Oberhauser was a friend and farther figure to Bond who had taught him how to ski before the war. Bond is sent to Jamaica to arrest Major Smyth, the British soldier. If you want to find out what he actually does, read the book.
Dave Bautista from Guardians Of The Galaxy has henchman written all over him, the character name Mr Hinx seals that one!
Monica Bellucci is possibly the most interesting name on the list. An actress that seems to have been linked with just about every Bond movie since the late 90’s has finally been cast. She could be on either side, good or bad, or as is often the case with the second female character in a Bond film she may cross the line between the two. Her character name, Lucia Sciarra gives nothing away. I don’t remember it from a novel and a quick search online reveals nothing.
The films synopsis: “A cryptic message from Bond’s past 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.”
This gives little away and asks as many questions as it answers. Does “Bond’s past” refer to a n earlier film, Quantum? Or Bonds refere to when he was much younger, going back to Hanns Oberhauser mentioned above. Or even Bonds parents Andrew Bond and Monique Delacroix-Bond, killed in a climbing accident in the French Alps when Bond was 11. Carte Blanche the 2011 Bond Novel written by Jeffery Deaver was set in the modern day and rebooted giving the character a tweaked back-story to fit the modern setting. The most interesting part of the story was a sub plot that revealed the possibility that Bonds mother was a spy-hunter tasked with identifying Soviet moles until she was killed by the KGB. I suggested at the time this would make make an intesting sub plot for a movie. Is this what they are thinking?
SPECTRE will be released on 23 October 2015 in the United Kingdom and and two weeks later in the United States. I’m excited already!