In a much-anticipated moment for James Bond enthusiasts worldwide, director Sam Mendes lifted the curtain on the latest installment of the iconic franchise during a special press call held live from the historic 007 Soundstage at Pinewood Studios in England. The morning of December 4 marked the revelation of the film’s long-awaited title: “SPECTRE.” Accompanied by EON producer Barbara Broccoli, Mendes left little to the imagination as he hinted at the significance of this title for devoted Bond fans.
“SPECTRE” is, undoubtedly, a name deeply ingrained in the Bond lexicon. This nefarious criminal organization first emerged from the pages of Ian Fleming’s 007 novel “Thunderball” in 1961 and subsequently became an indomitable presence in the EON movie franchise, making its menacing debut in “Dr. No” (1962). The enigmatic leader of SPECTRE, Ernst Stavro Blofeld, made tantalizing cameo appearances in “From Russia, With Love” (1963) and “Thunderball” (1965) before finally taking center stage in “You Only Live Twice” (1967), portrayed memorably by Donald Pleasance.
As anticipation reached its zenith, Mendes unveiled the logo for “Bond 24: SPECTRE” on a grand screen, an evocative and shadowy emblem that featured a bullet hole through the title, fueling intrigue among the gathered audience. But the surprises didn’t end there. Mendes proudly presented James Bond’s sleek new ride for the movie, an Aston Martin DB10, which he described as “a thing of beauty” specially crafted for the film by Aston Martin. He teased that audiences would witness the full extent of its capabilities in the upcoming movie.
Mendes divulged that the production of the new Bond movie would span seven months, encompassing diverse locations such as Rome, Mexico City, Morocco, the Austrian Alps, and central London. The press call marked an exciting break from rehearsals, with full-fledged filming scheduled to commence on Monday morning, December 8.
Continuing the roll call, Mendes introduced the formidable production team, with many familiar faces from “Skyfall” returning to ensure the film’s success. Joining the crew were Lee Smith as the editor and Hoyte van Hoytema as the cinematographer. The music for the movie would once again be entrusted to the talented Thomas Newman, known for his work on “Skyfall.”
The stage then belonged to the stars of the film, both old and new. Returning cast members included Rory Kinnear as MI6’s Chief of Staff Bill Tanner, Ben Whishaw as ‘Q,’ Naomi Harris as Miss Moneypenny, and Ralph Fiennes, reprising his role as the enigmatic ‘M.’ A surprise addition to this Whitehall ensemble was Andrew Scott, best known for his portrayal of Moriarty in the BBC TV series “Sherlock,” who would take on the role of Denbigh.
Mendes then introduced the fresh faces of the movie, a star-studded lineup featuring German-Austrian actor Christoph Waltz as Franz Oberhauser, Dave Bautista as the menacing henchman ‘Mr. Hinx,’ French actress Lea Seydoux as Madeleine Swann, and the enchanting Italian actress Monica Bellucci as Lucia Sciarri. For Bellucci, this moment was undoubtedly sweet, as she had previously tested for “Tomorrow Never Dies” (1997) and had long been considered an ideal Bond woman. The cast was joined onstage by none other than 007 himself, Daniel Craig, who is reprising the role of James Bond for the fourth time.
Intriguingly, the EON press release issued earlier in the day tantalized fans with hints about the movie’s plot: “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.” With these enigmatic words, Mendes and the team have set the stage for another thrilling James Bond adventure that is sure to captivate audiences worldwide.