In October 2012, cinemas across the world were packed out, as people rushed to see Eon Productions’ latest offering. The film, which was part of a series, was expected to do well after its predecessor, released four years earlier, arguably lost its way.
Three years later and Eon Productions is predicted to once again put bums on seats by releasing the next instalment in the series, Bond 24, better known as Spectre.
Spectre trails just slightly behind Jurassic World as my must-watch of 2015, as I will explain.
Undertaking the Bondathon
In preparation for Skyfall, I watched all of the previous 22 Bond films after receiving the complete boxset as a Christmas present. I’d always enjoyed the Bond films that I’d seen, and the 007 story is one of the British film industry’s most loved exports; the name ‘James Bond’ and codename ‘007’ are known the world over.
With over 2,624 minutes (43.7 hours) of film to watch, it was a large undertaking. At times I resented it; I knew I had made this pledge to myself but sometimes the thought of another Roger Moore film when he was clearly too old to play the role was too much to bear…
With literally days to spare, I made it. I watched Casino Royale on November 6th, Quantum of Solace on November 7th and Skyfall on November 8th. I kept a track of my thoughts and published the following posts: Bondathon.
As you can see, my favourite Bond is Sean Connery, with Daniel Craig as runner-up, and my favourite film is Goldfinger.
Looking forward to Spectre
With six months to go until its 6th November release date, we know quite a lot about Spectre. Casting-wise, Daniel Craig is back as 007 (his fourth outing), Ralph Fiennes is M and Christoph Waltz is Franz Oberhauser, potentially Bond’s antagonist, though that is yet to be discovered.
Sam Mendes is at the helm again following his superb direction of Skyfall and Monica Bellucci has claimed the crown of oldest ‘Bond girl’ at the age of 50. If only the women had been that age when Moore was trying to chase them in his later films…
With regards to the plot some details have been shared, though in true 007 style a lot is still under wraps. A first teaser trailer has been released and IMDb has the following summary: “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.”
For those new to the series, Bond has crossed paths with SPECTRE (Special Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion) before, tackling the global criminal syndicate and terrorist organisation in Dr. No, From Russia with Love, Thunderball, You Only Live Twice, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, and Diamonds Are Forever.
Bond wouldn’t be Bond without his gadgets, and 007 will be travelling in style in the new Aston Martin DB10, created specifically for the film. The DB10 will be a limited run of 10 vehicles, and will be built in-house by AML’s design and engineering teams. This carries on a very successful partnership, as Bond has been seen on screen behind the wheel of an Aston Martin for 50 years now, starting with the iconic DB5.
Ben Whishaw is back as Q, potentially equipping 007 with more exciting gizmos after giving him just two in Skyfall: a Walther PPK/S 9mm short with embedded finger-print scanner and an elementary radio tracker. However, an old friend also made an appearance, armed with its own gadgets: 007’s DB5 that featured in Goldfinger.
Will Spectre deliver?
In a nutshell, I’m hoping that Bond 24 will be every bit as good as Skyfall and Casino Royale, which I scored 4.5 and 5 stars to respectively. Casino Royale was a strong start for the rebooted franchise, and Craig proved his critics wrong who believed he didn’t ‘fit’ the legendary role.
In my opinion, Quantum of Solace was disappointing and nowhere near as impressive as Casino Royale, with an over-the-top plot and a mismatched script that was in no doubt caused, in part, by the Writers’ Strike.
Skyfall was a return to form; sleek, intense and riveting from start to finish. New actors were introduced, with Whishaw taking on the role of Q and Naomie Harris taking over the reins as Moneypenny; both characters had been absent since Die Another Day.
Judi Dench’s final appearance as M, after seven films in the role, was stoic yet emotional. With Spectre, we’ll see the first in Fiennes’ tenure, as his Gareth Mallory became the new M at the end of Skyfall. Dench certainly brought a different aspect to Bond’s boss, and it’ll be very interesting to see in which direction Fiennes goes and what his relationship with 007 will be like.