A cryptic message from Bond’s (Daniel Craig) past sends him on a trail to uncover a sinister organisation. While M (Ralph Fiennes) battles political forces to keep the secret service alive, Bond peels back the layers of deceit to reveal the terrible truth behind SPECTRE.
Sam Mendes returns to direct the twenty fourth Bond film after huge success with 2012’s Skyfall. Returning are Naomi Harris (Eve Moneypenny), Ben Whitshaw (Q), and Rory Kinnear (Bill Tanner). Christoph Waltz co-stars as Franz Oberhauser, a childhood acquaintance of Bond and a senior figure within the SPECTRE hierarchy. Waltz has been acting since the late ‘70s, but gained worldwide popularity as Hans Landa in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds and has been a mainstay in Hollywood since. Also along for the ride are Monica Belucci, Lea Seydoux, and Dave Bautista, best known for his time in the WWE under the ring name Batista, which was eclipsed by his role as Drax the Destroyer in 2014’s mega hit Guardians of the Galaxy.
The film’s title and plot are to most Bond fans a welcome back to the franchise. The ownership of the SPECTRE organisation and its characters had been at the centre of long-standing litigation starting in 1961 between Ian Fleming and Kevin McClory over the film rights to the novel Thunderball. The dispute began after Fleming incorporated elements of an undeveloped film script written by McClory into Thunderball. In 1963 Fleming settled out of court with McClory, which awarded McClory the film rights. This enabled him to become a producer for the 1965 film Thunderball—with Albert “Cubby” Broccoli and Harry Saltzman as executive producers—and the non-canonical film Never Say Never Again in 1983. Under the terms of the settlement, the literary rights stayed with Fleming.
IGN reported MGM and the McClory estate formally settled the issue with Danjaq, LLC—the parent company of Eon Productions—and MGM acquiring the full copyright film rights to the concept of SPECTRE and all of the characters associated with it in November of 2013.
SPECTRE is a direct sequel to Skyfall, a rarity in the Bond franchise; while many of the films refer to past events, there have been very few to nil sequels, except perhaps Quantum of Solace following Casino Royale. The teaser trailer shows Bond examining personal effects from the now destroyed Skyfall estate; a charred photo of two young boys with a father figure. Was Bond truly an only child? Several shots of Bond travelling about lead us to an interrogation of Mr. White (Jesper Christensen), last seen in Quantum of Solace, who tells Bond he is a “kite dancing in a hurricane”. Cut to a back-lit Waltz delivering lines with sinister intonations as only he can and we have a set up for one of the most anticipated films of the year. SPECTRE returning completes the throwback special, almost. The icing on the cake is the teaser poster of Craig as Bond rocking a black turtleneck and brown shoulder holster a la Roger Moore in Live and Let Die. In theaters November 6.