It’s been a long wait since Skyfall, but we finally have a trailer for the new Bond film (click there to see it). Due out at the end of 2015, it’s expected, nay, explicitly stated by the title, that SPECTRE will introduce to the rebooted Bondiverse the unflappable foes of the early classic Bond era. Led in the Fleming novels and the films by the mysterious Ernst Stavro Blofeld, SPECTRE is an organisation which dubs itself the Special Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge, and Extortion (hence ‘SPECTRE’). Given the harder edge that has been brought to the world of Bond since Daniel Craig took over the role, it’s highly likely that the new SPECTRE will be much more unpleasant, and much less scenery-chewingly over the top.
Given my well known personality trait of Bond obsession since the age of 11, I feel like it’s nothing more than my duty to provide an overly in-depth analysis of this new trailer. The trailer, released last Saturday, doesn’t tell us much about the wider plot, but there are some significant guiding points.
The first sign that this is definitely a sequel to Skyfall is that MI6 HQ still bears the scars of Silva’s work in Skyfall. Speaking of that word, unearthed in the gutted remains of the Skyfall manor in Scotland are some personal documents revealing potentially unsavoury aspects of 007’s early life. Moneypenny is the one doing the reveals here, and everything about her tone is pretty dire. “You’ve got a secret. Something you can’t tell anyone because you don’t trust anyone.”
A charred photograph shows a child and two taller people, one of whom is missing a face. Who are these mysterious people? One of them must surely be the juvenile James Bond. I hope 007 doesn’t turn out to have a brother who is the head of an evil organisation, because Austin Powers already did that.
One of the major background players of Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace, Mr White, is back. It appears he’s trying to hide from the world. He’s in a dank cabin on the edge of a lake, at the foot of a mountain. He’s certainly not the stylish and clean cut Mr White of old. James Bond presents him with a signet ring bearing a familiar cephalopod.
Could this be a SPECTRE ring? Well, obviously. Is the implication that the Quantum organisation has mutated into SPECTRE? Or did they have a crime battle and SPECTRE won, leaving Mr White on the run?
What is a James Bond film doing in a church this time? This is the second church in two films – does director Sam Mendes have a fixation on sites of religious significance? Or does he just enjoy the contradiction of having evil take place in an ostensibly holy and pure place? And what is Monica Bellucci doing here? She appears to be dressed as a widow. A SPECTRE operative was dressed as a widow at the beginning of Thunderball, but she turned out to be a he and then there was a punchup and a jetpack. I doubt there are many script similarities between SPECTRE and Thunderball.
Behold this sexy Aston Martin, created especially for the film. Hark, the sound of 70 litres of petrol being used up in one second.
What is this conference with a shadowy Christopher Waltz at its head? He sounds, as Waltz characters always do, as though he is standing outside the plot looking in, barely containing his mirth at unbelievable events in which his character is no doubt a lynchpin. The juxtaposition of a toy piano striking out a halting rendition of the James Bond theme is reminiscent of the dystopian adaptation of “I’ve Got No Strings” from the Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer.
After Skyfall’s visual brilliance, it’s pleasing to see the cinematography of SPECTRE is already looking marvellous. There are at least two captivating, lingering establishing shots of landscapes in this trailer alone, and the rest of the clips appear to be visual clues about where the film will play out: the shadows. There are a lot of shadows in this trailer – it, like I suspect the film will be, is very dark.
It’s looking like this will be another pretty cerebral Bond film, rather in the vein of classic espionage thrillers as opposed to bombastic spy capers. But, apparently there’ll be a ski sequence (the first since The World Is Not Enough in 1999) and a chase set in a Day of the Dead parade in Mexico (could this be a Thunderball reference after all?), so it sounds like we’re going to be well served with action as well. Roll on October! I need to see this film.