SPECTRE Explained: A Guide To James Bond’s Latest Adventure

Daniel Craig’s 007 is back… and this time he’s bringing a ton of plot threads with him.

SPECTRE opens this weekend and is set to follow up on Skyfall ‘s massive popularity. Still, the film very much expects you to be familiar with Bond’s previous outings. While we created a handy guide for watching all the relevant Bond films, you may not have the time to go through 50 years of espionage.

Well, not to worry. If you’re wondering what SPECTRE is and why they’ve chosen to wear octopus rings, we’ve got you covered.

Except maybe the thing about the octopus rings.

*SPECTRE SPOILERS BELOW*

Alright, who is this James Bond guy?

Bond

He’s an orphan who was conscripted into the world of British espionage after his parents died in a climbing accident. But there was a period of time after his parents died and before he became a spy that he was taken in by the Oberhauser family. He became a surrogate brother to Franz Oberhauser, who may have a few sociopathic tendencies (which, you guessed it, will totally come back later).

Anyway, Bond was promoted to the elite spy rank of 00 Agent in Casino Royale , and his first mission ended in the death of his true love Vesper Lynd. That pretty much sealed his fate as a misogynistic, nationalistic, martini drinking bad ass.

So, this film takes place after that?

Yes. Casino Royale is the first film. The second, Quantum of Solace , features Bond getting revenge for Vesper and uncovering a vast criminal organization called Quantum. The third, Skyfall , is a more personal film that follows Bond protecting his mentor M (Judi Dench) from a rogue MI6 agent, Mr. Silva, obsessed with killing her.

At the end of Skyfall , Bond and M make a stand against Silva at Bond’s parent’s old estate. The estate is destroyed and Silva is killed, but unfortunately M dies in Bond’s arms.

So, how long after Skyfall does SPECTRE take place?

A few weeks at most.

What’s Bond been up to since Skyfall?

Hunting, apparently. It seems after M’s death, she sent Bond a video message in the mail (in a cameo we kinda sorta called ) telling him to track down a man named Marco Sciarra and kill him.

bond dead

Well, Bond has found him in Mexico City during the Day of the Dead celebration. So, in an unsanctioned operation, Bond attacks Sciarra as he’s arranging to blow up a stadium. Bond eventually chases him to a helicopter where he steals an octopus ring from his finger before throwing him to his death.

An octopus ring?

Like we said, we’re not really in a position to judge villain fashion. But it’s definitely a clue Bond needs to follow up on.

So, how does MI6 feel about Bond’s after school activities?

Well, they’re pretty darn pissed. The new M (Ralph Fiennes) indefinitely suspends Bond from field duty. It seems M has been having some trouble lately, as MI6 and MI5 have been consolidated in preparation to join an international joint intelligence service. That means M is going to have a much harder time keeping Bond’s off books adventures secret when the rest of the world is breathing down his neck.

M

What’s the deal with this new intelligence service?

Well, it’s a privately funded (never a good sign) program that would meld nine country’s intelligence services into one program. It’s supposedly  nice because everyone would be able to freely share intel and resources.

The problem is, this new intelligence initiative is run by a guy Bond not-so-lovingly refers to as C (we’ll let you imagine what that one stands for). C thinks field agents, including those in the 00 program, are obsolete. He wants to replace them with drones and eliminate the human element of espionage entirely.

So, Bond’s been fired and it looks like he can never get his job back. What does he do?

Well, Judi Dench didn’t just want Bond to kill Sciarra. She wanted him to attend the funeral too. So, Bond’s off to Rome… but not before getting an explosive watch from Q.

Oh, yeah, and Bond also steals 009’s gadget filled Aston Martin DB10.

DB10

Because Bond’s a glorious, unapologetic asshole.

We’re sure he’ll get over it.

So, what happens at this funeral?

Bond meets the newly widowed Mrs. Lucia Sciarra, who tells Bond about the criminal organization her husband belonged to in exchange for protection and a tumble in the sheets.

And, it so happens that organization is having a meeting that night.

Bond’s gonna crash a party, isn’t he?

Does Bond know how to do anything else at a party?

Good point.

Indeed. So, Bond wears that octopus ring and manages to get in to a secret meeting. It turns out this organization has been upping terrorist attacks, including the one that was going to take place in Mexico City.

SPECTRE meeting 2

That’s when Bond’s surrogate brother Franz Oberhauser shows up. Turns out he’s at the very top of this organization… and he’s none too happy about Bond interfering with Mexico City.

What does he do?

He has his henchmen Mr. Hinx stab a guy’s eyes out with his thumbs.

That’s disgusting.

Don’t worry. Mr. Hinx cleans up with a hanky. He’s proper like that.

What happens next?

Well, Bond overhears the organization talking about some guy named “The Pale King,” but that’s the last bit of info he gets.

Why is that?

Because Oberhauser recognizes Bond and calls him out.

Yeah, Bond is pretty surprised by that one.

So, Bond runs his ass off, yeah?

car chase

Right into the sweet embrace of 009’s DB10. Unfortunately, Mr. Hinx is right behind him in a Janguar X-X75 sports car. So, Bond decides to break out the gadgets… only there’s a problem.

What’s that?

Most of the gadgets don’t work. Bond stole the car before they could be installed properly.

Unfortunate.

Understatement of the year.

Bond calls Moneypenny and has her search for The Pale King. It turns out that’s an alias for Mr. White , head of the Quantum organization Bond went after in Quantum of Solace . It seems  Quantum was just a small branch of this bigger organization .

He has time to do research during the car chase? That doesn’t sound like he’s in a lot of danger. 

To be fair, the car’s bulletproof.

*sigh* Alright, how does Bond escape Mr. Hinx?

Bond discovers the car’s ejector seat works just fine, so he triggers that and makes a clean(ish) gettaway.

So, Bond goes to find Mr. White?

white

Yup. He finds him hiding in Austria dying of Thallium poising. It seems Mr. White’s old friends didn’t want him leaving after he decided he didn’t want any part of their new edict which involved hurting women and children.

Wait a second, wasn’t Mr. White directly involved in the extortion and murder of Vesper Lynd in Casino Royale because he was trying to get millions of dollars to an African warlord who was shown to have child soldiers?

Um… yes. Maybe he turned over a new leaf?

… right. Anything else? 

Mr. White has been hiding his daughter, Madeline Swann, from his old friends. White agrees to give Bond a new clue if he’ll protect his daughter. Bond agrees, then gives White his gun to commit suicide with rather than die slowly.

Does Mr. White do it?

What’s the new clue.

He tells Bond to go to L’Americain, but doesn’t specify who or what it is.

Bummer. What does Bond do next?

He finds Dr. Swann in a medical facility in the Austrian Alps. It turns out she hates her dad and really doesn’t want to go with Bond.

Can’t he try to charm her or something?

Swann

She is impervious.

So, what does Bond do?

He goes to the bar, of course. That’s where Q meets up with him.

Wait, Q? Wasn’t it stated in Skyfall that he hates to fly?

Well, Bond has put his career in jeopardy (again), and Q’s so pissed he’s willing to brave the friendly skies to convince Bond to give up the chase and come home.

That doesn’t work, does it.

Nope. Bond gives Q the octopus ring to analyze, then heads after Dr. Swann who’s been taken by Mr. Hinx.

How did Mr. Hinx find her?

This organization has tapped into the computers of MI6 (among other agencies). Anything they look up, the bad guys know about. Moneypenny looked up Mr. White’s location… so Mr. Hinx found him and stole his camera tapes to watch his conversation with Bond.

Oops. Does Bond get her back?

plane

It takes a crashed plane and a few totaled cars, but yup. He gets her back and convinces her to help him. She tells Bond and Q the organization after them is called SPECTRE and they’re super evil and stuff.

Q also discovers DNA from every recent Bond villain on the ring, which includes Le Chiffre ( Casino Royale ), Dominic Greene ( Quantum of Solace ), and Raoul Silva ( Skyfall ).

Wait a second… they all wore that ring?

How’s that possible.

Presumably, they all wore it at one point or another.

Quantum of Solace took place directly after Casino Royale. How’d they get the ring to Mr. Greene right after Le Chiffre died? For that matter, did they even wear rings in those movies?

le chiffre

Isn’t it a little convenient that in this massive organization the three exact guys who have taken on Bond all wore the same ring?

Yes, but fan service must be paid.

At the expense of logic?

It’s a burden we all have to bear.

Alright, what happens next?

Swann takes Bond to L’Americain, which is actually a hotel in Morocco Mr. White visited every year. There, they find a secret room full of SPECTRE records… including a video of an interrogation of Vesper Lynd.

Does Bond watch it?

No. He gets distracted by map coordinates in the African desert. It looks like there’s a secret base there. So, they take a train there. As they’re having dinner, Mr. Hinx attacks them.

train fight

How’d he find them?

Because we need an action scene right now.

Fine. Do they kill him?

Yes, they throw him out of the speeding train.

Do they say “No ticket” afterward?

bond swann kiss

Nope. They engage in adrenaline fueled fornication.

So much for her being impervious.

Just out of curiosity… is anything happening back in england.

Yup. M, his assistant Tanner, Q, and Moneypenny all know something is up with SPECTRE, but C doesn’t care. The new joint intelligence program will go live in 72 hours, which means the end of the 00 section. M tells the rest they can’t help Bond, since it’s clear SPECTRE can track everything they do.

It’s all in Bond’s hands.

What happens with him?

train station

He and Dr. Swann get off their train, then are taken by chauffeur to SPECTRE’s compound in the middle of a crater.

Wait, SPECTRE just transports them over in style?

If that’s the case, why did they have mr. hinx just try to murder them on their way over.

Um. Because we needed an action scene? It’s possible Mr. Hinx hadn’t had any new contact with SPECTRE was just following his original orders.

… Fine. What happens next?

Oberhauser meets them, and reveals to Bond he’s pretty pissed that Papa Oberhauser liked him so much, which is why he killed his own dad. Apparently, Oberhauser faked his death and changed his name to Ernst Stavro Blofeld, because Franz Oberhauser wasn’t complicated enough to pronounce.

oberhauser

He tells Bond that the joint intelligence program is actually funded by SPECTRE (told you) and C is their operative. They’ve been increasing terrorist attacks to convince countries to join in, but this new program will actually just give all the information they collect straight to SPECTRE, which will be all powerful.

Wait a second. Can’t SPECTRE already tap into almost every camera ever and view the movements of everyone anyway?

So why do they need this plan.

Um… well… you can never have too much information we suppose.

Uh… huh.

In our defense, they’re totally evil. We know this because they torture Bond.

How do they torture him?

They strap him into a chair that allows you to perform selective lobotomies. Apparently, Blofeld heard that Bond is impervious to having his testicles slapped with a rope.

So, Bond gets… lobotomized?

Well, Blofeld targets his memory center and drills a hole in it. But, it seems that doesn’t take away his memory at all.

Um… why not?

Because he’s impervious.

You keep using that word…

How about… because he’s James Bond?

We’re just throwing science out the window, aren’t we?

bond

Speaking of throwing, Bond has Dr. Swann chuck his explosive watch which allows them to escape. Bond shoots a few guys, then shoots a gas line which blows up the entire facility.

Wait, the entire facility? With one bullet?

Yeah, SPECTRE kinda went discount with their gas lines. Perhaps they hired the same guy who keeps designing villain lairs in movies that don’t have any guardrails.

Does Bond have any trouble escaping at all?

Nope. He kills like eight guys, blows up the facility, and escapes in a helicopter in about two minutes flat.

That’s gotta be a record.

We wouldn’t be surprised.

So Bond goes back to England?

Yup. He meets with M’s gang and tells them SPECTRE’s plan. They set out to stop it, but Dr. Swann decides to leave because she doesn’t want to be part of Bond’s lifestyle despite the fact she now loves him.

It’s even more of a bummer because she and Bond get kidnapped. Bond is taken to the old MI6 building Silva blew up in Skyfall while M’s gang heads off to stop C.

Do they stop him?

Yes. Q stops the program from coming online at the last second. M and C fight, which results in C slipping to his death.

He… slips to his death?

Yes. In his defense there was totally broken glass on the ground.

Alright, plotline resolved. What about Bond?

MI6 2

Bond finds Blofeld in the MI6 building, though he’s now sporting the classic Blofeld scar from the Connery films thanks to that miraculous explosion Bond set off:

Blofeld

He taunts Bond with pictures of Vesper, Judi Dench’s M, and his past villains. He then tells Bond Dr. Swann is in the building, which is rigged to blow in three minutes. He can either escape and live in pain, or try to rescue her and probably die.

Does he try to rescue her?

Yup. He finds her tied up in M’s old office. They escape just in the nick of time on a boat and chase after Blofeld’s helicopter, which Bond brings down with his pistol.

Bond’s bullets are incredibly powerful and accurate in this movie.

Bond boat

Yeah, especially considering Bond has a bum shoulder and totally botched his marksmanship test in Skyfall , which took place just a few weeks ago.

So, the helicopter crashes?

Yup, onto the Westminster Bridge. But, this being a Bond film Blofeld survives. Bond catches up to him, as does M’s gang.

Does Bond kill Blofeld?

Well, Blofeld certainly tries to taunt Bond into doing so, but Bond is —

 — don’t say impervious.

We don’t care. don’t say it..

Okay. Bond tells Blofeld he has better things to do and leaves him to be arrested by M.

Because that’s what a mainstream action hero does. After killing everyone who works for the bad guy, you repeatedly try and fail to kill the bad guy. Then, when you finally have him at your mercy, you let him live to appease mainstream moral values.

skyfall car

Yup, then Bond drives off with Dr. Swann in his newly repaired Aston Martin DB5 from Skyfall .

So, he’s given up his spy life?

It seems that way.

Will we ever see him back in action?

Well, if the franchise has taught us anything… it’s that somehow… someway… James Bond will return.

Also, impervious.

The report that they all had the ring in common was a toxicology report, presumably from their blood. So rather than one piece they all wore, I got the impression it was a unique alloy that showed traces in all of the wearers’ blood. It was a shorter leap than the Brotherhood of the Traveling Jewelry…

“Brotherhood of the Traveling Jewelry”, nice!

I believe you’re right.

Thanks for this – I enjoyed the films but didn’t remember anything about any of them. All this time barely pieced together that they were related.

Great and funny article at the same time, but more importantly it is highlighting few main plot holes of the film. I personally think that Spectre could be a much better movie, but Mendes was certainly out of ideas. Being someone who is not a big fan of Daniel Craig’s Bond, I must say that he has done a fabolous job and finally looking good after three movies to take the character of 007 back to classic Connery era. I also really loved few exceptional causal pieces Craig wore during the whole but especially the John Varvatos Suede Racer Jacket he wore in the finale!

Another hypothesis of how the DNA of several villains was on the ring is that Marco Sciarra was so awestruck when he first met his peers that he never washed his hands after shaking all of theirs.

Loved that article, watched the movie yesterday and have to say that it is my second 007 film after Casino Royale. I think Daniel Craig has improved a lot, he looks as gorgeous as Connery in Spectre, its a good idea to putt on white dinner suit to pay homepage to the classic 007 movies but I still believe that Casino Royale tuxedo was certainly the best one in all Craig’s outings. Although the movie has some plot holes but its still a pleasurable experience seeing Blofeld back with fantastic henchman

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James Bond films are, and always have been, more imitative than innovative. Even in the 1960s they were essentially superhero movies starring an indestructible character who wore street clothes (and the occasional wet suit) instead of tights and a cape. He ran, jumped, drove and flew through loosely connected setpieces that borrowed whatever cliches happened to be popular in action cinema at that moment and amped them up with more beautiful locations, bigger explosions, cornier jokes, and lush, loud music by John Barry . Given the franchise's lineage, it was only a matter of time before the producers went the extra kilometer and started modeling the Bond films on the Batman and Marvel franchises. The new superhero films featured fussy world-building and onion-layered subplots doled out over many films and many years. Their conception owed quite a bit to comic books and to serialized television like "24" (James Bond by way of " Die Hard "). The last three Bond films drew on all of those traditions, plus Bond's own distinctive set of cliches, and set the stage for this fourth Craig outing, "Spectre."

The second Craig Bond, " Quantum of Solace ," built a convoluted narrative scaffolding atop 2006's "Casino Royale"—the best movie in the fifty-plus-year-old franchise, and the only one that would satisfy even if the main character were named Oswald Chutney. The final act of "Royale" killed off Bond's one true love, Vesper Lynd (Eva Green), which set the stage for an emotionally burned-out, extra-icy Bond investigating a global conspiracy in "Solace" that turned out to be connected to the bad guys he fought in "Royale." "Spectre" occurs in the aftermath of MI-6's decimation in the last Bond picture. It retroactively forces connections between "Royale," "Solace" and " Skyfall ," by way of a video-recorded warning sent to Bond by his old boss M (Judi Dench) right before her death, urging Bond to follow the trail from Mexico City to Italy to Morocco and beyond, and dig to the bottom of the conspiracy that claimed so many agents' lives.

The movie feels like a culmination of everything the franchise has been building toward since Craig stepped into the part in "Casino Royale." The most recent incarnation of Bond doesn't just have stunts and quips and gadgets and curvy women with porno names. Courtesy of "Skyfall," it has a mythology that turns Bond into Batman minus the cape and cowl, and boasts a Bond version of Stately Wayne Manor; an Alfred-the-butler figure ( Albert Finney in "Skyfall"); a tragic orphan back-story (repeated via the death of Dench's matriarchal figure, who's even called "Mum"), and a Joker-type bad guy (Javier Bardem's fey torturer).

If you loved all that stuff, you'll adore "Spectre," which revives the titular organization from the Sean Connery era Bond flicks. It has subplots, characters and incidents that amount to what genre fans would call "ret-cons." And it introduces us to a new big bad, Franz Obenhauser ( Christoph Waltz )—aka Ernst Stavro Blofeld; please don't act surprised, neither of us were born yesterday! This new (old, really) villain makes Bardem's character in "Skyfall" seem like a junior Joker at best, if that. He even lures Bond into a ruined building that he's transformed into a combination haunted house and gallery installation, and by the end, he acquires a scar whose gruesomeness rivals the Joker's mouth disfigurement.

If "Spectre" were a great movie, or even a consistently good one, this might be wonderful, or at least intriguing. But this is a weirdly patchy, often listless picture. The Craig Bonds are so expensive and expansive that they can't help but impress with sheer scale. And every now and then they come up with bold images, like the silhouettes of Bond and a foe grappling in front of neon signage in "Skyfall," and the overhead shot of Bond entering the bombed-out ruins of MI-6 headquarters in "Spectre" preceded by a shadow four times as long as he is tall. But an hour or two after you've seen "Spectre" the film starts evaporating from the mind, like "Skyfall" and "Solace" before it. It's filled with big sets, big stunts, and what ought to be big moments, but few of them land. 

What's the problem? Maybe it's the script. It's credited to a murderer's row of gun-for-hire writers, but it can't seem to come up with anything but undistinguished chases and fights and quips pasted together by exposition that's half baked even by Bond standards. Like Christopher Nolan's Batman, Bond shows up wherever he has to be and escapes certain death as needed, without a hint as to how he pulled it off. And even by Bond's damn-the-rules, full-speed-ahead standards, the character is such a suitcase nuke in a cable-knit sweater that it's hard to see him as England's (or the West's) disreputable protector, which is how you pretty much have to see Bond if you're going to root for him. (Omelets, eggs.) In the pre-credits sequence, Bond wreaks destruction on Mexico City, creating an international incident that gets him suspended for the umpteenth time; when he argues that the terrorists he was trying to foil would've caused more damage, he sounds like a parody of the sort of hero who would say such things. At least when Tom Cruise offers similar defenses the " Mission: Impossible " movies (the latest of which has a plot not hugely different from this one's, come to think of it) it's meant to be ludicrous and frothy, not freighted with righteous woe. 

Or maybe the problem is the production itself. The crew teams "Skyfall" director Sam Mendes with production designer Dennis Gassner and cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema (" Interstellar ") and fills the screen with deserts and lakes and forests and mountains and historic skylines and converging perspective lines and tastefully arranged rectangles-within-squares and shallow planes of focus (the movie often seems to be in 3-D even though it's not), but too often ends up looking rather like a SuperBowl ad for cell phone service or cologne.

Or maybe—blasphemy alert—the problem is Craig's performance. He might be the most drop-dead-serious actor  to play Bond, and he probably comes closer than anyone to making the character seem plausibly human ( Pierce Brosnan had his moments, even though the scripts were even less inclined to support his efforts than Craig's). But as the character has become increasingly opaque and recessive—so much so that Mendes and company seem less interested in Bond as a cold but complex person than as a sculptural object to light and pose—you may wonder what the point is. This Bond is a sinewy husk of a man, pursing his lips and staring into the middle distance. He's turned into the narrator of Edgar Allan Poe's " The Raven " but with a sidearm. The actor and the writers give us so little to grab onto that it's hard to sense Bond's feelings, much less feel with him. Late in "Spectre," we're supposed to believe that Bond is truly attached to his love interest, Lea Seydoux's Madeleine Swann (nice double Proust reference there). She reciprocates the craggy killer's affection even though, as she rightly observes, she was living in hiding for years until Bond led the bad guys straight to her. But there's little in this film's writing of Bond, or in Craig's performance, to imply that the character is capable of investing in anything more emotionally fraught than a martini mixed with house vodka. 

Or perhaps the problem is historical fatigue. Even the better bits of "Spectre," such as a close-quarters fistfight on a passenger train between Bond and a thick-necked henchman ( Dave Bautista of " Guardians of the Galaxy "), and a mostly wordless, almost one-take stalking/assassination sequence set during a Day of the Dead parade in Mexico City, pale in comparison to their Bondian inspirations (respectively, "From Russia with Love," and " Live and Let Die " by way of "Octopussy"). We've been assured by the producers that "Spectre" contains homages to every previous Bond picture. That's great if you go to films mainly for Easter egg-style trivia in the form of situations and props. But it's not so great if you're inclined to take the makers of these films at their word, and expect a Bond film like "Casino Royale," something with more brains and nuance than the usual, as opposed to a film that purports to be that kind of movie but is content to posture and strut rather than doing the necessary dramatic spadework.

Whatever the explanation(s), "Spectre" is the third Bond film in a row to write conceptual and dramatic checks that the movie itself can't cash. We're at the point now where these films are consistently more fun to anticipate than they are to watch. The media campaigns tend to be more cunning and surprising than anything that ends up onscreen. This film won political correctness kudos for casting Monica Bellucci as Bond's first age-appropriate lover (she's two years older than Craig), but "Spectre" itself squanders her in two scenes, then ditches her for the 30-year old Seydoux. Blofeld's chief henchman is a bust, just a muscleman in a suit; he makes a memorably nasty entrance blinding a rival with his thumbs, but from then on, he's all sneers and punches and kicks. Blofeld fizzles, too. Waltz, who tends to give the same performance over and over with minor variations but at least has the decency to be a hoot each time, is in "Spectre" only slightly longer than Bellucci, and has been drained of the glee he displayed in Quentin Tarantino's films. The payoff of his character's storyline is so dumb that it makes the "twist" in " Star Trek Into Darkness " seem sensible and heartfelt. Stupider still is Bond's reaction when he finally gets the drop on his nemesis. Bags of Scrabble tiles make more sense.

Even the look of "Spectre" makes promises that the film won't keep. Between the copious mirror and reflection shots, the surveillance screens and wall-mounted cameras, and Waltz's all-seeing, all-knowing baddie, we're tacitly promised the first James Bond horror movie: a creepy Cubist study in voyeurism and fear, powered by nightmare logic and silhouettes and moments of physical violation; Bond by way of " The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari " or Fritz Lang's Dr. Mabuse films. Beyond novelty, such an approach would have made the film's instances of slipshod plotting feel all-of-a-piece, like the "because I said so" storytelling in Nolan's Batman pictures.

But of course "Spectre" can't give us that, because Bond films are products before they're anything else, and products aren't allowed to challenge or upset people. If Mendes didn't keep finding original ways to stage unoriginal moments, this film's star rating would be lower than it is. Even by the generous standards of Bond pictures, which have been graded on a curve since 1962, "Spectre" has to be considered a missed opportunity.

Matt Zoller Seitz

Matt Zoller Seitz

Matt Zoller Seitz is the Editor at Large of RogerEbert.com, TV critic for New York Magazine and Vulture.com, and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in criticism.

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Film credits.

Spectre movie poster

Spectre (2015)

Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action and violence, some disturbing images, sensuality and language.

148 minutes

Daniel Craig as James Bond

Christoph Waltz as Franz Oberhauser

Léa Seydoux as Madeleine Swann

Monica Bellucci as Lucia Sciarra

Andrew Scott as Denbigh

Dave Bautista as Mr Hinx

Ralph Fiennes as M

Naomie Harris as Eve Moneypenny

Ben Whishaw as Q

Rory Kinnear as Bill Tanner

Jesper Christensen as Mr. White

Stephanie Sigman as Estrella

Alessandro Cremona as Marco Sciarra

Neve Gachev as Clinic Patron

Alessandro Bressanello as Priest

Judi Dench as M

  • Ian Fleming
  • Neal Purvis
  • Robert Wade
  • Jez Butterworth

Original Music Composer

  • Thomas Newman

Director of Photography

  • Hoyte van Hoytema

Costume Design

  • Jany Temime

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Spectre recap: Essential guide and how Bond film links to No Time To Die

It might be useful to refresh your memory about the previous entry in the franchise before watching the new 007 flick.

James Bond (Daniel Craig) in Spectre

  • Patrick Cremona
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In days gone by, James Bond films were never particularly bothered by continuity. Characters came and went and most films were essentially standalone adventures with no clear links to previous missions.

But the Daniel Craig era has been very different: from his first film as the iconic 00-agent in 2006's Casino Royale right up to his final outing in No Time To Die , the films have followed a coherent narrative, often feeding directly into each other.

That is certainly the case in the new film, which picks up five years after Bond has decided to leave MI6 following the events of Spectre, and includes many returning characters including Madeleine Swann and Ernst Stavro Blofeld.

So if you're about to head to the cinema to watch the new movie and reckon you need a quick refresh of the events of Spectre first, then look no further – read on for a full recap.

What happened in Spectre?

The main plot of the previous film saw Bond faced with dual threats: an imminent merger of MI5 and MI6 that would bring about the end of the 00 programme, proposed by Andrew Scott's Max Denbigh (known as C), and a more traditional big bad in the form of old foe Ernst Stavro Blofeld (Christoph Waltz) – who is referred to as Franz Oberhauser throughout most of the film.

The film begins with a particularly memorable sequence: following 007 as he carries out an unauthorised mission in Mexico, killing a terrorist leader after parading through the Mexico City streets as part of the city's Day of the Dead celebrations.

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When he returns from the mission, the new M (Ralph Fiennes) suspends him from duty but Bond, being Bond, pays no notice, instead travelling to Italy to attend the funeral of the terrorist he killed in Mexico. Meanwhile C, the director-General of a new Joint Intelligence Service, is attempting to get the 00 programme closed down and campaigning for Britain to join the global surveillance and intelligence initiative Nine Eyes.

Screenshot 2020-02-20 at 12.02.14

While in Rome, Bond seduces the terrorist's widow Lucia (Monica Belluci) and discovers the existence of a terrorist and criminal organisation, SPECTRE, led by the presumed dead Franz Oberhauser.

Bond first encounters Oberhauser when he secretly gains entry into a meeting of SPECTRE and hears the order for someone called The Pale King to be assassinated. With help from Eve Moneypenny, Bond realises that this refers to another old foe Mr White and he subsequently tracks him down. When he finds him, White explains that he has been poisoned and is already dying, but tells Bond to look out for his daughter.

Bond promises he will find and protect White's daughter, a psychiatrist by the name of Madeleine Swann (Lea Seydoux).

After he locates her, Swann takes Bond to a hotel in Tangier called L'Américain, where Mr White had left them evidence leading to Blofeld's base. Meanwhile, Q (Ben Whishaw) has learned that all the previous villains from this era of Bond (Le Chiffre, Dominic Greene and Raoul Silva) were themselves part of SPECTRE, and thus Blofeld has been behind almost all of 007's misfortunes.

On reaching Blofeld's base, the villain explains that he is actually working in tandem with C – he has been staging terrorist attacks around the world, creating a need for a new surveillance system that would replace the 00 programme. C's side of the bargain is that he will feed any and all information about investigations into SPECTRE directly to Blofeld, such that he can perennially evade capture.

Screenshot 2020-02-20 at 12.02.30

In true Bond villain style, Blofeld then tortures Bond and reveals that the two are very closely linked: his father Hannes had briefly been Bond's legal guardian in childhood, and Blofeld had resented the attention that Bond received. Eventually, he killed Hannes, staged his own death and took on his new alter ego to create SPECTRE and devote the rest of his life to making Bond's life hell. All pretty deranged stuff, really.

Anyway, Bond and Swann are able to engineer an escape thanks to an exploding watch and retreat to London to put a stop to Blofeld and C's plan. Unfortunately, they are both apprehended by members of SPECTRE – but not before they've told M, Q, Bill Tanner and Moneypenny of the plan, with those four working together to stop the surveillance programme from going online. They are successful, and M kills C, but the mission is not over.

Blofeld takes Bond to the shell of the old MI6 building and informs him that explosives will go off in three minutes, and Swann is hidden somewhere inside. Thankfully Bond is able to find and rescue her before the bomb detonates and the pair manage to escape, while also shooting down Blofeld's helicopter. Bond then confronts an injured Blofeld on Westminster Bridge but decides not to kill him, instead allowing him to be arrested.

The film ends with Bond driving away with Swann in his repaired iconic Aston Martin DB5, the pair now very much in love.

  • Read more: Every James Bond theme song from the film franchise’s history

How is Spectre linked to No Time To Die?

While the new film is not necessarily a direct sequel in the traditional sense, it keeps the continuity of the previous adventures and there are some aspects in particular that play a key part.

First up: Madeleine Swann. In the film's pre-titles section – set soon after the events of Spectre – we find Bond and Madeleine enjoying a holiday in Italy, clearly very much still in love. And although the film jumps forward five years after the opening credits, Madeleine continues to have a huge impact on the plot – in part due to her links to new villain Safin.

Meanwhile, Blofeld – incarcerated after the events of the previous film – continues to plague 007 even from his prison cell, with the pair coming face-to-face again, as can be glimpsed in the trailer.

SPECTRE itself also continues to pose a threat to Bond at the beginning of the film, with the criminal organisation clearly paying no heed to his wishes for a quiet retirement – and is at least partly responsible for bringing him back into the espionage fold.

To give anything more away would be to veer into spoiler territory – but those three aspects, Madeleine, Blofeld and SPECTRE itself, are the elements that need to be remembered going into the new one.

Who is Blofeld?

Ernst Stavro Blofeld is one of the most iconic baddies in Bond history, having appeared in three of Ian Fleming's novels and eight films, including No Time To Die.

Prior to Spectre, Blofeld had last been seen in a cameo role in 1981's For Your Eyes Only – although in that film he was unnamed due to a legal wrangle concerning the rights to the character.

Blofeld is a criminal mastermind and the archenemy of James Bond, hopes to achieve world domination as head of the crime organisation Spectre, and is known for stroking his famous white cat.

Actors to have portrayed him prior to Christoph Waltz include Donald Pleasance (You Only Live Twice), Telly Savalas (On Her Majesty's Secret Service) and Charles Gray (Diamonds are Forever).

At the end of Spectre, Bond passed up the opportunity to kill Blofeld and instead allowed him to be arrested.

In No Time To Die, we find the villain incarcerated.

Blofeld (Christoph Waltz) - Spectre

Who is Dr Madeleine Swann?

Madeleine Swann doesn't have quite as storied a history in Bond as Blofeld, having only been introduced in Spectre, but she makes another appearance in No Time To Die , marking the first time in history that a so-called 'Bond Girl' has returned for a second film.

Swann is a psychologist and the daughter of Mr White, a mysterious member of Spectre who becomes the target of an assassination attempt.

She disliked guns and, prior to the events of Spectre, had distanced himself from her father. After completing medical training and working as a consultant she went into hiding at the Hoffler clinic in Austria – before she was found by Bond and dragged into the action.

Who is Madeleine Swann's father?

As mentioned above, Madeleine's father is Mr. White, an antagonist who was first introduced at the start of the Daniel Craig era in Casino Royale and also played a key role in Quantum of Solace. White was one of the leaders of a secret criminal organisation called Quantum, which it later emerges is a subsidiary of SPECTRE.

In Casino Royale, White is actually responsible for killing the primary antagonist Le Chiffre, due to his fury at the villain for ruining Quantum's reputation by misappropriating their funds in the poker match. But perhaps most notably, he was directly tied to Bond's first true love Vesper Lynd – he had earlier forced her to work for him with the threat of killing her boyfriend, and was thus directly responsible for Vesper betraying Bond at the end of Casino Royale, and essentially also responsible for her death.

Spectre

Of course, Vesper's final act before her death is to leave White's number to Bond, which allows him to track the villain down. This feeds directly into the events of Quantum of Solace, at the start of which White is able to escape from Bond and M thanks to an associate posing as M's bodyguard. For the rest of that film, he is a shady presence but he is left alive at the end of the film despite the dissolution of Quantum.

Crucially, Bond also learns that Vesper's old boyfriend had actually worked with White to stage his own kidnapping in order to coerce Vesper into working with Quantum in the first place– naturally increasing Bond's resentment of White still further. They didn't meet again until the events of Spectre, as described above.

No Time To Die is in UK cinemas now. If you're looking for more to watch, check out our TV Guide . Visit our Movies hub for all the latest news.

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SPECTRE Explained: All You Need to Know About James Bond's Big Bad

Sean Connery, as James Bond, demonstrates his disarming charms to Charles Gray’s SPECTRE chief Blofeld in 1971’s Diamonds Are Forever

You know, for a supposedly clandestine criminal organization, SPECTRE isn’t exactly hiding in the shadows anymore. On Wednesday, it was revealed that SPECTRE will be front and center for James Bond’s 24th adventure, with its name serving as the movie’s title and new version of its famous octopus symbol adorning the teaser poster. And even though new cast member Christoph Waltz wasn’t introduced as SPECTRE’s cat-stroking, chrome-domed leader, Ernst Blofeld, speculation is high that his character, Oberhauser, will turn out to be Bond’s No. 1 nemesis before the credits roll.

This marks the organization’s first appearance in the franchise’s rebooted continuity, which started over from scratch when Daniel Craig inherited 007’s license to kill in 2006’s Casino Royale . But SPECTRE’s tentacles reach far into Bond’s past. Here’s a quick primer on the many headaches it has caused for Her Majesty’s top secret service agent over the decades.

Related: James Bond 24 Title and Stars Announced, Teaser Poster Revealed

Bond mastermind (and real life ex-spy) Ian Fleming first introduced SPECTRE — which stands for Special Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion — in his eighth 007 novel, Thunderball , published in 1961, a year before Dr. No kicked off the film series. It was intended to serve as an apolitical replacement for SMERSH, a Soviet Union-based espionage group that bedeviled Bond for much of ‘50s, when Cold War tensions were running high.

The shattered glass “octopus” in the Spectre poster (left) and the real SPECTRE logo

On the page, SMERSH supposedly disbanded after the events of Goldfinger , although they reappeared in later, post-Fleming books. (SMERSH has never been an official part of the Bond film canon, although it has been referenced in both 1963’s From Russia with Love and 1987’s The Living Daylights . In both cases, though, it’s revealed to be a fake-out.)

SPECTRE made its big-screen debut at the same time as James Bond himself in the franchise-launcher Dr. No , with the titular baddie working amongst its ranks. The sequel, From Russia With Love , introduced Blofeld into the mix, albeit under the nom-de-mystery name “Number 1.” (That bit of misdirection, by the way, lends credence to the “Waltz is Blofeld” theory.) In both cases, SPECTRE’s goal is to instigate a cataclysmic conflict between the East and West — and profit from the remains. It’s up to Bond to put out whatever fire they attempt to cause, before they escape back into the shadows to try again.

After being left out of the movie version of Goldfinger , SPECTRE served as Bond’s primary antagonist in the next four installments — Thunderball , You Only Live Twice , On Her Majesty’s Secret Service and Diamonds are Forever . Blofeld himself joins in the fun in Twice in the form of Donald Pleasance. He’s later played by Telly Savalas in Secret Service , and Charles Gray in Diamonds ,  with the explanation that he regularly undergoes plastic surgery to remain a true international man of mystery.

Gray, in Diamonds, was one of four actors who played Blofeld in six different Bond films

SPECTRE delivers its most devastating blow to Bond in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service , when Blofeld and henchwoman Irma Bunt kill the one female conquest that got the love-‘em and leave-‘em spy to the altar: Tracy di Vicenzo, played by the incomparable Diana Rigg.

Appropriately, SPECTRE retired from the Bond series along with original 007 Sean Connery in Diamonds Are Forever . But both Connery and Blofeld were both back in 1983’s Never Say Never Again , a remake of Thunderball that was famously — and controversially — produced thanks to a convoluted contract dispute with producer Kevin McClory and exists outside of the primary Bond movie canon. To tweak McClory’s claim to Blofeld, 1981’s For Your Eyes Only opens with Roger Moore’s Bond dropping an unnamed, but immediately identifiable bald baddie down a smokestack, writing the character out of continuity for good. At least…until now. Maybe.

Related: Daniel Craig: Blame ‘Austin Powers’ For the Super Serious James Bond Movies

Although SPECTRE was left out of the Royale reboot, Daniel Craig’s Bond adventures have previously introduced a potential replacement organization — Quantum, which had a hand in the events of both Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace . Considering the title, there’s no mistaking who’s running the show in Bond 24, though. And if you’re wondering why it’s taken so long for the new Bond movies to get back to SPECTRE, maybe blame it on Mike Myers, who modeled his Austin Powers villain, Dr. Evil, after both Blofeld and his Saturday Night Live mentor Lorne Michaels.

Donald Pleasance (who played Blofeld in 1967’s You Only Live Twice, left ) and Mike Myers as Dr. Evil

As Daniel Craig himself said in a recently unearthed interview from 2012 , the Austin Powers series put the kibosh on the comedic elements of vintage Bond movies, including the notion of a bald criminal mastermind with plans for world domination and a soft spot for cats.

Spectre  will open in theaters on Nov. 6, 2015*

Photos: Everett, Columbia

*This post has been corrected since its original publication.

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Den of Geek

Spectre: 13 Questions About the New James Bond Movie Answered (Spoilers!)

The new James Bond film, Spectre, leaves lots of questions behind. We try and answer some of them here...

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This article contains spoilers for lots of James Bond films, but especially  Spectre .

The 24th instalment, and Daniel Craig’s fourth outing as 007, comes on the heels of the billion dollar success of Skyfall , currently the highest-grossing film of all time at the UK box office and the highest-grossing British film of all time, full stop. With Sam Mendes back in the director’s seat, the shadow of that success hangs over its sequel a bit.

As Bond faces SPECTRE, the criminal organisation whose first mention on-screen came in the very first Ian Fleming adaptation, 1962’s Dr. No , it’s even more of a throwback to the pre-reboot continuity than its predecessor, which brought back characters like Q and Miss Moneypenny as recurring characters.

We liked the film, but admit that it’s deceptively convoluted, with callbacks to the continuity of all Craig’s films thus far and some of the iconography of much older films. As the longest Bond film to date, it covers a lot of ground and still leaves more questions than any previous instalment. We’re going to have a bash at answering some of those questions, relating them back to previous films in the series and finally speculating on where we go from here.

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Hopefully this won’t be a nitpicky article, because a lot of our genuine quibbles are part and parcel of the series’ conventions. All the same, it will be a spoilery one, so if you haven’t seen Spectre   yet, be wary of that beyond this point.

What does “The dead are alive” mean?

Many have celebrated the return of the famous gun-barrel sequence to its rightful place at the beginning of the film (the last two films did it before the end credits and Casino Royale only paid homage before its title sequence) but we’re interested in what immediately follows. To our knowledge, this is the only Bond film ever to employ an opening epigraph – “The dead are alive.”

From this message, we smash cut to a Day of the Dead parade in Mexico City, which suggests an obvious and immediate parallel with the spiritually oriented national holiday in which revellers remember friends and family members who have passed on. But after a barnstorming opening sequence through, around and above the festivities, the rest of the film is suffused with this thematic statement.

Daniel Kleinman’s reliably epic opening title sequence also sets the tone, showing dearly departed faces such as Vesper Lynd from Casino Royale , Raoul Silva from Skyfall and Judi Dench’s M, as Sam Smith wheedles on about “a million shards of glass that haunt me from my past” in his theme song. Notably exempt from this mini In Memoriam reel for the Craig era are Strawberry Fields, Dominic Greene, René Mathis, Elvis the shit-wigged henchman and basically anyone who kicked the bucket in Quantum Of Solace .

But over the course of the film, the villains take perverse pleasure in reminding Bond that every woman in his life, from his mother to Vesper and, most recently, M, winds up dead. Even the villain himself turns out to be someone he has long thought dead, back to haunt him once again. Opening on “The dead are alive” could be seen as shouting the subtext a bit, but it does strike a tone that resonates throughout Spectre .

How was SPECTRE involved in the events of Casino Royale , Quantum Of Solace and Skyfall ?

One criticism that could be levelled at the Craig era of what has traditionally been a series of standalone adventures is that his films don’t know a clean break when they see one. While the previous three films all wrapped up neatly and left things open for the next adventure, each successive film has gone back over previous plot threads, even when they weren’t necessarily dangling.

This is more in evidence in Spectre than any of Craig’s other outings, and the octopus tentacles of the antagonists’ emblem could as easily be seen as a bunch of loose threads that Mendes and screenwriters John Logan, Neal Purvis, Robert Wade and Jez Butterworth aimed to tie up. The biggest and most obvious way of doing that is bringing back SPECTRE, (which stands for Special Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge & Extortion, if you’re ever in a tight spot at a pub quiz.)

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Although Quantum Of Solace is largely left to one side here, we’re to take it that Quantum, the criminal organisation behind Le Chiffre and Greene in the first two films was just one tentacle of an even larger criminal cabal. Where Quantum was clearly intended as a 21st century answer to SPECTRE (the digital version to its analog, to use a turn of phrase that’s particularly pertinent in this film), there’s some judicious retconning to wipe away any callbacks to Craig’s difficult second outing.

More unusually, it also brings Silva’s actions, who seemed to be on a deeply personal vendetta against M in the last film, under the umbrella of SPECTRE too. While some of us assumed that Silva would be to SPECTRE as Goldfinger was back in the day (as the only film with no mention of the organisation during the early run from Dr. No up to Diamonds Are Forever ), Skyfall ‘s standalone status has also been revoked as part of the retcon.

Some reviewed Craig’s first three films in advance of watching SPECTRE , but it’ll now be more interesting to see if the quartet holds together now that we’ve learned that SPECTRE was apparently the Big Bad all along.

How did M know about Sciarra?

Early on, Bond is grounded by M’s successor for his antics in Mexico City, where he killed a hitman named Sciarra, who was planning a devastating terrorist attack on a stadium. Acting outside of orders, Bond has caused a diplomatic crisis of the kind that happens every time he goes abroad, and either it was a coincidence or he’s unwilling to tell his boss about what his real mission was. As he later reveals to Moneypenny, he was left a video message by M before she died. Cue surprise cameo by Dame Judi!

In the event of something happening to her, she orders Bond to “find a man called Sciarra. Kill him. Don’t miss the funeral.” This eventually puts Bond on the track to a secret meeting, precipitated by the untimely death of Sciarra, discussing who is to assassinate former adversary Mr. White, (codenamed ‘the Pale King’) who has become a liability to them.

It gets the plot going nicely and M’s orders fit in with the ‘dead are alive’ theme, but it begs the question of how long she knew about Sciarra and his connections without mentioning it to Bond. The suggestion would seem to be that Lucia, the widow played by Monica Bellucci, was willing to inform on SPECTRE and was previously only protected by her hated husband.

We’ve seen M squeeze informants similarly in the past, most notably in pitting Bond against Le Chiffre at Casino Royale so that he would have nowhere to turn but MI6. The film doesn’t spoon-feed this information to us, but given what we know of the character, we don’t have to take too much of a leap there.

Did Bond make the best use of his 48 hour headstart?

On a visit to Q Branch, Bond gets an injection of nano-technology that the quartermaster dubs smart-blood, which M has ordered so that they can keep track of their incorrigible agent’s movements. Building upon the camaraderie of Skyfall , Bond wields his bad influence on Q to get him to invent a 24 – nay, 48 hour warm-up period where he’ll be untraceable. And then thanks him for it by nicking 009’s tricked-out Aston Martin DB10.

Far be it from us to suggest that Bond didn’t make the best use of that time by driving to Rome for Sciarra’s funeral. It’s an 18 hour drive, but we suppose that it might just be a more discreet way of getting out of the country while grounded. Even if it’s not that discreet, it’s certainly pretty cool.

But Bond then calls Moneypenny for assistance, and their conversation is inevitably recorded by government snooping services, and puts her career in jeopardy. Q is also in trouble for the same thing- their friendship feels a bit one-sided in this one. Maybe putting the ejector seat in the driver’s side was actually Q’s way of getting back at him for this kind of bullshit, rather than a clever escape and it just happened to work out in Bond’s favour. Bastard.

Did Sciarra’s widow Lucia get away?

Bellucci’s role as Lucia has rightfully been the subject of some disappointment – we get a Bond girl who is Bond’s own age for approximately the first time since Octopussy and it’s little more than an extended cameo. When Bond arrives to pump her for information (ew), she’s under armed guard. Before/during/after a bit of sexy time with Bond, Lucia tells him what he needs to know and he tells her that he’s arranged for her to be extracted by his friend in the CIA, Felix.

This is a reference to Felix Leiter, who has been played many different actors over the last 50 years of Bond films, but most recently and consistently by Jeffrey Wright in Casino Royale and Quantum Of Solace . Counter to the usual first girls that Craig’s Bond shags, Lucia doesn’t seem to meet a protracted death, but neither does she ever appear again.

It’s odd, but that almost exaggerates her importance in and of itself – it’s partly because she’s not dead but mostly because she’s played by one of the current greats of European cinema that you keep expecting her to have a more important role, but the film moves on, altogether dropping her character. Did Felix get her out? Who knows, but it’s disheartening that ‘didn’t die’ is a relative step-up as a resolution for a Bond girl.

Why did Franz Oberhauser rename himself as Blofeld?

At the SPECTRE meeting, the head of the organisation recognises and calls out Bond, who in turn recognises Franz Oberhauser, a hitherto unmentioned surrogate brother. As far as anyone knew, he died in an avalanche with his father years ago, as Moneypenny and then Q consistently explain to a determined Bond.

In Fleming’s stories, Oberhauser was the name of a man who taught Bond to ski and acted as a father figure to him after the death of his parents and it goes in much the same way here. Only in this adaptation, Franz is Oberhauser’s biological son and as is gradually teased out over the course of the action, he killed his father after he felt alienated by the devotion he showed to James, and reinvented himself with a new name – Ernst Stavro Blofeld.

Let’s get this bit out of the way. This was Star Trek Into Darkness syndrome all over again, with Mendes and Christoph Waltz both stridently denying that the latter was playing Blofeld when most of us connected the dots after watching the very first trailer. Just as JJ Abrams denied for months on end that Benedict Cumberbatch would play a character from the previous continuity in the Star Trek sequel, they were protecting a twist that doesn’t even work in the post-reboot context of the film.

The weight of the revelation that Franz is the reboot’s version of Blofeld, the SPECTRE head honcho who pulled the strings in most of the first seven Bond movies, is purely meta-textual. A well-versed audience may go “Ohhh”, but the name means little to new viewers and, more importantly, nothing at all to Bond himself. Blofeld’s name has not even been seeded through the plot of this film before that point, so it’s little more than an Easter egg and the months of denial didn’t make it any less predictable.

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That said, it’s managed a little better than Into Darkness ‘ parallel scene – there’s more going on in the already infamous torture scene than merely a name reveal and we did enjoy the pre-emptive reveal of a Chinchilla Persian cat as Blofeld’s pet. On top of that, if you really want to get pernickety about the building of this character into the reboot, you might also surmise that Dr. Vogel, the female SPECTRE operative played by Brigitte Millar in the meeting scene, could turn out to be shoe-knifing henchwoman Rosa Klebb in a future instalment.

As to the ‘why’, we’re dealing with a character who faked his death and completely reinvented himself for the purpose of making Bond suffer. Just as Bond rose through the ranks of British intelligence, so Blofeld has become a super-rich criminal mastermind who has lobbed pain and suffering at his former foster brother at every turn. He had to change his name for that to work. Blofeld was his mother’s maiden name (there’s that security question out the window for him) and Ernst Stavro is, as Bond remarks, “catchy.”

Why do SPECTRE put digital files on their rings?

Sciarra’s ring, emblazoned with SPECTRE’s octopus insignia, is hugely important to the good guys in this one, partly because it’s so helpfully full of incriminating information. When Q meets Bond in the field, he manages to scrape DNA and digital files off of the ring. This enables them to track the organisation to Blofeld’s bona-fide secret villain lair, in a meteor crater in Tangier.

SPECTRE probably doesn’t bank on Q getting hold of one of these and decrypting the files on it, but it does seem a tad careless. Incidentally, if we were to expand our 25 objects article , this might be the object to represent SPECTRE – comprehensive in the information it gives us, but perhaps not as well thought through as we’ve come to expect from the people behind it. But while Bond is tracking SPECTRE, how do they know how to track him?

C is the codename of Max Denbigh, the government overseer who aims to modernise and digitise global espionage by cutting back on agents like Bond and launching a new global surveillance cooperation called Nine Eyes at the new Doughnut-esque Centre For National Security. At the start of the film, MI6 has been merged with MI5 (hear the dripping disdain of Ralph Fiennes’ M as he says that) and Bond’s conduct is hardly helping the case for continuing the 00 program.

We’re making SPECTRE sound terribly predictable here, but if you don’t want someone to project a sudden but inevitable betrayal, Andrew Scott might not have been the best casting. He’s brilliant, as usual, but it’s hard to not see Jim Moriarty from the moment he appears. C could have been a character more in line with Alec Baldwin’s CIA director in the recent Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation , but his satisfaction in pulling MI6’s legs off one by one is all too obvious and there’s no bait-and-switch there.

Of course, that turns out to be because he’s a mole for SPECTRE and has been feeding intelligence directly to Blofeld. When Nine Eyes goes online, they’ll oversee the whole world. It really seems as if M suspects C all along, but maybe that’s because we do too. The film does have a slightly naïve view of how governments would feel about such an invasion of civil liberties in the name of protecting the world, but Fiennes does do a good line in healthy scepticism and delivers the best zinger in the movie too- “Now we know what C stands for.”

Depending on how long Denbigh has been acting as a mole before he appears here, you could use his affiliation with SPECTRE to retroactively explain a few plot holes from before, especially concerning Silva’s preternatural planning abilities in the second act of Skyfall , while his access to MI6 and maybe even Bond’s smart-blood tracker might explain how the imperious Mr. Hinx knows where Bond is all the time. We did see a Quantum agent, Craig Mitchell, in deep cover as M’s bodyguard at the beginning of Quantum Of Solace , so it’s fair to say that MI6 might even run a little more smoothly now that C has gone the way of Hans Gruber.

How did Blofeld make the money to fund a massive global surveillance project?

When M asks where the government found the money for such a massive surveillance project, C alludes to a private sector donation that, of course, comes from SPECTRE. For straightforward answers on where Blofeld gets his finance, look no further than the sort of stuff Quantum was up to in Casino Royale and Quantum Of Solace (a title that makes no sense at all when Quantum also happens to be a thing in the movie rather than just a synonym for an infinitesimal amount.)

The high-stakes poker game is pivotal for Le Chiffre as a financier after Bond prevents the bombing of a prototype airliner. Le Chiffre’s efforts to sink the prototype’s manufacturers in the stock market go awry, leaving him no choice but to gamble it all. The stock market plan seems more in line with how the criminal organisation raises money, along with Greene’s more audacious bid for Bolivia’s water supply by arranging to put the country in the hands of a mad general in the sequel.

You build quite a bit of capital as an insane criminal mastermind and Blofeld has managed to do this more successfully and for longer than some of his known associates.

Why did Blofeld leave the trail of graffiti and mugshots for Bond at Vauxhall Cross?

This is definitely a nitpick – Bond and M’s car is rammed by baddies, who then throw a bag on Bond’s head, cable-tie his hands and take him to face Blofeld at the condemned MI6 building at Vauxhall Cross. Upon arrival, Bond breaks his restraints, overpowers his captors and kills them. Now he has a gun and he knows where Blofeld is.

But then we get the shot from the trailers where ‘James Bond’ has been spray-painted onto the memorial to MI6 agents in the atrium, along with a bunch of arrows pointing him in the direction he needs to go. Following the directions, he gets a makeshift haunted house tour of his recent past, with pictures of Vesper, M and other deceased allies and enemies tacked up along the route before he finds Blofeld behind a pane of bulletproof glass.

So, did Blofeld’s plan for this confrontation hinge on Bond killing his men before they brought him in? The choice he presents to Bond – chase him or find Madeleine in the MI6 building before it explodes – doesn’t seem like it would have been particularly well managed if Bond were in restraints. Waltz’s Blofeld is in many ways a throwback to the Bond villains of old, taking the ‘why don’t you just kill him?’ threshold back to pre- Austin Powers levels.

Who is Madeleine Swann?

Bond’s investigation leads him to a dying Mr. White in a desolate cabin on Lake Altaussee in Austria, where he makes a pact with the former Quantum honcho – he’ll protect White’s daughter Madeleine, who can help him unpick SPECTRE’s tangled web of deceit, if he tells Bond where she is. He agrees and then shoots himself with Bond’s gun.

It’s Madeleine (Léa Seydoux) who tells Bond what SPECTRE is called and offers more information that leads to Blofeld, but more importantly, she’s a different kind of Bond girl than we’ve seen of late. For starters, she’s super-capable on her own, thank you very much, and over the course of the film, we get the kind of dizzying love affair that hasn’t been seen at least since Casino Royale .

As the best love interest in any of his films, Vesper looms over this as she has with other Daniel Craig sequels, but in far less time than expected, Bond and Madeleine go from having a love affair to actually being in love. Indeed, in a moment that is more romantic but not atypical of the series, Bond sustains and survives what should be a memory-obliterating intrusion into his temporal lobe when Madeleine tells him that she loves him.

While surviving Bond girls typically disappear between films, she’s markedly the first one to break up with him on screen, unable to fathom a life with an assassin, having seen how her father’s lifestyle worked. She’s almost immediately nabbed by Blofeld to raise the stakes in the third act of course, but it’s a marked departure at the end of the film when Bond chooses to give it all up and drive off with her in his newly repaired DB5. This can only end brilliantly…

Which characters will we see in Bond 25?

As mentioned, SPECTRE leaves more dangling threads than any Bond film before, and while characters have returned before – Quantum Of Solace brings back pretty much everyone who’s still alive at the end of Casino Royale – it’s hard to imagine that the 25th James Bond film won’t be an even more direct sequel. You can bet the farm on Ralph Fiennes, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris and Rory Kinnear returning as Bond’s allies in MI6, particularly as they’re being given more to do than previous incarnations of their characters, but who else might be back?

In addition to being the first one to leave Bond on-screen, the ending makes it seem very likely that Seydoux will be amongst the returning players in Bond 25, which would make her the first non-regular actress to return as the same character since Eunice Gayson as Sylvia Trench in From Russia With Love .

Monogamy probably won’t suit 007 very well and if it does, it can only lead to tragedy. The biggest downer ending of the series came in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service , when Bond’s new bride Tracy was shot and killed in a drive-by shooting. Madeleine’s card seems similarly marked by the ending of SPECTRE , because something must spur Bond back into action for the next movie.

Blofeld was behind the assassination of Tracy in OHMSS , which was supposed to lead into a revenge movie in Diamonds Are Forever , but the recasting of Sean Connery seemed to put paid to that idea. Given how Waltz’s Blofeld survives in detainment at the end of this one, we’d be shocked if he wasn’t already signed up to finish the story over the course of at least one more film.

As for that Persian cat, we think it’ll be ‘Mr. Not Appearing In Bond 25’, given to Blofeld’s unfortunate proliferation of explosive tanks in his secret lair. There may well be another cat though – an organisation with SPECTRE’s reach must have pussies galore.

James Bond will return… but will Daniel Craig?

Despite endless speculation, it has been a foregone conclusion for some time that Daniel Craig is signed on for at least one more Bond movie. If he were really desperate to be released from his contract, perhaps this might be his last, but again, while there’s an element of finality to this that could make it the last James Bond movie of this current reboot, we know that’s unlikely to happen.

It wouldn’t be without precedent to continue a plot through seismic cast changes. The original trio of films that showed Blofeld’s face never had the same two actors as Bond and Blofeld twice in a row. You Only Live Twice revealed Donald Pleasence as the villain, while On Her Majesty’s Secret Service picked up after he’d undergone plastic surgery to look like Telly Savalas. Meanwhile, Bond had regenerated into George Lazenby, so it’s a marvel that the two characters recognised each other at all.

Then in Diamonds Are Forever , Sean Connery returned to face a Blofeld who looked like Charles Gray, the actor who had played a completely different character in You Only Live Twice . But suspension of disbelief is not what it used to be and it’s hard to imagine that Eon Productions would want to let actors like Craig and Waltz go if they want to continue this story.

If Craig really does get out, the second option would be another hard reboot, making this quartet a complete story of one version of Bond, just like Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy is a self-contained story of Batman’s career. That seems more unlikely, although Eon could still do that and hold onto Fiennes et al, as they did with Judi Dench between Die Another Day and Casino Royale if they really wanted to.

As it is, many fans have come to the Bond series thinking that Daniel Craig is the definitive Bond and despite precedents, the ending seems to necessitate his return for at least one more movie. In a series that used to thrive on standalone adventures, it’s not as simple as slamming down hard on the reboot button, especially as we’ve ended on a note where 007 would seem to have ample reason not to return. But as the credits always promise, he inevitably will.

Mark Harrison

Mark Harrison | @MHarrison90

Mark is a writer from Middlesbrough, who once drunkenly tried (and failed) to pitch a film about his hometown to a director from Pixar. Fortunately, he…

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2015, Action/Adventure, 2h 28m

What to know

Critics Consensus

Spectre nudges Daniel Craig's rebooted Bond closer to the glorious, action-driven spectacle of earlier entries, although it's admittedly reliant on established 007 formula. Read critic reviews

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Spectre videos, spectre   photos.

A cryptic message from the past leads James Bond (Daniel Craig) to Mexico City and Rome, where he meets the beautiful widow (Monica Bellucci) of an infamous criminal. After infiltrating a secret meeting, 007 uncovers the existence of the sinister organization SPECTRE. Needing the help of the daughter of an old nemesis, he embarks on a mission to find her. As Bond ventures toward the heart of SPECTRE, he discovers a chilling connection between himself and the enemy (Christoph Waltz) he seeks.

Rating: PG-13 (Language|Intense Sequences of Action|Sensuality|Some Disturbing Images|Violence)

Genre: Action, Adventure, Mystery & thriller

Original Language: English

Director: Sam Mendes

Producer: Michael G. Wilson , Barbara Broccoli

Writer: John Logan , Neal Purvis , Robert Wade , Jez Butterworth

Release Date (Theaters): Nov 6, 2015  wide

Release Date (Streaming): Jul 24, 2016

Box Office (Gross USA): $200.1M

Runtime: 2h 28m

Distributor: Sony Pictures Entertainment

Production Co: Sony Pictures Entertainment, Columbia Pictures, Eon Productions Ltd., Danjaq Productions, MGM

Sound Mix: Dolby Digital

View the collection: James Bond 007

Cast & Crew

Daniel Craig

Christoph Waltz

Léa Seydoux

Ralph Fiennes

Monica Bellucci

Ben Whishaw

Naomie Harris

Dave Bautista

Andrew Scott

Rory Kinnear

Jesper Christensen

Alessandro Cremona

Marco Sciarra

Stephanie Sigman

Screenwriter

Neal Purvis

Robert Wade

Jez Butterworth

Michael G. Wilson

Barbara Broccoli

Callum McDougall

Executive Producer

Hoyte Van Hoytema

Cinematographer

Film Editing

Thomas Newman

Original Music

Dennis Gassner

Production Design

Christopher Lowe

Supervising Art Direction

Andrew Bennett

Art Director

Ben Collins

Mark Harris

Neal Callow

Anna Pinnock

Set Decoration

Jany Temime

Costume Design

News & Interviews for Spectre

Your Epic Movie Franchise Binge Guide: The Best Way to Watch the Biggest Series

Daniel Craig Is Returning as James Bond – What Critics Are Saying

Black Mirror , Shine a Light , and More Available to Stream on Netflix and Amazon Prime

Critic Reviews for Spectre

Audience reviews for spectre.

Visually stylish and a nice homage to the 60s Bond movies, neatly tying together plot points from the previous Daniel Craig bond movies, but felt quite pedestrian, I never really felt anything for any of the characters: things just happened without any excitement or emotion. At least it wasn't too silly, but again lacked humour.

spectre movie plot explained

One of the most obvious characteristics of the Bond series is that each instalment of the franchise can sit on its own. Modern audiences are asked to believe that the character has been the same age for more than 50 years, and the series has bent or tinkered with its conventions ever so slightly as the decades have rolled past in order to stay relevant. While this has kept the Bond series as a whole firmly in the realms of fantasy, it has allowed individual entries in the series to push for something more gritty or realistic; if it works, it's embraced and carried forward, and if not the series reverts to type with very few tears. Since the franchise was effectively rebooted with Casino Royale, an approach more becoming of comic books has been employed: different writers and directors come in and somehow try to stitch all the character's actions together into an overarching narrative. Doctor Who, Sherlock and Star Wars have all shown that this is not an easy thing to pull off, and it's harder still to convince an audience that such an undertaking was always intentional. Spectre attempts to tie together the events of its predecessors with a story about chickens coming home to roost - and while there is much to applaud about Sam Mendes' film, it is also riddled with problems. The first such problem is the amount of emphasis given to each of the previous films. You would imagine that any story which seeks to claim that the events of Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace and Skyfall were all an elaborate means to bring us to this point would place an equal weight on each instalment and the events therein. Instead, Quantum of Solace has been practically airbrushed out of history; besides the odd mention of Quantum, we get no reference to its plot and Dominic Greene is never seen on camera. The refusal to even hint at it is too constant a factor for it to be an accident; it is as though the whole production threw up their hands, admitted that it was terrible, and then asked us to forget that it ever existed. A related problem is that the script for Spectre is deeply conflicted, especially when it comes to the film's female characters. Madeleine Swann is written like two completely different people who have been composited; one moment she's being icy cold, compelling and giving Bond a run for his money with a gun, the next she's being captured for the umpteenth time and needing to be rescued. For all the steps forward that the Daniel Craig era has taken, it still can't resist a damsel in distress. None of the women in Spectre are given a fair crack of the whip. Even if we put Léa Seydoux to one side, that still leaves us with Monicca Bellucci. The film has a great opportunity here, casting an older woman with the promise of a deeper relationship. Instead, she gets five minutes of screen time to look scared, sleep with Bond and then leave. Dressing her in stockings is at best a nod back to Teri Hatcher in Tomorrow Never Dies and at worst just lazy fanservice. Not every woman in Bond's life has to be helpless without him, and the series has been at its best when the women are equal to him - either in a fetishistic way, like Xenia Onatopp or Bambi and Thumper, or something more mature and three-dimensional. Then there are the villains to consider. Sherlock's Andrew Scott waltzes through the whole film like he has "bad guy" tattooed on his forehead, but at least he's fully committed to what he is doing. Christoph Waltz, meanwhile, is completely underwhelming as Blofeld. Having Bond and Blofield as adopted brothers is workable, but Waltz can't decide whether to play it as the Jew Hunter from Inglorious Basterds or as a straight-up pantomime. He seems uncomfortable in the costume, looking like Hyman Roth in The Godfather Part II but without the threat. Either it's just a bad performance, or Mendes didn't know what he wanted from the character. Further evidence of a confused director can be found in the torture scene. The rope torture and poisoning scenes in Casino Royale were justified; they were both an effective means of moving to a grittier style and a meaningful way of showing Bond's vulnerability. Torture has been used as a novelty in Bond films before - there's a lot of it in the Brosnan era, whether Xenia's thighs in Goldeneye or the neck-breaking chair in The World Is Not Enough. But here it feels all too routine, as if Mendes said: "We need a torture scene here" and then got the specifics from a trip to the dentist. Like Skyfall before it, Spectre makes a number of conscious nods to its back catalogue. There's a lot more references to the Connery era this time around, with the DB5 and the gadgets on the DB10 nodding to Goldfinger, and Blofeld's cat and base borrowing heavily from You Only Live Twice. The sequence on the train is essentially a more stereoidal take on the train fight in From Russia with Love, and Swann's appearance particularly in the dining car is strongly influenced by Tatiana Romanova. But unlike its predecessor, these references are here for their own sake rather to make any attempt at justifying the franchise's longevity. There are a lot of plot details in Spectre which don't make sense or which are disappointing - another probable consequence of having four writers. The DNA scan on the Spectre ring is both a very arbitary gadget and a contrived plot device, asking us to accept both the technology and the fact that all the people involved would have worn the same ring. Then there's the ease with which Bond is able to blow up Blofeld's base, or the comparable ease with which Blofeld is able to wire up the whole of the MI6 building without anyone noticing. The final act is deeply anticlimatic, falling emotionally short where The Bourne Ultimatum hit a home run. In the midst of all these niggles, flaws and frustrations, there is an awful lot about Spectre which can be enjoyed, at least in the moment. For all its concessions to cliché, the film does make some interesting points about our increasingly surveillance-driven world and how easily it can be manipulated. The set-pieces are beautifully filmed, with Mendes lending excellent coverage to both the car chases and the long opening shot in Mexico. If you only watch Bond films for the car chases and fight scenes, rest assured they are still exhilirating enough to allow you to gloss over the plot holes. There are also improved performances within the supporting cast. Ben Whishaw's Q in Skyfall was essentially Brains from Thunderbirds, but here he becomes more rounded and appealingly tetchy. It's a different Q from Desmond Llewellyn's, but it still feels like a kindred spirit. Ralph Fiennes was always going to have a hard job following Judi Dench as M, but here he rises to the occasion, taking the tension he exhibited in In Bruges and bringing along some devil-may-care attitude for the ride. The best aspect of Spectre, however, is the scene involving Mr White - if nothing else because it is the most effective at tying up a part of the overarching story. There's a wonderfully bleak, pathos-ridden quality to the scene, with one man utterly defeated and the other delaying the inevitable. The writing is unpredictable but coherent, with Craig and Jesper Christiansen dualling brilliantly and the latter giving a sad, dead-eyed performance. Hoyte von Hoytema, who shot Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, does a fantastic job, contrasting the dark, oppresive colours in the cabin with the stark, deathly white of the snow. Spectre is a watchable slice of the Bond saga which pales in regard to two of the three films which preceded it. It's still heaps better than Quantum of Solace, if only because it always has a rough idea of where it is going even during its moments of writing conflict. But while its visual spectacle can give Casino Royale and Skyfall a run for their money, it doesn't have either the brains or the heart to rise above them. Bond fans will embrace it, but the rest of us will be expecting more effort next time around.

This is the movie that fans wanted to be even better than the critically acclaimed "Skyfall" that was released back in 2012. This movie clearly isn't that sequel! However, it really is a movie that can be enjoyable if you watch it with the right audience. If you watch it with the most die-hard Bond fans, this movie probably isn't for you, but if you just love Bond and love spy films, this movie is definitely something that you should check out. Daniel Craig once again proves why he was chosen back in 2006 and Christoph Waltz (who probably wasn't the Bond villain everyone was hoping for) shows why he is one of the best actors out there right now.

Every couple of years we get to go to the movies and hear the immortal words "Bond is back!". It's been 53 years since Sean Connery stepped into the role that he made iconic or made him an icon. That is a debate for a later time. Six Bonds later and the franchise still delivers enjoyable adventures that span the globe (with the occasional dud). Spectre is officially the 24th film and it really harkens back to the Bond of 30 years ago. The previous three films have built to this point in which Bond (Daniel Craig) has found that there is a huge criminal syndicate called Spectre that has been behind the events going all the way back to Casino Royale. Spectre represents a series of events in which Bond attempts to pull back the curtain and expose the puppet master in the form of Ernst Stravo Blofeld (Christophe Waltz). What's interesting about Spectre is that after 45 years of legal wranglings James Bond finally gets to face his arch nemesis. Blofeld is a characters that has never been played by the same actor twice and Christophe Waltz is a wonderful return for the character. Cold, calculated evil delivered. Craig once again fits into Bond and exudes that dark, brooding Bond. Some have mentioned the Roger Moore era of Bond being represented in this film, but Craig keeps the film grounded. Each Bond is his own man, yet the same man. Bringing us to the story, it once again leads to world control. Not from nukes or space stations, but information. We live in an information age. Our bogeymen sit at computer screens now. Who is on the other end of that camera watching you.Bond stories tend to recycle themselves, but amazingly most of them hold up. Spectre is a very good follow up to the almost perfect Skyfall. What's enjoyable about James Bond films, particularly when comparing films with the Bournes and Mission: Impossibles out there. Each individual Bond film makes its own mark, be it in villains, locales, or general bad assery. Other spy franchise seem to blend together, creating a murky identity when trying to remember what film had this or that happen. Bond has never had that problem and it's one of the many reasons that these films endure and continue to endure.

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Posted March 7, 2021 by AI

On a rogue mission in Mexico City Bond kills an assassin. Back in London, Bond is grounded by M but confides in Moneypenny that he was acting on orders from the previous M before she died. Bond travels to Rome and infiltrates a secret meeting, but their leader Franz Oberhauser, reveals Bond’s presence. The terrifying Hinx pursues Bond in a car chase. In Austria, Bond meets his old nemesis Mr White and makes a promise to keep Mr White’s daughter safe in exchange for leading him to Oberhauser. The daughter, Dr Madeleine Swann, is reluctant to help, but after Bond rescues her from Hinx she agrees. She reveals the secret organisation is SPECTRE. Swann leads Bond to Tangier and from there they journey by train to a desert location, Swann makes Bond question the life he has chosen for himself. Hinx appears and a vicious fight ensues. At a high-tech facility in the desert Bond and Swann meet Oberhauser, He amasses information to manipulate events and is about to gain control of a global surveillance network. After Oberhauser tortures Bond and reveals himself to be Ernst Stavro Blofeld, Bond and Swann escape and destroy the base. In London Bond debriefs M, is captured by Blofeld, then rescues Swann. Bond has the opportunity to kill Blofeld but decides to let him live. Bond joins Swann, leaving his old life behind.

Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Léa Seydoux, Ralph Fiennes, Monica Bellucci, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, Dave Bautista, Andrew Scott, Rory Kinnear, Jesper Christensen

Michael G. Wilson Barbara Broccoli

Release Date

26 October 2015 (UK) 6 November 2015 (USA)

World Premiere

26 October 2015, The Royal Albert Hall, London

Pinewood Studios, London locations, UK; Lake Altaussee, Obertilliach and Sölden, Austria; Rome, Italy; Mexico City, Mexico; Tangier, Erfoud and Sahara desert, Morocco

“Writing’s On The Wall” – performed by Sam Smith, written by Sam Smith and Jimmy Napes

Aston Martin DB5 , Aston Martin DB10 , Jaguar C-X75 , Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith, Land Rover Discovery Sport SVR, Land Rover Defender Big Foot,  Fiat 500, Britten-Norman BN-2 Islander aircraft, McDonnell Douglas MD500E, AgustaWestland AW109. Messerschmitt-Bolkow-Blohm Bo 105

Gadgets/Weapons/Technology

  • Smart Blood tracking device
  • Omega Seamaster 300 with two-tone NATO strap. Built in explosive charge with a one-minute timer
  • Blofeld’s torture chair
  • Nine Eyes Surveillance System
  • Laser microphone attached to Bond’s gun
  • Hinx’s thumbnails

The pre-title Day of the Dead sequence employed 1,520 extras, dressed and made up by 107 different make-up artists, 98 of whom were local. On each working day it took three and a half hours to get the crowd prepared

The Red Bull helicopter that featured in the pre-title sequence is built especially for barrel-rolling and free-diving and piloted by aerobatic pilot Chuck Aaron

Spectre marked the first time Bond has filmed in Rome, Italy

It was also the first time Aston Martin and the Bond production team collaborated on creating a new car designed specifically for the film with the DB10

Stefan Zurcher began looking for appropriate locations in Switzerland, Austria, Italy and France, 12 months before shooting commenced. His first Bond film was On Her Majesty’s Secret Service where he played a Piz Gloria guard. He continued to work on eight more Bond films in different capacities. He is also known as “The Snowman”

The exterior of the Ice Q in Solden was selected for the start of the chase. The main outdoor set was constructed in Obertilliach, a small village with 500 inhabitants in the Austrian Tirol

Two 20 tonne cranes were used in order to simulate the flight in the forest. The plane was 18m wide and the path through the trees was only 20m wide. Special carbon fibre cables were used between the cranes. Laser equipment was used to ensure the one kilometre path through the trees was in a straight line

A snow team of 30 people worked round the clock to guarantee perfect snow conditions on the road and in the forest

Spectre includes a Guinness World Record for the largest on screen explosion (of Blofeld’s lair)

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Jesper Christensen, Daniel Craig, Naomie Harris, Ben Whishaw, Tenoch Huerta, Stephanie Sigman, and Marco Zingaro in Spectre (2015)

A cryptic message from James Bond's past sends him on a trail to uncover the existence of a sinister organisation named SPECTRE. With a new threat dawning, Bond learns the terrible truth abo... Read all A cryptic message from James Bond's past sends him on a trail to uncover the existence of a sinister organisation named SPECTRE. With a new threat dawning, Bond learns the terrible truth about the author of all his pain in his most recent missions. A cryptic message from James Bond's past sends him on a trail to uncover the existence of a sinister organisation named SPECTRE. With a new threat dawning, Bond learns the terrible truth about the author of all his pain in his most recent missions.

  • Neal Purvis
  • Robert Wade
  • Daniel Craig
  • Christoph Waltz
  • Léa Seydoux
  • 1.3K User reviews
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  • 60 Metascore
  • 8 wins & 37 nominations total

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Stephanie Sigman

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Marco Zingaro

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Skyfall

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  • Trivia In the Ian Fleming James Bond stories, Hannes Oberhauser, who is the father of this movie's Franz Oberhauser ( Christoph Waltz ), was a skiing and climbing instructor who taught Bond while he was at Fettes College in Edinburgh, Scotland. In Fleming's "Octopussy" (1966) short story, Bond says of him: "He taught me to ski before the war, when I was in my teens. He was something of a wonderful man. He was something of a father to me at a time when I happened to need one."
  • Goofs In the train, Bond and Madeleine order dirty martinis (a break from his normal routine), but when the drinks arrive, they are perfectly clear. Dirty martinis contain olive juice, so they would be cloudy. The International Bartenders Association standard recipe requires Olive Juice/brine. The traditional number of olives is that it should be odd, with 5 seen as excessive and 3 the norm.

Mr. White : You're a kite dancing in a hurricane, Mr Bond.

  • Crazy credits The gunbarrel sequence has returned to the start of the movie.
  • The eye gouging now only shows an establishing shot of the thumbs being inserted, then cuts to a counter-shot from behind the victim's head when the slightly bloody thumbs emerge. The uncut version showed this all from the front, including the aftermath.
  • The suicide now takes place off-screen and with reduced detail. The uncut version showed the man putting the gun under his chin and firing with a spray of bloody mist, and two subsequent shots showed brain tissue hanging down from the back of his head.
  • Connections Edited into Omega 'Spectre' Television Commercial (2015)
  • Soundtracks Writing's on the Wall Music by Sam Smith Lyrics by Jimmy Napes Performed by Sam Smith

User reviews 1.3K

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  • Oct 1, 2021
  • How long is Spectre? Powered by Alexa
  • How could Blofeld say that Hannes raised/trained James Bond in this movie? Wasn't it Kincade from Skyfall?
  • Why do they insist on calling Max Denbigh "C"?
  • What does SPECTRE mean?
  • November 6, 2015 (United States)
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • 007 (United States)
  • MGM (United States)
  • Rome, Lazio, Italy
  • Columbia Pictures
  • See more company credits at IMDbPro
  • $245,000,000 (estimated)
  • $200,074,609
  • $70,403,148
  • Nov 8, 2015
  • $880,705,312

Technical specs

  • Runtime 2 hours 28 minutes
  • Dolby Digital
  • Dolby Surround 7.1

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Spectre (2015 film)

James bond film / from wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, dear wikiwand ai, let's keep it short by simply answering these key questions:.

Can you list the top facts and stats about Spectre (2015 film)?

Summarize this article for a 10 year old

Spectre is a 2015 spy film and the twenty-fourth in the James Bond series produced by Eon Productions . Directed by Sam Mendes and written by John Logan , Neal Purvis, Robert Wade , and Jez Butterworth from a story conceived by Logan, Purvis, and Wade, it stars Daniel Craig as Bond, alongside Christoph Waltz , Léa Seydoux , Ben Whishaw , Naomie Harris , Dave Bautista , Monica Bellucci , and Ralph Fiennes . It was distributed by Sony Pictures Releasing . In the film, Bond learns of Spectre , an international crime organisation led by Ernst Stavro Blofeld (Waltz).

Despite initially stating he would not direct Spectre, Mendes confirmed his return in 2014 after Nicolas Winding Refn declined to direct; Mendes became the first to direct successive James Bond films since John Glen . The inclusion of Spectre and its associated characters marked the end of the Thunderball controversy , in which Kevin McClory and Fleming were embroiled in lengthy legal disputes over the film rights to the novel; Spectre is the first film to feature these elements since Diamonds Are Forever (1971). Following the Sony Pictures hack , it was revealed Sony and Eon clashed regarding finance, stunts, and filming locations; Spectre is estimated to have a final budget of $245–300 million, making it one of the most expensive films ever made . Principal photography began in December 2014 and lasted until July 2015, with filming locations including Austria, the United Kingdom, Italy, Morocco, and Mexico.

Spectre premiered at the Royal Albert Hall on 26 October 2015 and was theatrically released in conventional and IMAX formats in the United Kingdom that day, and in the United States on 6 November. The film received mixed reviews from critics, who praised the action sequences, cast performances (particularly Craig's and Bautista's), and the musical score, but criticised the pacing and formulaic narrative decisions. It grossed $880 million worldwide, making it the sixth-highest-grossing film of 2015 and the second-highest grossing James Bond film after Skyfall , unadjusted for inflation. The film's theme song, " Writing's on the Wall ", won an Academy Award and Golden Globe for Best Original Song. The next film in the series, No Time to Die , was released in 2021.

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Ben Whishaw and Daniel Craig in Spectre

Spectre review: James Bond is back, stylish, camp and sexily pro-Snowden

Daniel Craig has grown into the role of the British spy with flair and sang-froid and this inventive, intelligent and complex new outing showcases him brilliantly

  • James Bond fans need not fear Spectre of product placement
  • Soft focus: why Spectre fails to sell Bond as a convincing ladies’ man

I f nothing else, the spelling of the title should tip you off that this is a thoroughly English movie franchise. Bond is back and Daniel Craig is back in a terrifically exciting, spectacular, almost operatically delirious 007 adventure – endorsing intelligence work as old-fashioned derring-do and incidentally taking a stoutly pro-Snowden line against the creepy voyeur surveillance that undermines the rights of a free individual. It’s pure action mayhem with a real sense of style.

Ralph Fiennes’s M finds himself battling a cocky new colleague Max Denbigh (Andrew Scott) who wishes to abolish the 00-programme in favour of a vast new multi-national computer-snooper programme. The code name of this awful new stuffed shirt is C – and Bond does not scruple to make crude innuendo on that score.

James Bond is cutting loose from duplicitous, bureaucratic authority - in the time-honoured fashion – and plans to track down a certain sinister Austrian kingpin at the heart of something called Spectre, played with gusto by Christoph Waltz . This is the evil organisation whose tentacular reach and extensive personnel may in fact have accounted for all Bond’s woes in Craig’s previous three movies.

The movie doesn’t say so but the “t” in Fleming’s Spectre stood for terrorism – the Special Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion – and perhaps one of the first uses of the word in pop culture.

Is this Craig’s last hurrah as Bond? His somewhat tetchy remarks in interviews preceding this movie – indicating a readiness to quit – oddly mirror the tetchy media comments that greeted the news of his casting almost 10 years ago. Craig showed they were wrong: and I hope he carries on now. He is one of the best Bonds and an equal to Connery. That great big handsome-Shrek face with its sweetly bat ears has grown into the role.

He has flair, sang-froid, and he wears a suit superbly well by bulging his gym-built frame fiercely into it, rarely undoing his jacket button and always having his tie done up to the top. At one point he simply snaps the plastic handcuffs the bad-guys have put on him, with sheer brute strength. Yet there is also an elegant new dismissive tone that he introduces into the dialogue bordering on camp. “That all sounds marvellous,” he purrs when advised of some footling new procedural restriction, adding later: “That all sounds lovely.”

He is particularly vexed at the news that a sleek new car has in fact been reserved for 009. The script by John Logan, Neal Purvis, Robert Wade and Jez Butterworth runs on rails with great twists and turns and gags.

We start with a gasp-inducing action sequence in Mexico City for the Day of the Dead. Director Sam Mendes contrives a stylishly extended continuous tracking shot to bring our hero into the proceedings and it isn’t long before an outrageous set-piece is in progress with a helicopter repeatedly looping the loop while 007 vigorously punches the pilot and a fellow passenger.

A clue salvaged from the chaos puts Bond on the trail of Spectre, taking him at first to Rome where he has a romantic interlude with a soigné woman of mystery, played with distant languor by Monica Bellucci. Then he is to infiltrate the horribly occult headquarters of Spectre itself – a wonderfully old-fashioned “evil boardroom” scene for which Mendes manages to avoid any Austin Powers/Dr Evil type absurdity.

Waltz’s chief is an almost papal presence of menace, upsetting all his cringing subordinates by saying and doing next to nothing, and photographed in shadow. When he recognises Bond in the room, he leers: “I see you! Cuckoo!” – a French expression which in fact is to have a darker significance, revealed at the end.

From here we go to Austria and this is where Bond is to encounter his main amour: Dr Madeleine Swann, stylishly played with just the right amount of sullen sensuality by Léa Seydoux. It is of course ridiculous that the pair manage to get away from there to Tangier in such stunning changes of outfit without worrying about suitcases, money etc. but it is all part of the escapist effect.

Madeleine and James’s train journey comes with vodka martinis in the dining car followed by a colossal woodwork-splintering punch-up with a beefy henchman. They appear, moreover, to be the only passengers on the train.

Spectre

Later, he gets a horrible hi-tech torture scene, with Waltz’s ogre whispering: “Out of horror, beauty....” A new version of the sadism that was on display when Mads Mikkselsen was roughing him up in Casino Royale.

Another person who has grown into his part, incidentally, is Ben Whishaw as the perennially stressed quartermaster and tech supremo Q: Whishaw has developed him as a very enjoyable comic character.

It’s deeply silly but uproariously entertaining. At the end, I almost felt guilty for enjoying it all quite so much – almost.

  • Daniel Craig
  • Ben Whishaw
  • Ralph Fiennes

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Spectre (film)

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Spectre is the twenty-fourth film in the James Bond series produced by EON Productions . Like the previous film Skyfall , Spectre was written by John Logan , Neal Purvis and Robert Wade is directed by Sam Mendes and features Daniel Craig in his fourth performance as James Bond. [1] The film was released in the UK on 26 October 2015, fifty years after release of Thunderball (1965), thirty years after release of A View to a Kill (1985), and twenty years after release of GoldenEye (1995), and worldwide on 6 November 2015 in regular and IMAX theatres. It continues a story arc which started in Craig's first three films: Casino Royale , Quantum of Solace , and Skyfall .

In the film, 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 . [2]

The film's title is derived from the criminal organisation SPECTRE , which was prominent during the original Bond films and several Ian Fleming novels. The organisation's logo, an octopus, is also referenced in the official teaser poster.

  • 1.1 Hunting Spectre
  • 1.2 Legacy of the Pale King
  • 1.3 Loose ends
  • 2.1 Pre-production
  • 2.2 Production
  • 2.3 Promotion
  • 3 Cast & Characters
  • 5 Locations
  • 8.1 Posters
  • 8.2 Press conference & photo calls
  • 8.3 Publicity & behind-the-scenes
  • 8.4 Studio trailer release promos
  • 8.5 DB10 & other vehicles
  • 8.6 Teaser trailer stills
  • 9 References

Hunting Spectre [ ]

During the Day of the Dead festival in Mexico City, James Bond kills two men arranging to blow up a stadium, before shooting a briefcase containing their bomb. In doing so, the building they are in explodes and collapses. Bond gives chase to a criminal operative named Marco Sciarra , who survived the blast and, in an attempt to escape, boards a helicopter. Bond follows and in the ensuing struggle he throws both Sciarra and the pilot out of the helicopter to their deaths, while in the process, stealing Sciarra's band ring , which has an octopus symbol on it. Bond's actions are revealed to be him working on the unofficial orders of the previous M , who told him that if she died, he was to kill Sciarra and attend his funeral. On his return to London , Bond is indefinitely taken off field duty by the current M , who is in the midst of a power struggle with Max Denbigh (also known as the code name 'C', assigned to him by Bond), the head of the newly created Joint Intelligence Service, which consists of the recently merged MI5 and MI6 . C also wants to create the " Nine Eyes " intelligence co-operation agreement between nine countries, and close down the '00' section in the process.

Bond disobeys M's orders and travels to Rome to attend Sciarra's funeral. That evening he visits and seduces Sciarra's widow Lucia , who tells him about a criminal organisation to which her husband belonged and where they are meeting that evening after he rescues her from assassins. Bond enters the meeting by showing the ring, where he sees the head of the organisation, in shadow, chairing a meeting, referring to terrorism in Hamburg and Tunisia, as well as Mexico City and distribution of counterfeit pharmaceutical products. The head mentions the events in Mexico, and mentions Bond by name, turning to face him as he does so. Having been recognised, Bond escapes the meeting and a car chase through Rome ensues, with Bond in an Aston Martin DB10 pursued by Mr. Hinx , an assassin for the organisation, who drives in a Jaguar C-X75 . Eve Moneypenny acts as a source of information for Bond and informs him that a reference he heard in both Mexico and the meeting will lead to Mr. White , a former member of the Quantum organisation which is revealed to be a subsidiary of this new organisation. Bond also asks for a check on the name Franz Oberhauser , revealed to be the name of the meeting’s chairman, who Bond recognised might be from his past.

Legacy of the Pale King [ ]

Bond travels to Austria to find Mr. White at his current home, and finds him dying of Thallium radiation poisoning, which was planted on his phone after falling from favour with the organisation and its leadership, due to White's reservations about human tracking. Bond wins his trust by disarming himself of his weapon after discovering White has a daughter, Dr. Madeleine Swann , that he is protecting from the organisation. Bond promises to protect her from them before White tells him Madeleine can lead him to "l'Américain", which will, in turn, lead him to the organisation. White then uses Bond's gun to shoot himself in the head. Bond finds Swann at a secluded Austrian clinic where she works, but she tries to have him thrown out before she is snatched by Mr. Hinx. Bond chases the kidnappers by plane and forces their three cars to crash before he makes his escape with Swann, who is still angry with Bond. The pair then meets with Q , who reveals that Sciarra's ring contains digital files linking Oberhauser, the leader of the organisation, and Bond's three previous missions . Swann then informs them about the name of the organisation, Spectre , and that l'Américain is a hotel in Tangier, Morocco, rather than a person, as Bond has suspected previously.

Spectre - Blofeld tortures 007 (1)

Oberhauser tortures 007.

The couple travels to the hotel and stays in the suite her father used to stay in every year since he was married to Swann's mother . Bond discovers White had built a secret room full of videotapes, charts, and photographs, as well as maps and coordinates of where they should go next. They travel to the nearest point a train will go, but are again attacked by Mr. Hinx. After fighting and nearly killing them both, Hinx is flung off the train, presumably to his death, by a rope attached to several beer kegs, leading to Swann and Bond having sex. At the end of the journey, they are transported to a facility in the desert, where they are met by and held prisoner by who Bond thinks is Franz Oberhauser, the son of Hannes Oberhauser , Bond's temporary foster father, who was murdered. While drilling into Bond's head and nerves with mechanical probes , Oberhauser also informs him that C is part of the Spectre organisation, and he feeds all the intelligence data straight to Spectre. Oberhauser then tortures Bond and reveals that the name Franz Oberhauser was what Bond and Hannes called him, but his real name, the name he uses now, is actually Ernst Stavro Blofeld. He secretly renamed himself while Bond stayed with him and he took in his mother’s bloodline. He faked his death thirty-four years ago to be recognised as his real name and to avoid legal trouble after he murdered his father, Hannes; Blofeld reveals that he killed his father because he felt that Bond had replaced him as his father's favourite. Bond and Swann escape with the help of Bond's exploding watch , destroying the facility in the process.

Loose ends [ ]

Back in London, Bond and Swann meet M, Bill Tanner , Q, and Moneypenny, and they travel to arrest C and stop the launch of the Nine Eyes programme. En route they are ambushed and Bond is kidnapped by Spectre agents. M and the others escape and proceed to wait for C in his office, arrest him and shut down Nine Eyes before it launches; in an ensuing struggle, C falls to his death at the hands of M. Bond has, meanwhile, been taken to the old MI6 building—derelict since Raoul Silva 's attack in Skyfall , and now scheduled for demolition—but he disables his captors before entering the building. He meets Blofeld - who was ferociously marred by the explosion where Bond escaped earlier on, leaving him with a horrific scar and blindness in one eye - who tells him the building is rigged to explode in three minutes and that Swann is hidden somewhere within it, before giving Bond a choice: die in the explosion whilst trying to rescue Swann, or leave with his life and be forever haunted by the fact that he did not save her. Bond finds her and the couple escapes by boat out onto the Thames. They chase Blofeld — who is in a helicopter — and shoot it down; the helicopter crashes onto Westminster Bridge. Bond comes close to executing Blofeld but then lets him be arrested by M and leaves with Madeleine. The next day Bond retrieves his old Aston Martin DB5 from Q, now fully repaired, and drives off with Madeleine.

Film History [ ]

Pre-production [ ].

Shortly after Skyfall premiered, pre-production on Bond 24 began. Bond franchise staples Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson returned as executive producers and EON Productions , MGM and Sony/Columbia Pictures returned as production companies. Sony Pictures Home Entertainment secured the rights for home distribution.

With Daniel Craig under contract for two more Bond films, MGM and EON Productions hired Skyfall writer John Logan to pen Bond 24 and 25 as a two-parter, to film simultaneously and release in 2014 and 2015. [3] Immediately after Skyfall Mendes had shown interest in directing Bond 24 but passed in March 2013 in order to focus on his stage work. [4] MGM, EON, and Mendes continued to meet and plan the future of the Bond franchise and decided to abandon the two-parter concept and push back the release of Bond 24 to 2015 to accommodate Mendes' schedule. [5]

Spectre-BTS 001

Mendes on the set of Spectre

On July 11, 2013, it was officially announced that Daniel Craig , Sam Mendes , and John Logan would return for Bond 24 for an Autumn 2015 release. [1]

On October 21, Ralph Fiennes confirmed he would be in Bond 24 saying "I think everyone knows that, I don’t think that’s particularly a secret" and later hinted that Gareth Mallory might not be stuck behind a desk in the film. [6] [7] On November 24 Naomie Harris confirmed she would also be returning. [8] In late March 2014, John Logan teased that he had completed the first draft of the script, hinted that some elements from the original films may return but was cautious to reveal any specifics about the possible return of S.P.E.C.T.R.E. , Quantum , other 00 agents , or other returning elements. [9] In an April 2014 interview with Charlie Rose, Sam Mendes revealed that Bond 24 would be a "continuation" of the character stories he began in Skyfall, namely the new characters' (M, Moneypenny , Tanner , and Q ) relationships with Bond and each other. [5]

On June 27, it was announced that Neal Purvis and Robert Wade were hired to polish the script, specifically to "punch up the script and sprinkle in more gags" and improve the banter between Bond, Moneypenny and M. Some reports indicated the re-write was more significant than originally planned. Due to the re-writes, production was pushed back to December 6, 2014, with the same hopeful autumn 2015 release date. [10] [11] In November screenwriter Jeremy "Jez" Butterworth was hired to do a final polish of the script, which reportedly did not affect the filming schedule. [12]

Spectre press conference - full cast and Mendes

The full principal cast of Spectre and director Sam Mendes. L-R: Andrew Scott, Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, Mendes, Lea Seydoux, Daniel Craig, Monica Belluci, Christoph Waltz, Ben Whishaw, Dave Bautista and Rory Kinnear.

Months after it was confirmed Skyfall cinematographer Roger Deakins would not be returning for Bond 24 [13] Hoyte van Hoytema was named cinematographer. [14] Set construction was spotted in Obertilliach, Austria. [15] In October 2014 French actress Lea Seydoux was announced as being cast as a Bond girl in the film. [16] In November two time Oscar-winning actor Christoph Waltz was announced as being cast in an unspecified role. [17] On December 4, 2014, the official title and cast were announced. [2]

Production [ ]

Production began on December 5 at Pinewood Studios . Locations for Spectre include Mexico City, Rome, Tangier, Morocco, Sölden Austria, Obertilliach and Lake Altaussee. [2] Jesper Christensen revealed in an interview on December 5, 2014, that he would be returning as Mr. White . [18]

In a production video published February 26, 2015 director Sam Mendes shared that the film would continue to explore Bond's past and how his longer-tenured experience in MI6 affects his working relationship with M, Q, and Moneypenny. On March 9, 2015, it was announced that Mexican model and actress Stephanie Sigman joined the film as Estrella . [19]

In late March it was revealed that the opening sequence of the film would take place during a Day of the Dead parade in Mexico City, Mexico and feature "one of the biggest opening sequences ever" according to the films' producers. [20]

It is estimated that Spectre had the highest budget of any Bond film and during production $36 million of vehicles, namely Aston Martin DB10s , were destroyed. [21]

Principal photography wrapped on July 5, 2015. [22]

Promotion [ ]

On March 27, 2015, the first teaser trailer for the film was released, showing Spectre takes place soon after the events of Skyfall , as MI6 is still in ruins and Bond receives his personal effects from Moneypenny, collected by forensics from the destroyed Skyfall Lodge . The trailer also features Eve Moneypenny , Mr. White , and first glimpses of Monica Bellucci's Lucia Sciarra and Christoph Waltz' Franz Oberhauser .

The first theatrical trailer was released in mid-July 2015.

On 8 September 2015, it was announced the theme song would be titled " Writing's on the Wall " and was written and performed by Sam Smith and produced by Smith, Jimmy Napes, and Disclosure with a release date of 25 September 2015. [23]

In mid-September Spectre received a PG-13 rating with an estimated run-time of 148 minutes. [24]

Cast & Characters [ ]

James Bond (Daniel Craig)

Sam Mendes at the Spectre announcement press conference

  • Directed by: Sam Mendes
  • Written by: Ian Fleming (characters only), John Logan , Neal Purvis and Robert Wade (screenplay)
  • Produced by: Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli
  • Cinematography by Hoyte van Hoytema
  • Production Design by Dennis Gassner
  • Edited by Lee Smith
  • Music composed by Thomas Newman
  • 2nd Unit Director Alexander Witt
  • SFX Supervisor Chris Corbould
  • VFX Supervisor Steve Begg
  • Costume Designer Jany Temime
  • Stunt Coordinator Gary Powell

Locations [ ]

  • Mexico City, Mexico
  • London, England
  • Saint Peter's Square, Vatican
  • Rome, Italy
  • Altaussee, Austria
  • Tangier, Morocco
  • For the first time in their shared history, Aston Martin specially commissioned the DB10 specifically just for the film. It was designed and built exclusively for the James Bond Franchise.
  • Director Sam Mendes would later revisit the concept of using a single long tracking shot, as seen in Spectre's opening sequence, in his Oscar-nominated war film, 1917 , only extended for an entire movie.
  • Kingsley Amis receives screen credit due to a plot point and some dialogue having been adapted from his Bond novel, Colonel Sun . Although Die Another Day featured a character whose name referenced that of Amis' titular villain, this was the first film to directly adapt material from the novel; indeed, it is the first Bond film to acknowledge adapting any literary Bond story not written by Ian Fleming .
  • The SPECTRE conference sequence references a similar set-piece event in the original Thunderball novel and its 1965 film adaptation , with a key difference being that Bond is not present in the earlier version (and, indeed, does not encounter Blofeld at all in Thunderball ).
  • This is the only Daniel Craig's Bond film where Bond is seen sporting a white dinner suit.
  • The name Oberhauser comes from the short story Octopussy .
  • The film represents the first appearance of Blofeld's cat since the non-Eon Never Say Never Again or the official For Your Eyes Only .

SPECTRE - FULL LENGTH TRAILER

Posters [ ]

SPECTRE poster 1

Press conference & photo calls [ ]

Seydoux and Bellucci

Publicity & behind-the-scenes [ ]

The Day of the Dead festival.

Studio trailer release promos [ ]

Ralph Fiennes in SPECTRE

DB10 & other vehicles [ ]

The Aston Martin DB10

Teaser trailer stills [ ]

Spectre teaser 01

References [ ]

  • ↑ 1.0 1.1 7/11/13 — 007.com — Bond 24 news
  • ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 12/4/14 — 007.com — Bond Returns in Spectre
  • ↑ 10/26/13 — Deadline.com — ‘Gladiator’ Scribe John Logan To Write Next Two James Bond Films
  • ↑ 2/15/13 — Hitfix.com — Skyfall' director Sam Mendes likely to return for next James Bond film
  • ↑ 5.0 5.1 4/30/14 — EmpireOnline.com — Sam Mendes Explains His Bond 24 Return
  • ↑ 3/5/14 — Hitfix.com — Ralph Fiennes stokes James Bond rumors and talks about M's future
  • ↑ 10/19/13 — Metro.co.uk - Ralph Fiennes ‘excited’ about playing M in the next James Bond film
  • ↑ 11/24/13 — NYDailyNews.com - As Winnie Mandela, Naomie Harris found the role of her career in ‘Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom’
  • ↑ 3/5/14 — EmpireOnline.com — John Logan Gives Bond 24 Script Update
  • ↑ 6/27/14 — SlashFilm.com — ‘Bond 24′ Brings Back ‘Skyfall’ Scribes Neal Purvis and Robert Wade
  • ↑ 9/15/14 — TheHollwoodNews.com — Bond 24 Gets A Start Date
  • ↑ 11/6/14 — ComicBookMovie.com — Edge of Tommorow Screenwriter Polishing Bond 24 Script
  • ↑ 2/19/14 — EmpireOnline.com — Roger Deakins Won't Shoot Bond 24
  • ↑ 9/16/14 — Collider.com — HER and INTERSTELLAR Cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema to Replace Roger Deakins on BOND 24; May Shoot on Film
  • ↑ 9/25/14 — ComicbookMovie.com — First BOND 24 Set Photo Has Surfaced
  • ↑ 12/10/14 — Move over Rihanna, actress Léa Seydoux is the new Bond girl
  • ↑ 21/11/14 — Christoph Waltz Boards Bond 24
  • ↑ 12/5/14 — ScreenRant.com — ‘Quantum of Solace’s Mr. White Says He’s Returning for ‘Spectre’
  • ↑ 3/9/15 — @007 on Twitter
  • ↑ 4/30/15 — Independent.co.uk — Spectre: New opening sequence in Mexico set to be 'biggest ever done' for Bond film
  • ↑ 9/30/15 — Pulse.ng — New bond movie wrecked $36M in cars during filming
  • ↑ 7/5/15 — MI6-hq.com — It's a wrap for 'Spectre' as principal photography ends
  • ↑ 11/8/15 — RollingStone.com — Sam Smith Confirms 'Spectre' Bond Theme Song 'Writing's on the Wall'
  • ↑ 9/14/15 — Overmental.com — James Bond 007: Spectre’s Runtime Will Make Bond History.
  • 1 Mr. White
  • 2 Lyutsifer Safin
  • 3 Blofeld (Christoph Waltz)

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Spectre – Movie Review

Spectre is the latest James Bond film, staring Daniel Craig as James Bond, Monica Bellucci as Lucia Sciarra, Christoph Waltz as Oberhauser, and Léa Seydoux as Madeleine Swann.

Spectre: Logline

When Bond’s past comes back to haunt him, he has to choose between revenge on his secretive nemesis and potential happiness with the daughter of an old adversary, whilst trying to prevent a threat to world freedom.

Spectre: Plot Summary

Warning: My plot summaries contain major spoilers. The worst spoilers are blacked out like this [blackout]secret[/blackout]. To view them, just select/highlight them.

It’s the present day. James Bond is in Mexico at the Day of the Dead celebration. Eavesdropping on a criminal, Marco Sciarra, he hears him mention “The Pale King” and a plan to bomb a football stadium. Bond shoots the bomb, causing it to explode, but Sciarra escapes and Bond gives chase. When Sciarra boards a helicopter, Bond leaps aboard and, after stealing Sciarra’s unusual ring, throws him out of the helicopter.

Back in London, M is furious at Bond’s unofficial activities and suspends him from duty. Moneypenny visits Bond at home and asks him what he’s up to. Bond shows her a video from the previous M asking him to assassinate Sciarra and then attend the funeral.

On M’s orders Q tags Bond with a nanotechnology tracker, but agrees that he will cover for Bond for forty-eight hours, while he goes to the funeral in Rome and gives Bond a watch packed with explosives.

At the funeral, Bond meets Sciarra’s widow, Lucia, and saves her from assassins. Lucia tells Bond about a meeting of her husband’s criminal associates that evening, and Bond infiltrates the meeting. There he witnesses a brutal murder by the enforcer, Mr. Hinx, and is then recognised by the organisation’s head, Franz Oberhauser, and has to flee, chased through Rome by Mr. Hinx. Bond eventually escapes using his Aston Martin’s ejector seat.

Moneypenny tells Bond that “The Pale King” is an alias of Mr. White, from the Quantum organisation Bond had previously tangled with.

Meanwhile, M’s rival intelligence chief ‘C’ attempts to create a worldwide, total-surveillance organisation called ‘The Nine Eyes’, but loses by one vote, to M’s relief.

Bond travels to Austria to find Mr. White, who assumes Bond is there to kill him. He tells Bond it’s too late, as he’s already dying of radiation poisoning. Bond realises Mr. White’s last concern is to protect his daughter and persuades him the best way to do that is to tell Bond where she is. Mr. White tells Bond his daughter, Madeline Swann, works at a clinic in the Alps, and Bond should ask her about “L’American”. He then kills himself.

Bond meets Madeline at the clinic, but she won’t cooperate and is then kidnapped by Mr. Hinx. Bond rescues her after a plane and car chase and takes her to meet Q. Q examines Sciarra’s ring and discovers files linking Oberhauser’s organisation with Bond’s previous missions. Madeline tells Bond the organisation is called “Spectre”, and that “L’American” is a hotel in Morocco that her mother and father used to visit annually.

Bond and Madeline travel to the hotel and stay in the same room her mother and father used to stay in. That night, Bond discovers a secret room containing a computer with the co-ordinates of a facility in the desert that isn’t on any maps. Bond and Madeline travel into the desert by train. While on the train they’re attacked by Mr Hinx, who’s about to kill Bond when Madeline shoots him. Bond then throws Mr. Hinx off the train. Later, Bond and Madeline become lovers.

At the facility in the desert, Bond meets Oberhauser, who’s the son of Bond’s guardian and who Bond thought dead in an avalanche. Oberhauser tells Bond how he killed his father, faked his own death, and has manipulated Bond for years, ruining his life. Now, he has succeeded in having The Nine Eyes approved, after setting off more bombs, and will soon have total surveillance of the world. Oberhauser makes Madeleine watch a video of her father committing suicide and Bond one of M giving a farewell speech after being forced out. One of Oberhauser’s guards knocks Bond out…

Bond [blackout]comes to tied to an operating chair and about to be tortured to death. Oberhauser tells Bond how he took a new name after he faked his death: Ernst Stavro Blofeld. He starts torturing Bond, but Bond manages to set his watch to explode then passes it to Madeline, who throws it at Blofeld. After the explosion, Bond and Madeline escape, destroying Blofeld’s facility in the process. They return to London to meet M, arrest C and prevent The Nine Eyes going live, though Madeline says she can’t be part of Bond’s world of violence and leaves.[/blackout]

On[blackout] the way to arrest C, M’s car is ambushed. M escapes but the assailants grab Bond and take him to the old MI6 building, which is wired for demolition. M attempts to arrest C in his office, while Q tries to hack the Nine Eyes system. C attacks M and in the ensuing struggle falls to his death, while Q finally manages to terminate the Nine Eyes system.[/blackout]

In [blackout]the old MI6 building, Bond finds Blofeld, who tells him that he can save himself or die trying to find Madeline, as he triggers the explosives. Bond manages to find Madeline and they escape the exploding building by boat. They chase Blofeld’s helicopter along the river and Bond shoots it down. He then has chance to execute Blofeld, but instead lets M have him and leaves with Madeline, seemingly turning his back on the secret world.[/blackout]

Spectre: Analysis

The plot of Spectre all hangs together rather well, with a few ‘movie logic’ exceptions, such as brutal fights leaving no visible marks on people, stormtrooper-level marksmanship by the bad guys, and people appearing and disappearing a trifle conveniently.

Monica Bellucci as Lucia Sciarra and Daniel Craig as James Bond in Spectre

With actors of the calibre of Daniel Craig, Monica Bellucci, Christoph Waltz and Léa Seydoux, a character-focussed script and a good director, this is the strong point of Spectre .

Daniel Craig’s reading of the Bond character has become steely, with less of the hints of vulnerability he had in his earlier films. He is now the hard, professional assassin who kills without compunction.

Monica Bellucci only has a cameo role, which is a shame as she’s rather good in the little we see of her. Similarly, Christoph Waltz doesn’t actually get a lot of screen time either. There’s a possibility that he might be back though, we will see. I hope so as his character certainly has a lot of potential.

And Léa Seydoux is excellent – the best actress in a ‘Bond girl’ role since Eva Greene’s Vesper Lynd.

Spectre is about death, literal and metaphorical. The story begins at the Mexican Day of the Dead, proceeds via endless motifs of death (a funeral, the walking corpse of Mr. White, a clinic) and ends with several dilemmas for Bond, all involving whether to choose life or death.

It seems that there are two forces competing for Bond’s soul: death, literal and spiritual, in his chosen profession; and life, personified by Madeline. The word ‘Spectre’ itself means ghost, and the ghosts of Bond’s past return to haunt him and, if they can, drag him after them.

This gives the film its emotional impact. Like Skyfall it has some depth.

Daniel Craig as James Bond and Lea Seydoux as Madeleine Swann in Spectre

Even compared to Skyfall  (which saw the return of Q and Moneypenny)  Spectre  has a lot of Bond film clichés, or tributes, depending on how you see it. Whether you regard that as a good thing or not probably depends on your taste. The structure of the film has very much returned to the classic Bond ‘formula’, after the more experimental earlier Daniel Craig films.

One cliché did make an entirely unwelcome return: during the car chase in Rome, there’s a comedy moment that would have slotted in well in a Roger Moore Bond film. I’m not sure what they were thinking there.

The Sam Mendes Bond films have been less frenetic than some of their predecessors. Scenes are allowed to breath, making Spectre a relatively long film: two and a half hours. The cinematography though, as you might also expect from Mendes, is fabulous.

Spectre: Helicopter Fight in Mexico

The set-piece action scenes are excellent, particularly the opening sequence with the helicopter, and the air/plane chase in the Alps. The car chase in Rome is perhaps a little underwhelming, being played for laughs a bit too much for me. The hand to hand fight between Bond and Mr. Hinx on the train is brutal. The denouement of the movie though is not very action-packed but focusses more on Bond’s dilemmas.

Spectre: My Verdict

A blast, and with more depth than most Bond movies. If you loved  Skyfall , you’ll almost certainly love  Spectre  too.

Want to Watch It?

Here’s the trailer:

Spectre  is available on Amazon USA here and Amazon UK here .

A Kill in the Morning

If you like James Bond then you’ll love my novel  A Kill in the Morning which  SFF World described as “an action-packed romp that Ian Fleming would be proud of.”

You can read the opening here: The first two chapters of A Kill in the Morning.

If you’d like to buy  A Kill in the Morning  then:

  • In the UK:  A Kill in the Morning on Amazon UK,  although the novel is also available in bookshops.
  • In the USA:  A Kill in the Morning on Amazon USA.

Agree? Disagree?

If you’d like to discuss anything in my Spectre  review, please  email me.  Otherwise, please feel free to share it using the buttons below.

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The Spy Who Loved Me: Movie review

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Rogue agent James Bond (Daniel Craig) was found walking through the Day of the Dead carnivale-parade-festival in Mexico City, with Bond girl Estrella (Stephanie Sigman) . (tryst # 1) After changing from his costume in a hotel room, he trailed after a number of suspicious men into an adjacent building. He shot three of them ( # 1-3 deaths, # 1-3 Bond kills) through a window, after overhearing their plan to use a bomb in a briefcase to blow up a stadium that evening at 6 pm. He also overheard the white-suited man say he would next visit 'The Pale King' (to kill him!). When Bond blasted the case, the men who weren't shot already died when the entire building exploded and collapsed, but one of the men survived the blast with injuries.

The survivor was the white-suited, mysterious Italian mobster/assassin Marco Sciarra (Alessandro Cremona), who fled to the square and boarded an escape helicopter. Bond followed, knocked out one thug who emerged from the chopper, and boarded the helicopter with Sciarra. After a vicious struggle above the crowded square in the twirling, out of control helicopter, Bond was able to throw the pilot and Sciarra from the chopper (# 4-5 deaths, # 4-5 Bond kills) , just after retrieving Sciarra's ring from his finger (with the symbol of an octopus on it). [Note: Later in the film, Bond revealed why he had followed Sciarra - he played a videotape recording from the previous M (Judi Dench), who had given him unofficial orders: "Find a man called Marco Sciarra. Kill him. And don't miss the funeral."]

In London, Bond's supervisor M (Ralph Fiennes), the Head of the Secret Intelligence Service, reprimanded Bond and took him off duty for an indefinite period of time, for his destructive and unauthorized presence in Mexico City. In M's office, he met Max Denbigh (Bond code named him 'C'), head of a new Joint Security Service (that would merge MI divisions and close down '00'). Max's plan was to obtain approval for a "Nine Eyes" surveillance program (a "global intelligence operation" due to a cooperative agreement between nine countries to combine data streams to prevent terrorist attacks) that would eliminate Bond's division altogether.

Bond stole Q's well-equipped Aston-Martin DB10 vehicle, drove to Rome, and attended Sciarra's funeral, where he met the dead man's attractive widow Lucia Sciarra (Monica Bellucci). That evening, Bond entered her villa, shot two of her bodyguards (who were about to assassinate her) (# 6-7 deaths, # 6-7 Bond kills) , and then began to seduce her. As he kissed her and unzipped the back of her dress, he asked: "Did your husband ever mention 'The Pale King'?" She told him about her husband's criminal organization that was planning a rare meeting that evening (at midnight) at the Palazzo Cardenza to choose a replacement.

After a sexual encounter (off-screen) with Lucia (tryst # 2) , Bond promised her that he would get her safely out of Rome. He infiltrated the secret meeting of sinister criminals (by showing Sciarra's 'octopus' ring), where he witnessed the seating of the head chairman, Franz Oberhauser (aka Ernst Stavro Blofeld) - seen only in silhouette. The global criminal organization was dealing in illegal drugs, sex trafficking, and worldwide terrorist attacks (to force opponents to join its intelligence network). Formidable, bearded assassin Mr. Hinx (Dave Bautista, a former wrestler) was appointed to replace Marco Sciarra, after demonstrating his killing technique by squeezing the eyes out of seated challenger Señor Carlos Francisco Guerra (Benito Sagredo) and breaking his neck. (# 8 death) . Hinx' mission was to assassinate 'the Pale King' - now that Sciarra was dead. Oberhauser mentioned Bond by name, who was watching from the balcony: "Welcome, James. It's been a long time, but finally, here we are. What took you so long?" The man turned and faced Bond: "Cuckoo." Recognized, Bond was forced to escape after tossing a Palazzo security guard off the balcony. (# 9 death, # 8 Bond kill) .

An exciting, nighttime car chase began through the streets of Rome, with Bond in his tricked-out Aston Martin, pursued by the newly-appointed assassin Mr. Hinx driving in a Jaguar C-X75. During the chase, Bond phoned Moneypenny about the organization's multiple plans of attack on Hamburg, Tunisia, and Mexico City. She informed him that "The Pale King" was his previous adversary in the Quantum organization (a subsidiary of SPECTRE), Mr. White, who was last seen four months earlier in Altaussee, Austria. The car chase ended when Bond 'air-lifted' or ejected himself out of his car as it plunged into the Tiber River, with Mr. Hinx watching it sink below the water. A further check by Moneypenny revealed that Franz Oberhauser (and his father Hannes, Bond's temporary foster father) reportedly died 20 years earlier in a snowy avalanche while skiing in the Kitzbuhel Alps.

Bond proceeded to Austria and entered a snowy mountain home, in order to see if he could establish contact with Mr. White (Jesper Christensen). He was found dying - succumbing to thalium radiation poisoning (planted in his cellphone by his enemies). Bond was able to discover that White was protecting his daughter Dr. Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux) from the criminal organization. Bond urged: "I can keep her alive. You have my word....(Bond disarmed himself) That's my word." White offered: " L'Americain . You can save her, she can lead you to L'Americain . She knows L'Americain . Try the Hoffler Klinik. You're a kite dancing in a hurricane, Mr. Bond." And then White shot himself under his chin with Bond's gun: "So long." (# 10 death)

In the next scene, Bond flew to the secluded, mountain-top Austrian Hoffler Clinic, where he spoke to White's bilingual daughter Dr. Madeleine Swann in her office, as he posed as a patient undergoing psychological and emotional tests. He informed her that her father had suicidally died two days earlier, that her life was in danger, and that he needed her help ("I made a deal with him to protect you"). She abruptly dismissed him. At the clinic's healthy drink bar, Q arrived to inform Bond that Franz Oberhauser was "dead and buried." Bond objected: "But I saw him!" Bond asked Q to investigate Sciarra's ring and handed it to him. As he looked over at Dr. Swann's office, he saw her being kidnapped by Mr. Hinx and driven away in a convoy of three black cars down the steep and snowy mountains to a hideout.

Meanwhile, Q used his laptop computer to scan Sciarra's ring, and discovered through autopsy-toxocology analysis that it was linked to villains in Bond's previous M16 missions. Bond gave chase to the three vehicles in a maneuverable single-engine plane, and forced one of the cars to crash and explode, with two dead (# 11-12 deaths, # 9-10 Bond kills) . Using the plane as a snowmobile, he careened it into a second vehicle, killing its two occupants (# 13-14 deaths, # 11-12 Bond kills) , and then did the same with the vehicle carrying Swann - the passenger Mr. Hinx was hurled through the windshield (thought to be dead but later revived), and Bond shot the driver (# 15 death, # 13 Bond kill) . He escaped with the unhurt Swann, who was angry he had led the killers straight to her.

In Q's hotel room, Bond (and Swann) learned that Sciarra's ring revealed that all of Bond's previous villains (Silva, Sciarra, White, Patrick, Greene, and Le Chiffre) were all under one organization headed up by the very-much-alive Franz Oberhauser. Swann told them the organization's name: SPECTRE. On the news reports, an explosive attack on Cape Town, South Africa, had just occurred. Swann also told them that L'Americain was "a place."

Swann and Bond traveled to Tangier, Morocco (in N. Africa), where they booked L'Americain hotel suite where her father celebrated his wedding anniversary annually with his family. She was awakened from sleep when Bond busted through the hotel room's wall into a secretly built-in 'safe-house' area with photos, map coordinates, and videotapes. Bond deduced that White was looking for Oberhauser ("He was looking for him, and he sent me here to finish the job"), and the information would take them to the villain's isolated operations base at a massive crater in the Saharan Desert. Swann insisted on joining Bond on his dangerous journey ("I want to understand what happened to my father").

Meanwhile, back in London, C announced to M that within 72 hours, the "Nine Eyes" intelligence gathering project would go live, after being approved by all nations involved. C explained the ramifications and what the Home Secretary would be doing: "He's decided to close down the Double-O program with immediate effect." With a cocky attitude, he added: "It's the future...and you're not." For all intents and purposes regarding Bond, M resolutely stated to Q and Moneypenny: "He's on his own."

Dr. Swann and Bond traveled in separate train compartments in North Africa to their destination in the desert. While formally-dressed and sharing vodka martinis in the dining car, Mr. Hinx attacked (Bond saw his approaching reflection in his glass) and a vicious struggle ensued. Swann fired shots to help protect a weakened Bond, who was able to wrap a rope/chain around Hinx' neck - he was flung off the train when a series of heavy beer kegs attached to the rope (tossed off the train one by one) dragged Hinx from the open kitchen freight door. (# 16 death, # 14 Bond kill) - he spoke his only line of dialogue before his death: "S--t!"

Inflamed by the violence, Swann asked Bond: "What do we do now?" - and the two began stripping off their clothes - and had sex (off-screen) (tryst # 3) .

The next morning, they arrived at a remote and abandoned train station, and were transported in a 1948 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith to SPECTRE's solar-powered headquarters (surrounded by bodyguards) - built within a crater in the middle of the desert, with massive pieces of information-gathering equipment. After Bond was unarmed, the pair were shown to separate rooms and then escorted for drinks at 4 pm to the presence of a shadowy Franz Oberhauser, the son of Hannes Oberhauser. To impress them, they were shown an exhbit of the Kartenhoff ("a huge unstoppable force"), the oldest meteorite in human possession (the one that had created the crater). After a tour of the facility, and a demonstration of SPECTRE's intelligence gathering ability (they watched a live speech of M announcing his own demotion) - a plan for world domination.

Oberhauser admitted that C was part of the SPECTRE organization. He also bragged about being the mastermind behind the elimination of all of the women in Bond's world, including Vesper Lynd (in Casino Royale (2006) ) and M (in Skyfall (2012) ): "Me. It was all me, James. It's always been me. The author of all your pain." To antagonize Bond and scare Dr. Swann, he played a tape of her father's suicide.

Bond was knocked unconscious, and when he awoke in a white interrogation room, his head was bound by a head-strap while he sat immobile in a surgical chair. He was being tortured by Oberhauser (with Dr. Swann watching by his side) - a small mechanical drill was inserted to penetrate into Bond's head - to enter Bond's fusiform gyrus and deprive him of the sight ability (to recognize faces), his hearing, and then into his visual cortex to blind him completely.

During the torture, Oberhauser described how he and Bond had a shared history - they were foster-brothers. When orphaned, Bond was cared for by Hannes Oberhauser, Franz' biological father. He used an analogy to illustrate how Bond had supplanted his role as son: "You know what happens when a cuckoo hatches inside another bird's nest?" Swann answered: "Yes. It forces the other eggs out." Oberhauser continued: "Well, this cuckoo made me realize my father's life had to end. In a way, he's responsible for the path I took. (To Bond) So, thank you. Cuckoo!" He explained how he had murdered his father, then staged his own death years earlier, adopted the name Ernst Stavro Blofeld (taken from his mother's maiden name), and disappeared:

"Franz Oberhauser died twenty years ago, James. In an avalanche alongside his father. The man you are talking to now, the man inside your head, is Ernst Stavro Blofeld."

He then re-emerged as the leader of the shadowy terrorist organization known as SPECTRE.

Escape from the torture occurred when Dr. Swann kissed Bond (hoping he could still recognize her face), and he passed his detonated exploding wrist watch to her, warning her: "One minute." She tossed it toward Oberhauser - it exploded and disfigured him, while they fled. Outside, Bond first machine-gunned three body-guards, and then two more. (# 17-21 deaths, # 15-19 Bond kills) Then, he turned his weapon on the equipment in the facility, and the entire headquarters' base began to blow up (unknown number of deaths) . Six more thugs were shot down as they approached the outer gates (# 22-27 deaths, # 20-25 Bond kills) . Bond stated to Swann: "Let's go home. It's not over yet" as they boarded a helicopter to return to London.

In London at a safe-house, Bond reported to M (accompanied by Q and Moneypenny) that C was a traitor, who was determined to launch the "Nine Eyes" surveillance program as soon as possible - to activate it by midnight that evening ("If that happens, SPECTRE will have control of everything"). Q was assigned to stop its launch, while M and Bond would pursue and arrest C. Swann expressly told Bond that she didn't want to continue with him and his way of life, and she said goodbye: "James, I can't...No, I can't...I can't go back to this life. And I'm not going to ask you to change. This is who you are."

Enroute to stop C and the launch in two separate vehicles, Bond's lead vehicle was ambushed (T-boned by a black truck), and the unconscious Bond (with a black bag put on his head) was abducted (M successfully fled and was picked up by the second vehicle) and Bond was taken to the derelict ruins of the old M16 SIS building. As he was being dragged in, he dispatched with his two captors (# 28-29 deaths, # 26-27 Bond kills) . Meanwhile, M and Q confronted C in his office, revealed that they were hacking into the "Nine Eyes" program to shut it down, and were there to arrest him. When C and M fought for control of a gun, C was killed when he lost his balance and fell backwards out of a bullet-shattered outside skyscraper window to his death. (# 30 death) .

Inside the M16 building, Bond came face to face with Oberhauser/Blofeld (shielded behind bullet-proof glass) - the right side of his face (including his right eye) was significantly disfigured from the explosion in the desert. Bond sarcastically quipped: "Ouch. I do hope that doesn't hurt too much." Blofeld responded that his scar would heal: "My wounds will heal. What about yours? Look around you, James. Look. This is what's left of your world. Everything you ever stood for, everything you believed in, a ruin!" - and then threatened that the building would explode in only three minutes. Bond had a choice: rescue the abducted Dr. Swann hidden within, or save himself: ("Die trying to save her or save yourself and live with the pain"). Afterwards, Blofeld fled in a helicopter that lingered to hover over the Thames River to watch Bond scramble to find her. Fortunately, Bond was able to locate Dr. Swann - he freed her with only 44 seconds remaining, and they both escaped by boat onto the river just as the building was destroyed. Bond was able to pursue and shoot down Blofeld's helicopter (that crashed onto a bridge and killed one occupant (# 31 death, # 28 Bond kill) , but spared killing Blofeld who had survived and was begging: "Finish it." Bond allowed M to arrest Blofeld ("Under the Special Measures Act of 2001, I am detaining you on behalf of Her Majesty's Government"), and then approached and hugged Dr. Swann.

The next day, he drove off in his old Aston Martin DB5 with her, after telling Q: "There's just one thing I need" - the film's final line of dialogue.

Film Notables (Awards, Facts, etc.)

This 24th Bond film was a direct sequel to the previous film Skyfall (2012) , also directed by Sam Mendes. It reintroduced the character of Ernst Stavro Blofeld with ties to the SPECTRE (SPecial Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion) organization (last seen in Diamonds Are Forever (1971) ), identified by an octopus logo.

This marked the second) time that an Academy Award-winning director would helm a James Bond film - Sam Mendes ( American Beauty (1999) ).

Spectre (2015) was awarded a Guinness World Record for the largest stunt explosion ever in cinematic history, lasting more than 7.5 seconds.

The film received only one Academy Award nomination and won the Oscar for Best Original Song (Jimmy Napes (Music & Lyrics), Sam Smith (Music & Lyrics) ("Writing's On The Wall")). Sam Smith performed the theme song: "Writing's on the Wall." He was the first British male solo artist to record a Bond theme since Tom Jones' Thunderball (1965).

To date, Spectre (2015) was the longest James Bond film ever, at 148 minutes.

The other Academy Award wins (4) for previous Bond films were Best Sound Effects Editing for Goldfinger (1964) , Best Special Visual Effects for Thunderball (1965) , and Best Original Song "Skyfall" and Best Sound Editing for Skyfall (2012) .

With a production budget of $245 million (the most expensive Bond film ever made to date), and gross revenue of $200 million (domestic) and $880.6 billion (worldwide).

Set-pieces: the opening sequence in Mexico City during the Day of the Dead festival (finishing with a dramatic fight onboard a spinning helicopter above the crowd); a nighttime chase between Bond's (stolen) Aston Martin DB10 and villain Mr. Hinx' Jaguar C-X75 in Rome's streets; a snowy Austrian Alps chase between a convoy of three giant Jeeps and a prop plane (that functioned as a snowmobile); Bond's train fight against assassin Mr. Hinx; Bond's high-tech torture-drill scene, and the final attack-chase between Blofeld in a helicopter and Bond in a motorboat over London landmarks.

Bond Villains: Marco Sciarra (Alessandro Cremona), SPECTRE assassin Mr. Hinx (Dave Bautista), Franz Oberhauser/Ernst Stavro Blofeld (Christoph Waltz), Mr. White (Jesper Christensen), and traitorous Max Denbigh (Andrew Scott) - a British gov't agent code-named C.

Bond Girls: Estrella (Stephanie Sigman), Lucia Sciarra (Monica Bellucci), Dr. Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux). [Note: At the age of 50, Monica Bellucci was the oldest actress cast as a Bond girl.]

Number of Love-Making Encounters: 3

Film Locales: Mexico City (Mexico), London (England), Rome (Italy), Austria, Morocco (Tangier), Saharan Desert.

Gadgets: Smart Blood (nanotechnology to track Bond's whereabouts), an explosive alarmed wristwatch, a tricked out DB10 Aston Martin, Hinx' double barreled Arsenal Firearms AF2011 Dueller Prismatic, Bond's SIG 226 revolver, a brain drill (for torture), and the "Nine Eyes" surveillance network (combined data streams of nine nations to prevent terrorist attacks)

Vehicles: Aston Martin DB10 (stolen), Jaguar C-X75, a plane flown like a snowmobile, 1948 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith, and Bond's older Aston Martin DB5

Number of Deaths (Bond Kills): 31 (28)

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Spectre Plot Summary

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spectre movie plot explained

Marvel’s Moon Knight is Officially Dead – So What Comes Next?

Posted: December 31, 2023 | Last updated: January 1, 2024

  • Moon Knight fell in battle with the latest incarnation of the Black Spectre
  • Marc Spector fell out with his patron god, Khonshu, and chose to stay dead rather than risk another Age of Khonshu.
  • The remaining members of the Midnight Mission are prepared to carry on his legacy and protect those in need.

The following contains major spoilers for Moon Knight #30, on sale now from Marvel Comics.

For nearly five decades, Marc Spector defended the Marvel Universe as one of its most brutal undying antiheroes of all time - Moon Knight. As a hero, Marc was unmatched in his sheer relentlessness on the battlefield. As a person, Marc was more complicated than most people could ever properly understand, let alone try to keep up with it all. After so many years, his time as Moon Knight has come to the much anticipated albeit tragic end that everyone saw coming. Thankfully, that doesn't mean his Mission is over, and what comes next will ensure that it lives on for decades if not centuries to come.

Moon Knight #30 (by Jed MacKay, Alessandro Cappuccio, Rachelle Rosenberg, and VC's Cory Petit) brings the fight between the titular hero and his numerous enemies, namely the latest incarnation of Black Spectre, to a tragic end. After the revelation that this new Black Spectre was none other than a former member of Moon Knight's Shadow Cabinet and current supposed ally Doctor Robert Plesko, it becomes painfully clear that Plesko was never really a friend at all. Instead, he is and has always been a man obsessed with chaos and destruction. Now, that obsession has culminated in what would have been the beginning of a new age of gruesome horror for New York City, if not for Moon Knight finding the strength in his last moments to put an explosive end to Plesko's plot. Unlike so many others, this demise proves to be truly final for Marc Spector, although it is far from the end of his work in the Midnight Mission.

The Death of Moon Knight - Explained

Marvel comics' undying antihero is finally dead and gone, but how, marvel intertwines wolverine's origin with the predators.

That Marc Spector died is not in and of itself surprising, nor would it be concerning under any other circumstances. It was Marc's first death at the hands of fellow mercenary Raul Bushman that ultimately led to his transformation into Moon Knight in the first place . By dying at the feet of a towering statue of Khonshu, Marc was granted an audience with the God of the Moon and, in turn, the opportunity to become Khonshu's living servant back on Earth and exact his vengeance on his killer. Marc's return as Moon Knight granted him a variety of superhuman attributes. Enhanced strength and resilience have certainly helped on the battlefield, but the most important of all of these boons has undoubtedly been his relative immortality. In the years since taking up the mantle of Moon Knight, Marc has died and been brought back to life by Khonshu on three separate occasions. While there is no denying the profound advantage that Moon Knight's unkillable status has afforded him, that power was never really his to wield. Rather, his resurrections were always the doing of his patron god. And, when the relationship between the two of them fell apart, so did Marc's chances of ever being brought back as he had grown accustomed to.

It was after the threat of Mephisto drove Khonshu, and subsequently Moon Knight, to steal away the powers of Earth's Mightiest heroes that Marc turned on his divine benefactor. Although Moon Knight was indeed able to defeat Mephisto as his patron god intended, Khonshu used the aftermath of that battle to take over Manhattan, from which he intended to stage a complete global takeover. Once again, Moon Knight was forced to face off against yet another impossibly powerful and immortal entity. Upon defeating Khonshu, Moon Knight imprisoned the Moon God deep underneath Asgard where he could properly serve out his sentence without any worry of him using his divine powers to escape. Unfortunately, being imprisoned beneath Asgard also means that Khonshu is utterly incapable of using those same powers to resurrect his living champions, and Marc Spector would rather truly die than risk another Age of Khonshu .

What the Death of Moon Knight Means for His Enemies

Some of moon knight's worst villains are taking his demise worse than anyone else, the new punisher brings back a classic marvel comics super team.

For Black Spectre, actually killing Moon Knight might seem like the biggest victory he could have possibly achieved, yet everything about that moment was ruined when the Fist of Khonshu robbed him of the grand, gruesome takeover he had planned for the city's inhabitants. That is just the beginning of Plesko being pained by his apparent failure, however, as there are other, arguably worse villains who have already set their sights on him. Specifically, the habitually chaotic and overtly murderous Zodiac is well on his way toward doing worse than just killing Black Spectre, and all for having robbed him of the chance to continue feuding with Moon Knight. Even before he revealed himself as Zodiac, the villain was driven to destroy every single aspect of Moon Knight's life, so much so that it may as well be his only active personality trait. With the chances of seeing Moon Knight again in the flesh now completely dashed, there is no telling where Zodiac will end up next, nor how much damage he will do whenever he ends up there.

This is largely true of the majority of Moon Knight's old enemies, who will all but assuredly take advantage of his death to sweep over New York City as quickly as possible and establish whatever new territory for themselves that they can. This is already almost the same scenario playing out in the various titles involved in the currently ongoing "Gang War" storyline, giving readers plenty of an idea of what it would look like for more supernaturally inclined forces to go to war in the same manner. Considering how much harm the likes of Zodiac and Black Spectre have proven themselves capable of doing , it is hard to imagine anyone other than Moon Knight staving off those kinds of threats in mass. Fortunately, Moon Knight went to great lengths to establish something greater than himself before his passing, and the remaining members of the Midnight Mission look to be every bit the heroes its founder knew they were from the start.

What Moon Knight's Death Means for the Midnight Mission

Moon knight might be gone, but his mission lives on in every way possible, a classic avengers villain is the cause of marvel's gang war.

Now led by Moon Knight's vampiric assistant Reese, the Midnight Mission was quite possibly the most important undertaking of Marc Spector's entire life. Without Khonshu to guide him, Marc established the Midnight Mission as both a new base of operations and a living mission statement. On its most basic level, the Midnight Mission was about Marc returning his heroic endeavors to his divine roots as a Protector of Those Who Travel at Night, one of the many mantles bequeathed unto him along with that of Moon Knight. More importantly, the Midnight Mission was about building a place where those who needed help could seek it freely, and where those who needed safeguarding could look for reassurance that someone with real power was always looking out for them.

As overwhelming as all of that might sound to take on in the wake of Marc's death, Reese has plenty of help in the forms of the similarly vampiric Soldier, the recently redeemed villain 8-Ball , the literal Avenger Tigra, Marc's fellow Fist of Khonshu Hunter's Moon, and the living House of Shadows that serves as the face and foundation of the Midnight Mission. Together, these six stand as the next chapter of Marc Spector's story, which isn't even to mention the fact that the Scarlet Scarab herself has recently entered the realm of Marvel Comics. They also just so happen to be the best choices anyone could have made when it comes to carrying on his legacy. Whether all of them remain a part of the Midnight Mission remains to be seen, but there is no doubt that even without any single one of them, Moon Knight's dream will be in good hands going forward no matter what his old enemies have in store for it next.

Marvel’s Moon Knight is Officially Dead – So What Comes Next?

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IMAGES

  1. Spectre Ending Explained: The 2015 James Bond Thriller Plot Explained

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  2. Spectre (2015) Film Summary and Movie Synopsis on MHM

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  3. Spectre Plot Summary

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  4. Everything You Need to Know About Spectre Movie (2015)

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  5. Spectre (2015)

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  6. Spectre Ending Explained: The 2015 James Bond Thriller Plot Explained

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VIDEO

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  3. #3 SPECTRE Movie Review

  4. SPECTRE Behind The Scenes (2015) James Bond

  5. Spectre Movie Review

  6. Spectre Ring from Spectre, 2015 #veve #jamesbond #spectre

COMMENTS

  1. Spectre (2015 film)

    Plot In Mexico City, MI6 agent James Bond foils a bombing attempt on a stadium during a Day of the Dead festival. Bond obtains a ring stylized with an octopus from the deceased [failed verification] attacker, Marco Sciarra, uncovering his connection to a secret organization.

  2. Spectre (2015)

    Summaries A cryptic message from James Bond's past sends him on a trail to uncover the existence of a sinister organisation named SPECTRE. With a new threat dawning, Bond learns the terrible truth about the author of all his pain in his most recent missions.

  3. SPECTRE Explained: A Guide To James Bond's Latest Adventure

    Hunting, apparently. It seems after M's death, she sent Bond a video message in the mail (in a cameo we kinda sorta called) telling him to track down a man named Marco Sciarra and kill him. Well, Bond has found him in Mexico City during the Day of the Dead celebration.

  4. Spectre movie review & film summary (2015)

    Reviews Spectre Matt Zoller Seitz November 03, 2015 Tweet Now streaming on: Powered by JustWatch James Bond films are, and always have been, more imitative than innovative. Even in the 1960s they were essentially superhero movies starring an indestructible character who wore street clothes (and the occasional wet suit) instead of tights and a cape.

  5. Spectre Ending Explained: The 2015 James Bond Thriller Plot Explained

    Agent 007!! Today we are going to explain the ending of the 2015 James Bond thriller, Spectre ! Spectre is the 24th chapter of the Bond novels written by Ian Flemming. Whenever we talk about "Agent 007", there is only one person who will come to your mind, and that is Daniel Craig !

  6. Spectre recap

    The film begins with a particularly memorable sequence: following 007 as he carries out an unauthorised mission in Mexico, killing a terrorist leader after parading through the Mexico City...

  7. SPECTRE Explained: All You Need to Know About James Bond's Big Bad

    SPECTRE Explained: All You Need to Know About James Bond's Big Bad Yahoo Movies Updated December 4, 2014 James Bond-Ernst Blofeld-Diamonds Are Forever Sean Connery, as James Bond, demonstrates...

  8. Spectre (2015)

    Spectre (2015) on IMDb: Plot summary, synopsis, and more...

  9. Spectre: the villains, the women, the ending

    After the dreary and misjudged Quantum of Solace, the release of another James Bond film was hardly worth flagging in the diary. But Sam Mendes was wisely brought into the fold and he delivered ...

  10. Spectre: 13 Questions About the New James Bond Movie Answered (Spoilers!)

    This article contains spoilers for lots of James Bond films, but especially Spectre. The 24th instalment, and Daniel Craig's fourth outing as 007, comes on the heels of the billion dollar ...

  11. Spectre

    A cryptic message from the past leads James Bond (Daniel Craig) to Mexico City and Rome, where he meets the beautiful widow (Monica Bellucci) of an infamous criminal. After infiltrating a secret ...

  12. Spectre

    Spectre marked the first time Bond has filmed in Rome, Italy. It was also the first time Aston Martin and the Bond production team collaborated on creating a new car designed specifically for the film with the DB10. Stefan Zurcher began looking for appropriate locations in Switzerland, Austria, Italy and France, 12 months before shooting commenced.

  13. Spectre (2015)

    2h 28m IMDb RATING 6.8 /10 461K YOUR RATING Rate POPULARITY 634 487 Play trailer 1:10 99+ Videos 99+ Photos Action Adventure Thriller A cryptic message from James Bond's past sends him on a trail to uncover the existence of a sinister organisation named SPECTRE.

  14. Spectre (2015 film)

    The inclusion of Spectre and its associated characters marked the end of the Thunderball controversy, in which Kevin McClory and Fleming were embroiled in lengthy legal disputes over the film rights to the novel; Spectre is the first film to feature these elements since Diamonds Are Forever (1971).

  15. Spectre review: James Bond is back, stylish, camp and sexily pro

    The film team review Spectre Guardian. A clue salvaged from the chaos puts Bond on the trail of Spectre, taking him at first to Rome where he has a romantic interlude with a soigné woman of ...

  16. Spectre (2015) Movie Summary and Film Synopsis

    Film and Plot Synopsis With the death of M, James Bond finds himself a troubled man. To add to this turmoil, the mysterious Max Denbigh leads a high-tech organization set on taking out MI6 forever. However, while in Mexico City, Bond finds an Italian hitman trying to bomb a major parade.

  17. SPECTRE

    SPECTRE (an acronym of Special Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge, and Extortion), stylised simply as Spectre in its 2015 film reboot, was a fictional global criminal and terrorist organisation featured in the James Bond novels by Ian Fleming and their EON Productions and non-EON film Never Say Never Again. Led by 007's nemesis Ernst Stavro Blofeld, the organisation first ...

  18. Spectre (film)

    Spectre is the twenty-fourth film in the James Bond series produced by EON Productions. Like the previous film Skyfall, Spectre was written by John Logan, Neal Purvis and Robert Wade is directed by Sam Mendes and features Daniel Craig in his fourth performance as James Bond. The film was released in the UK on 26 October 2015, fifty years after release of Thunderball (1965), thirty years after ...

  19. Spectre

    Bond and Madeline travel into the desert by train. While on the train they're attacked by Mr Hinx, who's about to kill Bond when Madeline shoots him. Bond then throws Mr. Hinx off the train. Later, Bond and Madeline become lovers.

  20. Spectre (2015)

    Spectre (2015) d. Sam Mendes, 148 minutes. Opening Credits, Title Sequence. Film Plot Summary. Rogue agent James Bond (Daniel Craig) was found walking through the Day of the Dead carnivale-parade-festival in Mexico City, with Bond girl Estrella (Stephanie Sigman). (tryst # 1) After changing from his costume in a hotel room, he trailed after a ...

  21. Spectre (1977 film)

    Plot summary William Sebastian ( Robert Culp) is a former criminologist who now studies the occult to explain the problem of human evil. He has been cursed on one of his adventures by the demon Asmodeus, leaving him in constant need of medical attention.

  22. Spectre Plot Summary

    Joining a woman in a hotel room, the first man - who takes off his mask and turns out to be (Craig) - leaves her to alight the hotel terrace and watch the other man, Sciarra, in a room across the street, plot a deadly explosion and say he reports to 'The Pale King'.

  23. SPECTRE

    Philosophy and goals Blofeld's SPECTRE volcano base complete with spacecraft-swallowing Bird One spacecraft, helipad and attack helicopter, and command centre in the 1967 film You Only Live Twice. The world map in the background is common to emphasise the aim of world domination.

  24. Marvel's Moon Knight is Officially Dead

    Story by John Dodge • 12h. Moon Knight fell in battle with the latest incarnation of the Black Spectre. Marc Spector fell out with his patron god, Khonshu, and chose to stay dead rather than ...