Thursday, December 4, 2014

Bond 24 Announced!

The official Bond 24 announcement was made today around the world, and we can now begin referring to the 24th Bond film by its official title Spectre. For those who are new to the Bond franchise, the word Spectre or SPECTRE (Special Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion) refers to a global terrorist organization led by arch-villain Ernst Stavro Blofeld. The organization debuted in Ian Fleming's novel Thunderball (1959) and was featured prominently, referred to in passing or implied in Dr. No, From Russia with Love, Thunderball, You Only Live Twice, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, Diamonds Are Forever, For Your Eyes Only, and Never Say Never Again. Ownership of SPECTRE and its agents were part of an ongoing litigation battle that began in 1961, however by late last year, Eon Productions' parent company (Danjaq, LLC) had finally settled the issue and full copyright rights were returned to the franchise, setting up the opportunity to pit SPECTRE and Blofeld against a 21st century James Bond. As a Bond aficionado, I am excited for what this may mean for Bond in the next installment due out October 23, 2015 for UK audiences and November 6, 2015 for American audiences.

Sam Mendes will return to direct the film written by John Logan, with collaboration from Neal Purvis and Robert Wade. Thomas Newman returns as the composer (he is phenomenal!), and Hoyte van Hoytema (Let The Right One In, The Fighter, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Interstellar) will assume cinematography duties. 

Major cast appointments have been confirmed with today's announcement as follows: 

Daniel Craig as Bond. James Bond.  
As the sixth actor (Eon Productions only) to portray the British agent, this will be Craig's fourth film. The first three were Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace and Skyfall

Ralph Fiennes as M
Fiennes returns after being introduced in the closing minutes of Skyfall as the new M, replacing Dame Judi Dench, who had filled the role in GoldenEye, Tomorrow Never Dies, The World Is Not Enough, Die Another Day, Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace, and Skyfall

Rory Kinnear as Bill Tanner
I am very happy to see Kinnear is returning as Bill Tanner, M's Chief of Staff. Tanner has been portrayed by four actors, including Kinnear, and has appeared in six films - The Man with the Golden Gun, For Your Eyes Only, GoldenEye, The World Is Not Enough, Quantum of Solace, and Skyfall - and Spectre will make the seventh.  

Naomie Harris as Miss Moneypenny
Harris returns after being introduced in Skyfall as the new Miss Moneypenny, and is the fourth woman to play the personal assistant to M. I do hope that unlike her predecessors, Harris will have more screen time. 

Ben Whishaw as Q
Whishaw returns after being introduced in Skyfall. The character Q (Quartermaster) has featured in 20 of the 23 Eon produced Bond films, most of those appearances were by esteemed Desmond Llewelyn before his passing in 1999. Whishaw had a huge hole to fill and honestly, he did a brilliant job of it! 

Andrew Scott as Denbigh
Scott is a new character to the franchise and was presented as part of the MI6 team in the announcement. You may recognize Scott from another very popular British literary based franchise: he was Moriarty in BBC's Sherlock. He's such a fantastic bad guy -- how will he do as a Bond ally? 

Lea Seydoux as Madeleine Swann
Seydoux is beautiful and has a fresh look about her which reminds me of British agent Strawberry Fields from Quantum of Solace as portrayed by Gemma Arterton. Some of Seydoux's recent films include The Grand Budapest Hotel, Blue is the Warmest Color and Midnight in Paris

Monica Bellucci as Lucia Sciarra
Another gorgeous woman, Italian actress Monica Bellucci may be remembered from her roles in The Whistleblower, The Brothers Grimm, Matrix trilogy, and Brotherhood of the Wolf. I do wonder if she will be a formidable henchwoman in Spectre....

Christoph Waltz as Franz Oberhauser
Although many of us became acquainted with Waltz in his amazingly cool and calculated portrayal of Standartenfuhrer Hans Landa in the 2009's Inglourious Basterds, he has actually been making films since 1979. If his performance as Landa is any indication, he is going to give Javier Bardem's Silva a run for his money in Spectre

Dave Bautista as Mr. Hinx
Coming off Guardians of the Galaxy as Drax the Destroyer earlier this year, I think that Bautista will likely become one of those memorable henchmen, joining the ranks of Oddjob in Goldfinger, Red Grant in From Russia with Love and Jaws in The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker.

Jesper Christensen as Mr. White
Christensen will return as the villainous, Mr. White from Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace. This man seriously needs more screen time! 

And last, but certainly not least, the Aston Martin DB10 was unveiled at the beginning of the announcement, commemorating a 50-year collaboration. The DB10 a beauty, but I'm still partial the DB5 featured in Goldfinger. 

Please note: All images found on Wikipedia or through Google Images. 

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