At 3AM eastern last night, the new trailer for SPECTRE hit. I set my alarm, watched it, geeked out, watched it again, and spent about an hour on Twitter with the faithful (and Devin), just celebrating and enjoying both the trailer and our building anticipation. And man alive, it was kind of nice to roll around in that vibe for a bit. No one tut-tutting the problematic subtext, or rolling their eyes at the callbacks and nods, or otherwise “setting fires so they can feel good about putting them out”, as BMD commenter Ronin described it the other day. Just fans who were excited (and Devin), and ready to be more excited. Is this what Star Wars fandom feels like? I think I get it now. Honestly, last night will probably be one of my favorite memories of this release. But now that we’ve had a few hours sleep, let’s really dig into this thing.
When in Mexico City- The pre-title sequence of SPECTRE features an exotic festival, just as Sean Connery’s and Roger Moore’s fourth films did. And like the other fellas, Bond (Daniel Craig) is traversing this fest with a lovely companion (Stefanie Sigman) at his side. Connery’s parade in Thunderball had a dog peeing in front of guys wearing 007 logos, though, and Moore’s foreign festivities were buried somewhere in the middle six hours of Moonraker, so it’ll be fun to see the tradition re-purposed out of the gate with some 2015 production value behind it. (And I broke that Bond disguise back in April. Validate me!)
Chewed out by M - Dame Judi is gone, but the grand tradition continues! It looks as if the honeymoon’s over between 007 and Mallory (Ralph Fiennes) as Bond’s extracurricular activities in Mexico earn him a good talking to.
Moneypenny’s house call - In the first glimpse of this scene from the previous teaser, Moneypenny (Naomie Harris) was in this same outfit, but Bond was in a bathrobe. Here we see he’s still dressed. Either it’s an extended visit during which Bond gets undressed, or maybe she shaves him in every film now? We did just argue about her expanded role, so it’s possible. Either way, we get another look at Bond’s flat, last glimpsed in 1973’s Live and Let Die.
You can’t destroy the DB5 - Having graduated from Grindr-esque meetups in public places, Q (Ben Wishaw) now has a proper lair, where he shows 007 and Tanner (Rory Kinnear) the new Aston Martin DB10. This is the first time Aston Martin has created a car specifically for the films, and they apparently only made ten. Which most likely means that the number of DB10s that exist today is negative four. But what’s most interesting here is that another shot inside Q branch reveals an old friend:
I’ll be damned if that’s not the grill of the DB5 - blown up real good in Skyfall - being worked on! And it looks like a more recent Aston Martin on the left - could it be the one from the opening of Quantum Of Solace? You can check when you rewatch that one, which you’re going to want to do in order to re-familiarize yourself with:
Mr. White, weirdo recluse - Bond apparently tracks old Quantum bigwig Mr. White to a remote cabin, where he’s not shaving, watching a bunch of TVs at once like The Man Who Fell To Earth, and...my God, is he saving his urine in a big jar? What’s going on up there? Anyhow, this whole set up has shades of the short story "Octopussy", which is shaping up to be the one Ian Fleming story you should read before watching this movie.Agents of SPECTRE? Next we get quick glimpses of Monica Bellucci as Lucia Sciarra getting all up on Bond, and a montage of Dave Bautista’s Mr. Hinx snapping necks, possibly in advance of cashing checks. Then comes a detail that makes sense once you read the newly released plot synopsis. Bond says to White, “You’re protecting someone,” at which point we cut to:
More on that bit of juxtaposition in a bit...
l337 hax0r skillz - Not sure why you’d let Q near a laptop ever again, but good to see SPECTRE making the administrative decision to use Silva code. I mean, it seemed to work pretty well in the last film.
RIP James Bond - For an omniscient secret organization like SPECTRE, this is some low-level trolling, isn’t it? And I’m skeptical that it even scared 007! Also, props again to commenter Ronin for noticing that agent Jonathan Hall (only) lived twice.
Take this Waltz - This trailer seems to be keenly aware of the last trailer; this moment feels like a sequel or response to the tease in the first. And it’s funny to realize that Chritsoph Waltz gets two reveals here. This one answers the shadowy shot from the teaser (with the very meta “What took you so long?”). But before we get to Waltz’ bigger reveal, come with me now to an older time, a better time, when people enjoyed:
The elegance of railway travel - I’ve been on a lot of trains. Aside from all the domestic travel, I’ve taken trains from London to Paris, from Paris to Zurich, and from Zurich to Italy. I have never in my life been on a train that looked like this. Does SPECTRE involve time travel? Is it an elite class of existence I will never know? This moment in the trailer filled me with angst. I was soon brought back to my senses by:
The return of the ivory dinner jacket - A first for Craig, and the first ivory dinner jacket on 007 since 1985! Bond’s worn a few here and there in the series, and it’s not my favorite look. So I was wary of this decision, but as it takes place in Morocco, I’m assured it’s appropriate warm-weather formal wear. (On a magic millionaire train, at any rate.) And I have to admit with that black pocket square and bat-wing bowtie, it looks pretty damn good. (PS - you damn right you stand up when Léa Seydoux walks toward you in that dress.) A few more quick cuts of action lead to another jacket-related bombshell:
The author of all your pain - Son of a bitch, that Nehru jacket kind of seals the deal here, doesn’t it? (Note: It doesn’t - Dr. No, Karl Stromberg, and Kamal Khan are all Bond villains who’ve rocked the look before. But come on.) I’m super conflicted here. One one hand, what a ballsy reveal. Waltz has repeatedly said he’s not playing Blofeld, and this shot is the equivalent of if Benedict Cumberbatch walked around insisting he wasn’t playing Khan in Star Trek Into Darkness while wearing a white wig and a big rubber muscle chest. The thing is, I would have totally been on board with that. If this is how Eon wants to play it, no problem. *wink* But on the other hand, I’m less on board with a Jack Napier-esque, “I created you, 007” version of Blofeld. I don’t need everything to be so damn tidy and symmetrical. Tying Blofeld to Bond’s life going back to childhood? Here’s hoping they pull it off.
Not pictured: The On Her Majesty’s Secret Service theme song! Word is it was recorded by Thomas Newman specifically for the trailer, so don’t get your hopes up that it will appear in the film. Some folks are wondering if there’s a thematic or narrative significance to the use of the OHMSS theme, but it could just be a nod to most epic Bond vs SPECTRE film, a callback in a film that seems full of callbacks.
Along with the trailer came a batch of new stills, and they’re yummy, so we’re presenting them below. Also released this morning is an expanded synopsis, which is slightly spoilery, but maybe not that much, or they wouldn’t have put it in a synopsis, right? Anyway, we’re pasting it whole after the stills; read it at your own discretion.
Here’s the official synopsis for the film, which opens in the UK on October 26th, and worldwide on November 6th.
A cryptic message from the past sends James Bond on a rogue mission to Mexico City and eventually Rome, where he meets Lucia Sciarra (Monica Bellucci), the beautiful and forbidden widow of an infamous criminal. Bond infiltrates a secret meeting and uncovers the existence of the sinister organisation known as SPECTRE.
Meanwhile back in London, Max Denbigh (Andrew Scott), the new head of the Centre for National Security, questions Bond’s actions and challenges the relevance of MI6, led by M (Ralph Fiennes). Bond covertly enlists Moneypenny (Naomie Harris) and Q (Ben Whishaw) to help him seek out Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux), the daughter of his old nemesis Mr White (Jesper Christensen), who may hold the clue to untangling the web of SPECTRE. As the daughter of an assassin, she understands Bond in a way most others cannot.
As Bond ventures towards the heart of SPECTRE, he learns of a chilling connection between himself and the enemy he seeks, played by Christoph Waltz.