The James Bond film franchise celebrated its 50th anniversary in grand style back in 2012, when the series’ 23rd installment, Skyfall, set a new high for 007 in cinema. Not only did director Sam Mendes deliver an entry that received much critical acclaim, he also made the most lucrative Bond film ever, as Skyfall grossed $1.1 billion worldwide. With Mendes back at the helm, anticipation for the followup has been through the roof; especially since the sequel’s title is Spectre, and will feature Daniel Craig’s Bond facing the iconic criminal organization that plagued Sean Connery all those years ago.
During the infamous Sony server hack last year, Spectre made a lot of unwanted headlines when it was revealed via leaked emails that the budget had spiraled out of control and producers had taken issue with a problematic third act. However, recent developments have indicated that production is running much more smoothly now. That good news couldn’t have been more timely, as it more or less coincides with the first wave of marketing for the film – including, the release of the Spectre teaser trailer, which you can watch above.
During Craig’s run as 007, there has been a concentrated effort to inject the films with continuity, which is a departure from previous incarnations. Fans who appreciate that element should like that the practice is being incorporated in Spectre, as it looks like a dark secret from Bond’s youth (revealed via personal effects recovered from his now-destroyed childhood home) is what sets him off on his latest adventure. Along the way, Bond will have an encounter with Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace villain Mr. White (Jesper Christensen), who apparently has ties to SPECTRE and is living in isolation for reasons unknown.
The announcement that Oscar-winner Christoph Waltz signed on to play the film’s villain was greeted with much fanfare, so it shouldn’t come as any surprise that his character is briefly teased in the trailer. The actor seems to be channeling his Hans Landa from Inglourious Basterds, as even the brief dialogue he has in the preview hints that he’ll be a sinister and cunning evildoer. What Waltz means by saying “it’s been a long time” to Bond is anyone’s guess, but it adds another layer to what is shaping up to be an interesting story.
Spectre isn’t quite a direct continuation of the plot featured in Skyfall, but we do know that the intention is for there to be plenty of connective tissue between the two. Screenwriter John Logan has gone on record saying that the themes and ideas of the previous film will be carried over and expanded upon in Spectre, giving the filmmakers an opportunity to have the characters grow. Mendes is also looking forward to completing arcs he felt were left incomplete last time around – having stated that this new film represents the second half of a two-part story in a way.
The synopsis for Spectre provides many clues as to how that will be accomplished, most noticeably the idea that M (Ralph Fiennes) is in a political struggle to keep the British secret service alive (recalling the quarrels about MI6’s relevancy in modern society from Skyfall). That subplot is absent from the teaser, with the primary focus being the role Bond’s past has in the proceedings as he uncovers the truth behind the SPECTRE organization. Still, this is merely the beginning of promotion for the new film, so we should find out details about M’s battle soon enough.
The task of trying to top the most successful Bond film of all-time is a daunting one, but on paper Mendes seems to be working with something that can reach the high benchmark fans will have for Spectre going into its premiere this fall. The core narrative sounds like it will be full of bureaucratic and espionage intrigue, while the high-profile additions to the franchise’s cast (Waltz, Léa Seydoux, Dave Bautista, etc.) should make for an entertaining watch – adding to our hope that Spectre can be another special offering in the 007 canon.
Spectre will be in theaters November 6, 2015.