It's been a tumultuous week for Sony Pictures in the USA, as terror threats from an aggressive hacker group led to a decision by the company to delay the upcoming theatrical release of The Interview, a comedy about a talk show host who is assigned to kill North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. On the other side of the Atlantic, however, it looks like smooth sailing (literally) for Spectre, the next chapter in Sony's James Bond franchise.
There was real reason for concern about Spectre after hacked e-mails revealed that the film's budget had expanded past the $300 million mark and there was concern among studio executives about the strength of its third act. Furthermore, reports have emerged that numerous Sony projects have been forced to put production on hold due to the server hacks making it impossible for the company to process payments - a setback that, if it had affected Spectre, could only have worsened the budget situation.
Luckily it seems that the hacks haven't been able to stop MI6, as there have been numerous sightings and set photos of Daniel Craig filming on location in London this week. ITV and ComingSoon both have pictures of Craig and co-star Rory Kinnear (who plays MI6 Chief of Staff Bill Tanner) speeding serenely down the River Thames, near the MI6 building, and along Regent's Canal in Camden.
It's possible that the original reports of filming disruption may have been exaggerated, especially since these pictures from London fit with Sony's insistence that "productions have not been halted and are moving forward."
The fact that Spectre had its script leaked makes speculating about the plot and characters (one of Screen Rant's favorite hobbies) a lot less fun, but here's the official synopsis:
"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."
Director Sam Mendes has said that Spectre will wrap up some of the unfinished themes that he introduced in Skyfall, but the 24th installment in the James Bond series will also introduce its share of new characters. Among them are Christoph Waltz as one of the movie's villains, Guardians of the Galaxy star Dave Bautista as henchman Mr. Hinx and Andrew Scott (Sherlock) as "C," the head of MI5.
Spectre's production might not be going as smoothly as it would have without the hacking attack on Sony, but it's heartening to see filming carrying on as normal. And if the film does as well as Skyfall, which grossed over $1.1 billion at the worldwide box office, the studio should be able to reap back that rising budget next fall.
Spectre will hit theaters on November 6th, 2015.