There are many giddy hardcore Bond fans around the world today. That's the power of "Spectre," the title of "Bond 24" and a single word that can stir deep, nerdy feelings in the hearts people familiar with 007's early days.
Naming the new film after the shadowy organization also leads to enough questions to fill a hollowed out volcano lair, and these are just some of the ones that are nagging me in the wake of the title and cast announcement.
Is it "Spectre" or "SPECTRE" or both?
It would be just like the Bond series to use a title that has significance to the franchise's history, but also thematically plays into the story. The official synopsis references a "cryptic message from Bond’s past" that "sends him on a trail to uncover a sinister organisation." That one sentence contains both possible meanings from the title, and I imagine that isn't a coincidence.
Not that I care, but what about Quantum?
The glorious return of the Special Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion is the direct result of the Bond production company EON settling a copyright dispute with the estate of "Thunderball" co-writer Kevin McClory, who had retained rights to the organization and Blofeld (more on that in a second). Until recently, those characters were off-limits to the film series, thus we saw the creation of a similar, albeit crappier, secret organization called Quantum.
A lot of the story around the powerful shadow organization that pulled the strings in both "Casino Royale" and "Quantum of Solace" has remained unresolved, and now that the real deal is back in play, does this mean that Mr. White and his knock-off evil collective will be swept under the rug as a part of Bond history that we'd rather forget? It's possible that SPECTRE will be revealed as the true form of Quantum, but serializing Daniel Craig's first two outings didn't do great things for the franchise. I wouldn't be terribly shocked if EON avoided confusing anyone further and pretends like Quantum never happened.
Are we being John Harrison-ed?
For those of you who aren't hip to "Star Trek Into Darkness"-related parlance, when a film John Harrisons a character, it's attempting to keep his true identity a secret, even though everybody in the world knows he's Khan. Or in the case of Christoph Waltz's character, Blofeld.
Here are the facts:
-The official press release that came with the title announcement names Waltz's character as Oberhauser, despite director Sam Mendes not naming him at the press conference.
-A reliable report from the Daily Mail claimed that Waltz is the latest iteration of the classic Bond villain.
-The movie is called "Spectre." How can EON bring back SPECTRE without its Number One?
Someone is playing Blofeld. It's just a question of whether it's the most likely suspect.
Or are we being Moriarty-ed?
The other Blofeld candidate, apart from either Monica Belucci or Léa Seydoux -- for the record, I'm way into the idea of a female Blofeld -- is Andrew Scott.
Yes, that's the guy who played Moriarty on "Sherlock" as a criminal genius hiding in plain sight.
The little we know about Scott's character, Denbigh, places him within "the Whitehall family," meaning in or closely related to MI6. Denbigh's newness signals to me that he might be a traitor, but would "Spectre" really be willing to pull the same twist from "Sherlock" and make him the big bad Blofeld? I hope not and don't think it's the case, but it's plausible.
What's the deal with Mr. Hinx?
If Dave Bautista's Hinx is a henchman in the spirit of Oddjob and Jaws, as he's said to be, what's his gimmick? Does he only kill people with celery? Can he lace his beard stubble with highly potent venom? I want to know!
"Spectre" is set to hit theaters on November 6, 2015.