It’s probably no exaggeration to call Spectre the most eagerly-anticipated Bond film ever. That’s partly because, in 2015, few Bond movies before it have arrived on such a wave of teaser trailers, social media chatter, TV spots, production stills, behind-the-scenes vlogs and gossip gleaned from cast members desperately trying to hold their tongues while promoting other films. But it’s mostly because the last Bond film, 2012’s Skyfall, was simply massive. It was the first one to gross over $1 billion at the global box office, thanks to a story and cinematography that felt modern and gritty while making nostalgic nods to the series’ past glories, and the first one in recent memory to seem like it had a shot at proper Oscar nominations. In the end, industry snobbishness prevented Sam Mendes’ picture from being shortlisted for Best Picture, but Adele’s Best Original Song gong was a nice consolation prize.
Spectre has the same director as Skyfall, Sam Mendes, and the same screenwriting team, Neal Purvis, Robert Wade and John Logan. It obviously has the same Bond, too, in the form of blond, brawny Daniel Craig. On the evidence of the new trailer released earlier today, that team has excelled once again.
The trailer begins with a glimpse of the film’s dazzling-looking opening sequence set at Mexico’s Day of the Dead festival, then darts stylishly between glossy action shots – high-speed car chases in exotic locations, helicopters spinning out of control, that kinda thing – and scenes of intriguing human interaction. Bond gets told off by Ralph Fiennes’ new M, enjoys an erotically-charged encounter with Monica Bellucci’s character Lucia Sciarra and has a pretty tense first encounter with Léa Seydoux’s fierce and feisty-seeming Madeleine Swann.
But what’s great about the trailer is that it actually teases rather than giving the game away. Terminator Genisys director Alan Taylor recently complained that the film’s marketing campaign was too spoiler-heavy, while Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow moaned that its teaser clips showed “far more of the movie than I would have ever wanted.” Here there’s restraint and a successful attempt to whet appetite of Bond fans, rather than cynically cram as much action as humanly possible into the trailer at the behest of an over-zealous marketing department. There’s action in the Spectre trailer, sure. But what really puts chills up your spine are the disorientating glares between characters here, each so pregnant with tension.
However many times you watch today’s Spectre trailer, Sony’s deliberately brief plot synopsis probably remains the clearest guide to what the film is actually about. At the end of the trailer, Christoph Waltz’s villain, Franz Oberhauser, finally comes face to face with Bond and informs him icily: “It was me James. The author of all your pain.” Could this mean Waltz is really playing classic baddie Blofeld, as rumours have continually suggested, rather than this enigmatic “Franz Oberhauser” character? Spectre opens in UK and Ireland cinemas on October 26 before being released in the US on November 6. You can expect debate to run rampant all the way until then…