The name’s Bond … James Bond and he’s got a secret. The new teaser trailer for the 24th Bond film Spectre was just released and if you’re a long time fan of the series, then you know that this film’s name says it all. The Daniel Craig films have done a great job of rebooting the series; but with Spectre the franchise finally comes home to tackle one of the most iconic Bond villains of all time, Blofeld. The decades long ban on this character and his organization is over; and judging by this teaser trailer, this classic Bond villain has returned with some new darker twists.
Considering the scope of this film and the rich history surrounding its predecessors, I had to enlist the services of our own Double-Agent Eddie Gonzalez who is a master of Bond history (both film and original novels). With his help, we’ll take a closer look at this trailer and learn the who/what/where/when/whys of this new film.
As the trailer opens we see MI6 Headquarters heavily damaged, which means that this is probably taking place not long after the events of Skyfall – either that or MI6 got bombed AGAIN. Though as it continues, we learn from Miss Moneypenny (played once again by Naomie Harris) that some personal items of Bond’s have been released after the destruction of his family’s estate at the end of the last film. All in all, this film seems to pick up a few weeks/months following the last film; but the full scope of the film will be much larger as Bond’s past returns to dictate his future.
Bond’s Secret Past – A Familiar Evil Or Tragic Memory Returned:
When the scene picks up we hear of how Bond might be keeping a secret that he doesn’t think he can trust anyone with. As this voice-over is heard, we see Bond going through some personal effects such as a letter of Guardianship and a photo of 3 people with one burnt out. The burning is of course due to the explosion in the last film; but judging from the line of dialogue, we can surmise that this burnt photo is symbolic – of what though?
For starters, the ski pole you see the center man holding is certainly an allusion to Bond’s parents who were avid skiers and died in a skiing accident, which resulted in Bond being an orphan and having to live with a Guardian. If you were to assume this burnt out person is Bond’s mom, then you could surmise that based on the film’s focus, the villainous organization Spectre had something to do with the death of Bond’s parents. Though once we hit the end of the trailer, a different idea comes to mind.
The trailer ends with Oberhauser (Christopher Waltz’s character) sitting in the shadows at the head of a huge meeting. He knows Bond and speaks as though he’s know him for years. Many assume that this man is Blofeld; but there’s a much more pressing question in the context of this trailer – how is this man related to Bond?
When we return to that original photo we realize that whereas the grown man is holding (whom we can assume to be) a young James closely, he’s keeping the other at arm’s length. If this figure were his wife, she’d be much closer. This mysterious photograph must contain either a brother or childhood friend/acquaintance of Bond. The fact that this figure is burnt could symbolize that he is someone who Bond has burnt out of his memory, the ‘dark secret’ Moneypenny alludes to during the initial opening of this trailer, and possibly also the reason Bond doesn’t trust anyone.
It’s still completely plausible that Spectre did have something to do with his parents’ deaths; but having someone you used to know becoming an integral part of that evil organization would make it truly the type of ‘family history’ you’d want to keep hidden. Is Oberhauser just a pseudonym for Blofeld – similarly to how the name ‘John Harrison’ was a stand in before we learned he was Khan in Star Trek Into Darkness? It’s obviously way too soon to tell.
Spectre Returns – The Legal History, Symbolism & More:
So who/what is Spectre and why are some fans SO excited about it? Well, Spectre is a massive criminal organization – or rather the conglomeration of various evil organization – that played a huge role in the early Bond films. If Bond was Sherlock Holmes, Spectre and Blofeld would basically be his Moriarty. Though the idea of Spectre and its evil leader Blofeld being completely Ian Fleming’s is a little disputed. You see a man by the name of Kevin McClory worked with Fleming back in 1959 on something called Longitude 78. It eventually went nowhere; but Fleming liked Blofeld so much that he turned it into the novel Thunderball. When the film Thunderball came out, McClory helped produce and was then able to fully keep the rights after 10 years time.
It wasn’t until 2013 when the McClory estate sold the rights to MGM and the people behind Bond. Though just because Blofeld and Spectre haven’t been in films for decades – the last Spectre mention in McCloy’s films was in the 80s – some video games actually got around this by naming their evil organization Octopus, named after the iconic symbol on Blofeld’s ring.
Though video game or not, that Octopus still keeps it’s meaning all these years later when we see Bond hand it over to Mr White. Yes that’s right, the unshaved man with sunken eyes is indeed Mr White from the first two Bond films back and … well, close to death it appears. Either way, the ring Bond hands over to him has a reimagined Octopus design on it, which makes it seem as though the Octopus itself has spread from being just Blofeld’s insignia to the insignia for all of Spectre itself. In fact if you look at the title card closely, you see a bullet go through what appears to be a windshield. The fracture marks caused by this shot form an Octopus like shape similar to the one seen on the ring Bond hands over – with the bullet hole itself being the head.
Tributes To Past Films – Thunderball & On Her Majesty’s Secret Service:
With Spectre now available again, so too are some really well done references to past films. For starters, we see Bond at a funeral for an unknown person. Now this could be the funeral for the previous M; but regardless of who’s funeral it is, the idea of Bond attending a funeral during a Spectre-themed movie is very reminiscent of Thunderball, arguably one of the best Bond – and Spectre films – ever.
The film begins with Bond witnessing a funeral and later following a Spectre agent he thinks he recognizes. Bond then follows and kills this man, which if this scene is adapted to Spectre could explain how he has the Octopus Ring as well as what ‘non MI6 meeting’ he said Mr. White’s name came up at. All in all this could be a good action-packed and mysterious way to set up the beginning of the film.
Another ‘Easter Egg’ reference of sorts that I found in this trailer doesn’t come until the end title card. As I’ve already shown, the bullet mark for Spectre resembles the Octopus insignia on Blofeld’s iconic ring. Though beyond this there is one other thing to notice for those of you who know Bond’s full history. In On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Bond gets married until his wife is killed. This is one of the reasons why he never remarries in the original films.
The reason I bring this up is because she was killing in a ‘drive-by-shooting’ with – you guessed it – a single bullet through the windshield. So who caused this horrible tragedy in Bond’s life? Take a wild guess – it was Blofeld. Whether this title card sequence is purely to honor that moment or if a similar scenario will play out in the film remains to be seen; but it’s still a very nice Bond/Spectre/Blofeld Easter Egg for this trailer.
Once again I’d like to thank Eddie Gonzalez for helping me with all this Bond history and analyzing this trailer. We’ll be sure to ask for his assistance again when the full length trailer hits. And considering Spectre’s November 6, 2015 release date there’s DEFINITELY going to be more trailers. So stay tuned here and on Facebook for more updates!