James Bond, holding a gun in front of a masked man, with the film's title and credits
Theatrical release poster
Directed bySam Mendes
Screenplay by
Story by
  • John Logan
  • Neal Purvis
  • Robert Wade
Produced by
CinematographyHoyte van Hoytema
Edited byLee Smith
Music byThomas Newman
Distributed by
Release dates
  • 26 October 2015 (2015-10-26) (United Kingdom)
  • 6 November 2015 (2015-11-06) (United States)
Running time
148 minutes[3]
  • United Kingdom
  • United States[1]
Budget$245[4][5]—300 million[6][7]
Box office$80.4 million[8]

Spectre is the twenty-fourth James Bond film produced by Eon Productions. It features Daniel Craig in his fourth performance as James Bond,[9] and Christoph Waltz as Ernst Stavro Blofeld, with the film marking the character's re-introduction into the series. It was directed by Sam Mendes as his second James Bond film following Skyfall, and was written by John Logan, Neal Purvis, Robert Wade and Jez Butterworth. It is distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Columbia Pictures. With a budget between $245–300 million, it is one of the most expensive films ever made.[6][7]

The story features James Bond's first encounter with the global criminal organisation Spectre, marking the group's first appearance in an Eon Productions film since 1971's Diamonds Are Forever,[N 1] and tying Craig's series of films together with an over-arching storyline. Several recurring James Bond characters, including M, Q and Miss Moneypenny return, with the new additions of Léa Seydoux as Dr. Madeleine Swann, Dave Bautista as Mr. Hinx, and Monica Bellucci as Lucia Sciarra.

Spectre was released on 26 October 2015 in the United Kingdom on the same night as the world premiere at the Royal Albert Hall in London, followed by a worldwide release. The film received generally positive reviews from critics and has grossed over $80 million.


On a mission in Mexico, unofficially ordered by the previous M, James Bond kills two men arranging to blow up a stadium; in doing so the building they are in explodes and collapses. Bond gives chase to Marco Sciarra, who survived the blast; Sciarra boards a helicopter to escape. Bond follows and in the ensuing struggle he throws both Sciarra and the pilot out of the helicopter, stealing Sciarra's octopus ring as he does so. On his return to London Bond is indefinitely taken off field duty by the current M, who is in the midst of a power struggle with C, the head of the Joint Intelligence Service, which consists of the recently merged MI5 and MI6. C also wants to create the "Nine Eyes" intelligence co-operation agreement between nine countries, and close down the '00' section in the process.

Bond disobeys M's order and travels to Rome to attend Sciarra's funeral. That evening he visits Sciarra's widow Lucia, who tells him about a criminal organisation to which her husband belonged and where they are meeting that evening. Bond enters the meeting by showing the ring, where he sees the head of the organisation. The head mentions the events in Mexico, and Bond by name, turning to face him as he does so. Having been recognised, Bond escapes and a car chase through Rome ensues, with Bond pursued by Mr. Hinx, an assassin for the organisation. Moneypenny informs Bond that a reference he heard in both Mexico and the meeting will lead to Mr White, a former member of Quantum, a subsidiary of the Spectre organisation. Bond also asks for a check on the name Franz Oberhauser.

Bond travels to Austria to find White, who is dying of thallium poisoning. White tells Bond to find his daughter—Dr Madeline Swann—who will take him to L'Americain, which will in turn lead him to the organisation. Bond finds Swann, but she is snatched by Hinx. Bond chases the kidnappers by plane, and forces their three cars to crash, before he makes his escape with Swann. The two meet Q, who reveals that Sciarra's ring contains digital files linking Oberhauser, the leader of the organisation, and Bond's previous missions. Swann informs them about Spectre, and that L'Americain is a hotel in Morocco.

The two travel to the hotel and stay in the suite her father stayed in every year. Bond discovers White had built a secret room of videotapes, charts and photographs, as well as maps and co-ordinates of where they should go next. They travel to the nearest point a train will go, but are again attacked by Hinx; Bond throws him off the train. At the end of the journey, they are transported to a facility in the desert, where they are met by Oberhauser, the son of the man who looked after the younger Bond when he had been orphaned. While torturing Bond, Oberhauser informs him that C is part of Spectre, and he feeds all intelligence data straight to Spectre. Oberhauser also reveals that he now goes by the name Ernst Stavro Blofeld; he changed his name after faking his death 20 years previously. Bond and Swann escape, destroying the facility.

Back in London, Bond and Swann meet M, Bill Tanner, Q and Moneypenny; they travel to arrest C and stop the launch of Nine Eyes; Swann leaves Bond, telling him she cannot be part of a life involving espionage. En route the MI6 operatives are ambushed and Bond is kidnapped. M and the others escape and proceed to wait for C in his office, arrest him and shut down Nine Eyes before it launches; in an ensuing struggle, C is killed. Bond is taken to the old MI6 building—derelict since the attack in Skyfall—but he disables his captors before entering. He meets Blofeld, who tells him the building is rigged to explode in three minutes and that Swann is hidden within it. Bond finds her and the two escape by boat onto the Thames. They chase Blofeld—who is in a helicopter—and shoot it down; it crashes onto Westminster Bridge. Bond leaves Blofeld to be arrested by M and leaves with Swann.


Christoph Waltz plays Ernst Stavro Blofeld, the film's villain.


Copyright status

Main article: Thunderball copyright ownership controversy

The ownership of the Spectre organisation—originally stylised "SPECTRE" as an acronym of Special Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion—and its characters had been at the centre of long-standing litigation starting in 1961 between Ian Fleming and Kevin McClory over the film rights to the novel Thunderball. The dispute began after Fleming incorporated elements of an undeveloped film script written by McClory and screenwriter Jack Whittingham—including characters and plot points—into Thunderball, which McClory contested in court, claiming ownership over elements of the novel.[22] In 1963 Fleming settled out of court with McClory, in an agreement which awarded McClory the film rights. This enabled him to become a producer for the 1965 film Thunderball—with Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman as executive producers—and the non-EON film Never Say Never Again, an updated remake of Thunderball, in 1983.[N 2] A second remake, entitled Warhead 2000 A.D., was planned for production and release in the 1990s before being abandoned.[24] Under the terms of the 1963 settlement, the literary rights stayed with Fleming, allowing the Spectre organisation and associated characters to continue appearing in print.[25]

In November 2013 MGM and the McClory estate formally settled the issue with Danjaq, LLC— sister company of Eon Productions—with MGM acquiring the full copyright film rights to the concept of Spectre and all of the characters associated with it.[26] With the acquisition of the film rights and the organisation's re-introduction to the series' continuity, the SPECTRE acronym was discarded and the organisation reimagined as "Spectre".[27][28]


Sony Pictures Entertainment hack

In November 2014 Sony Pictures Entertainment was targeted by hackers who released details of confidential e-mails between Sony executives regarding several high-profile film projects. Included within these were several memos relating to the production of Spectre claiming that the film was over budget, detailing early drafts of the script written by John Logan and expressing Sony's frustration with the project.[29] Eon Productions later issued a statement confirming the leak of what they called "an early version of the screenplay".[30]

Source material

Despite being an original story, Spectre draws on Ian Fleming's source material, most notably in the character of Franz Oberhauser, played by Christoph Waltz. Oberhauser shares his name with Hannes Oberhauser, a background character in the short story "Octopussy" from the Octopussy and The Living Daylights collection, and who is named in the film as having been a temporary legal guardian of a young Bond in 1983.[31] Similarly, Charmian Bond is shown to have been his full-time guardian, observing the back story established by Fleming.[31] With the acquisition of the rights to Spectre and its associated characters, screenwriters Neal Purvis and Robert Wade revealed that the film will provide a minor retcon to the continuity of the previous films, with the Quantum organisation alluded to in Casino Royale and introduced in Quantum of Solace reimagined as a division within Spectre rather than an independent organisation.[32]


At the age of 50, Monica Bellucci became the oldest actor to be cast as a Bond girl.

The main cast were revealed in December 2014 at the 007 Stage at Pinewood Studios. Daniel Craig returns for his fourth appearance as James Bond, while Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris and Ben Whishaw reprise their roles as M, Eve Moneypenny and Q respectively, having been established in Skyfall. Rory Kinnear also reprised his role as Bill Tanner in his third appearance in the series.[13]

Christoph Waltz was cast in the role of Franz Oberhauser, though he refused to comment on the nature of the part. It was later revealed with the film's release that he is Ernst Stavro Blofeld. Dave Bautista was cast as Mr. Hinx after producers sought an actor with a background in contact sports.[33] After casting Bérénice Lim Marlohe, a relative newcomer, as Sévérine in Skyfall, Mendes consciously sought out a more experienced actor for the role of Madeleine Swann, ultimately casting Léa Seydoux in the role.[34] Monica Bellucci joined the cast as Lucia Sciarra, becoming, at the age of fifty, the oldest actress to be cast as a Bond girl. In a separate interview with Danish website Euroman, Jesper Christensen revealed he will be reprising his role as Mr. White from Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace.[19][20] Christensen's character was reportedly killed off in a scene intended to be used as an epilogue to Quantum of Solace before it was removed from the final cut of the film, enabling his return in Spectre.[35]

In addition to the principal cast, Alessandro Cremona was cast as Marco Sciarra, Stephanie Sigman was cast as Estrella, and Detlef Bothe was cast as a villain for scenes shot in Austria.[21][36][37] In February 2015 over fifteen hundred extras were hired for the pre-title sequence set in Mexico, though they will be duplicated in the film, giving the effect of around ten thousand extras.[38][39][40][41]


Sam Mendes returned as director.

In March 2013 Mendes said he would not return to direct the next film in the series, then known as Bond 24;[42][43] he later recanted and announced that he would return, as he found the script and the plans for the long-term future of the franchise appealing.[44] In directing Skyfall and Spectre, Mendes became the first director to oversee two consecutive Bond films since John Glen directed The Living Daylights and Licence to Kill in 1987 and 1989. Skyfall writer John Logan resumed his role of scriptwriter,[45] collaborating with Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, who returned for their sixth Bond film.[N 3] The writer Jez Butterworth also worked on the script, alongside Mendes and Craig.[47] Dennis Gassner will also return as the film's production designer,[48] while cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema will take over from Roger Deakins.[48][49] In July 2015 Mendes noted that the combined crew of Spectre numbered over one thousand, making it a larger production than Skyfall.[50] Craig is listed as co-producer.[2]


Mendes revealed that production would begin on 8 December 2014 at Pinewood Studios, with filming taking seven months.[51] Mendes also confirmed several filming locations, including London, Mexico City and Rome. Van Hoytema shot the film on Kodak 35 mm film stock.[52] Early filming took place at Pinewood Studios, and around London, with scenes variously featuring Craig and Harris at Bond's flat, and Craig and Kinnear travelling down the River Thames.[53]

Filming started in Austria in December 2014, with production taking in the area around Sölden—including the Ötztal Glacier Road, Rettenbach glacier and the adjacent ski resort and cable car station—and Obertilliach and Lake Altaussee before concluding in February 2015.[54][55][56] Scenes filmed in Austria centred on the Ice Q Restaurant, standing in for the fictional Hoffler Klinik, a private medical clinic in the Austrian Alps. Filming included an action scene featuring a Land Rover Defender Bigfoot and a Range Rover Sport.[57] Production was temporarily halted first by an injury to Craig, who sprained his knee whilst shooting a fight scene,[58] and later by an accident involving a filming vehicle that saw three crew members injured, at least one of them seriously.[59][60]

After being cancelled in 2012, the Jaguar C-X75 was recommissioned to appear in Spectre.
The Aston Martin DB10 is driven by Bond in the film

Filming temporarily returned to England to shoot scenes at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, which stood in for a location in Rome,[61] before moving on to the city itself for a five-week shoot across the city, with locations including the Ponte Sisto bridge and the Roman Forum.[62] The production faced opposition from a variety of special interest groups and city authorities who were concerned about the potential for damage to historical sites around the city and problems with graffiti and rubbish appearing in the film.[63][64] A car chase scene set along the banks of the Tiber River and through the streets of Rome will feature an Aston Martin DB10 and a Jaguar C-X75.[57] The C-X75 was originally developed as a hybrid electric vehicle with four independent electric engines powered by two jet turbines before the project was cancelled,[65] but the version used for filming was converted to use a conventional internal combustion engine to minimise the potential for disruption from mechanical problems with the complex hybrid system. The C-X75s used for filming were developed by the engineering division of Formula One racing team Williams, who built the original C-X75 prototype for Jaguar.[66]

Filming shut down Mexico City's central plaza, the Zócalo, in March 2015.

With filming completed in Rome, production moved to Mexico City in late March to shoot the film's opening sequence, with scenes to include the Day of the Dead festival filmed in and around the Zócalo and the Centro Histórico district.[67] The planned scenes required the city square to be closed for filming a sequence involving a fight aboard a Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm Bo 105 helicopter flown by stunt pilot Chuck Aaron,[68] which called for modifications to be made to several buildings to prevent damage.[69] This particular scene in Mexico required 1,500 extras, 10 giant skeletons and 250,000 paper flowers.[70] Reports in the Mexican media added that the film's second unit would move to Palenque in the state of Chiapas to film aerial manoeuvres considered too dangerous to shoot in an urban area.[71]

Following filming in Mexico, and during a scheduled break, Craig was flown to New York to undergo minor surgery to fix his knee injury. It was reported that filming was not affected and he had returned to filming at Pinewood Studios as planned on 22 April.[72]

A brief shoot at London's City Hall was filmed on 18 April 2015, while Mendes was on location.[73] On 17 May 2015 filming took place on the Thames in London. Stunt scenes involving Craig and Seydoux on a speedboat as well as a low flying helicopter near Westminster Bridge were shot at night, with filming temporarily closing both Westminster and Lambeth Bridges.[74] Scenes were also shot on the river near MI6's headquarters at Vauxhall Cross.[75] The crew returned to the river less than a week later to film scenes solely set on Westminster Bridge. The London Fire Brigade was on set to simulate rain as well as monitor smoke used for filming. Craig, Seydoux, and Waltz as well as Harris and Fiennes were seen being filmed.[76] Prior to this, scenes involving Fiennes were shot at a restaurant in Covent Garden.[77] Filming then took place in Trafalgar Square.[78] In early June, the crew, as well as Craig, Seydoux, and Waltz returned to the Thames for a final time to continue filming scenes previously shot on the river.[79]

After wrapping up in England, Production travelled to Morocco in June, with filming taking place in Oujda, Tangier and Erfoud after preliminary work was completed by the production's second unit.[80]

Principal photography concluded on 5 July 2015. A wrap-up party for Spectre was held in commemoration before entering post-production.[81] Filming took 128 days.[82]

Taxation benefits controversy

Whilst filming in Mexico City, speculation in the media claimed that the script had been altered to accommodate the demands of Mexican authorities—reportedly influencing details of the scene and characters, casting choices, and modifying the script in order to portray the country in a "positive light"—in order to secure tax concessions and financial support worth up to $20 million for the film.[83] This was denied by producer Michael G. Wilson,[83] who stated that the scene had always been intended to be shot in Mexico as production had been attracted to the imagery of the Day of the Dead, and that the script had been developed from there.[84] Production of Skyfall had previously faced similar problems while attempting to secure permits to shoot the film's pre-title sequence in India before moving to Istanbul.[85][86]


Thomas Newman returned to compose film's score.

Main article: Spectre: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Thomas Newman returned as Spectre's composer.[48] Rather than composing the score once the film had moved into post-production, Newman worked during filming.[41] The theatrical trailer released in July 2015 contained a rendition of John Barry's On Her Majesty's Secret Service theme.[87][88] Mendes revealed that the final film would have more than one hundred minutes of music.[50] The soundtrack album was released on 23 October 2015 in UK and 6 November 2015 in USA under the label of Decca Records.[89] [90]

In September 2015 it was announced that Sam Smith and regular collaborator Jimmy Napes had written the film's title theme, "Writing's on the Wall", with Smith performing it for the film.[91] Smith said the song came together in one whirlwind session. He and collaborator Jimmy Napes wrote it in under half an hour and quickly recorded a demo. When they listened back to that recording, they were so pleased with Smith's vocal performance that they ended up using it on the final release—albeit with some added muscle in the arrangement.[92]

The song was released as a digital download on 25 September 2015.[93] Upon its release it received mix reviews from critics and fans, particularly in comparison to Adele's "Skyfall".[94][95][96] The mixed reception to the song led to Shirley Bassey trending on Twitter on the day it was released.[97][98] It became the first Bond theme to reach number one in the UK Singles Chart.[99]


File:Daniel Craig, producer Barbara Broccoli, actress Naomie Harris and actor Christoph Waltz - Film Premiere "Spectre" 007 (22547549736) (cropped).jpg
Craig, Broccoli, Harris and Waltz at the Berlin premiere.
The Williams FW37 of Felipe Massa (front) carrying the 007 logo on its wing mirrors at the 2015 Mexican Grand Prix.

During the December 2014 press conference announcing the start of filming, Aston Martin and Eon unveiled the new DB10 as the official car for the film. The DB10 was designed in collaboration between Aston Martin and the filmmakers, with only ten being produced especially for Spectre as a celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the company's association with the franchise.[100] After modifying the Jaguar C-X75 for the film, Williams F1 carried the 007 logo on their cars at the 2015 Mexican Grand Prix, with the team playing host to the cast and crew ahead of the Mexican premiere of the film.[101][102]

To promote the film, production continued the trend established during Skyfall's production of releasing still images of clapperboards and video blogs on Eon's official social media accounts.[103][104]

On 13 March 2015 several members of the cast and crew, including Craig, Whishaw, Wilson and Mendes, as well as the previous James Bond actor Sir Roger Moore appeared in a sketch written by David Walliams and the Dawson Brothers for Comic Relief's Red Nose Day on BBC One in which they film a behind-the-scenes mockumentary on the filming of Spectre.[105][106] The first teaser trailer for Spectre was released worldwide in March 2015,[107] followed by the theatrical trailer in July[108] and the final trailer in October.[109]

Release and reception

Spectre had its world premiere in London on 26 October 2015, the same day as its general release in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland.[110] Following the announcement of the start of filming, Paramount Pictures brought forward the release of Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation to avoid competing with Spectre.[111] In March 2015 IMAX corporation announced that Spectre would be screened in its cinemas, following Skyfall's success with the company.[112] In the UK it received a wider release than Skyfall, with a minimum of 647 cinemas including 40 IMAX screens, compared to Skyfall's 587 locations and 21 IMAX screens.[113]

Box office

In the United Kingdom the film grossed £4.1 million ($6.4 million) from its Monday preview screenings.[114] It grossed £6.3 million ($9.2 million) on its opening day[115] and then £5.7 million ($8.8 million) on Wednesday, setting UK records for both days.[116] In the film's first seven days it grossed £41.7 million ($63.8 million), breaking the UK record for highest first-week opening, set by Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban's £23.88 million ($36.9 million) in 2004.[117] Its Friday–Saturday gross was £20.4 million ($31.2 million) compared to Skyfall's £20.1 million ($31 million). The film also broke the record for the best per-screen opening average with $110,000, a record prevously held by The Dark Knight with $100,200.[118]

In the United States the film opened on 6 November 2015, and in its opening weekend was originally projected to gross $70-75 million from 3,927 screens, the widest release for a Bond film.[119] However after grossing $5.25 million from its early Thursday night showings, weekend projections were increased to $75–80 million.[120]

Critical reception

This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (October 2015)

Spectre has received generally positive reviews.[121] Critics praised the film's opening scene, action sequences, stuntwork and cinematography.[122] In some early reviews the film received favourable comparisons with Skyfall.[123] Rotten Tomatoes sampled 202 reviews and judged 62% of the critiques to be positive, saying that the film, "... nudges Daniel Craig's rebooted Bond closer to the glorious, action-driven spectacle of earlier entries, although it's admittedly reliant on established 007 formula."[124] On Metacritic the film has a rating of 60 out of 100, based on 47 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[125] On CinemaScore, audiences gave the film an average grade of "A–" on an A+ to F scale.[120]


  1. ^ Within the series' continuity, the version of SPECTRE that appeared in Diamonds Are Forever was written out of the timeline with the 2006 reboot of the franchise in Casino Royale, making its appearance in Spectre its first in the new timeline.
  2. ^ Following the settlement, Eon Productions licensed Spectre and its characters from McClory for ten years,[23] allowing their subsequent appearances in You Only Live Twice, On Her Majesty's Secret Service and Diamonds Are Forever.
  3. ^ Purvis and Wade were credited for the screenplay of Quantum of Solace as they wrote the original draft of the film. However, the final script was written by Paul Haggis with several uncredited co-writers.[46]


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