No point breaking up a winning team. Or at least that seems to be the thinking with the overseers of the James Bond franchise, who’ve brought back all the principal players of 2012’s billion-grossing Skyfall for the 2015 follow-up, entitled Spectre.
The title was announced at a launch event in Buckinghamshire’s Pinewood Studios, where principal photography is set to begin next week. Returning director Sam Mendes brought along Daniel Craig, who is reprising his 007 role for the third time since originally appearing in Casino Royale in 2006. Along with Craig, fellow Skyfall cast members Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, Ben Whishaw, and Rory Kinnear will be returning, in addition to the writing team of John Logan, Neal Purvis, and Robert Wade.
Several new members of the cast were also announced, including Andrew Scott, best known as Moriarty on Sherlock, wrestler-turned-actor Dave Bautista from Guardians of the Galaxy, Monica Bellucci and Lea Seydoux. Scott will play the villain, Denbigh, while Bautista will play his henchman. One can only speculate on Bellucci and Seydoux’s characters, but the smart money is on one playing a love interest, one playing a spymaster, and either or both double-crossing Craig’s Bond. The most interesting bit of casting news, however, is the confirmation that Christoph Waltz will definitely be in the film, although speculation remains about his character’s true identity.
According to Mendes’ announcement, Waltz will play a character named Oberhauser, but Bond superfans contend that he will likely be unmasked in the film as Bond’s old nemesis Blofeld. The new film’s title, Spectre, is an acronym for Special Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion, which is the name of an international crime syndicate, that recurred throughout several ’60s-era Bond films. Blofeld was the head of that organization, and it stands to reason that the producers would only bring on board a heavyweight like Waltz if he’s going to have a role that’s substantial in the franchise.
We’ll find out if the rumor is true in November 2015 when Spectre appears in theaters.