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With the upcoming 24th James Bond film now revealed to be titled Spectre and with new cast members including Christoph Waltz, Monica Bellucci and Lea Seydoux announced, Sam Mendes has revealed why he’s bringing back the British secret service team he established in Skyfall.
Speaking to BBC radio, the director spoke of the returning MI5 lineup of Naomie Harris, revealed as Miss Moneypenny in the last outing, Ben Whishaw as Q and Ralph Fiennes, who took over from Judi Dench as spymaster general M at the end of Skyfall.
“I felt an attachment to the characters that we created in Skyfall,” Mendes said. “I felt like there was unfinished business, and that there was a lot more I could do with them once I’d kind of stepped aside and had some time off,” he added, admitting that he was “quite exhausted and strung out” after the last film.
Speaking about the plot of Spectre, Mendes said it had “more variety and more locations” than the 23rd Bond.
“A lot of the last movie was shot in and around London, which I loved, but there’s a limited amount of stuff you can shoot in London, and I feel this has more mischief in it, perhaps, a little bit more of the unexpected,” he said. “But it also does relate back to Skyfall in many ways.”
The new Bond film is set to shoot in Pinewood, London, Morocco, Mexico, Austria and Italy. Principal photography starts on Monday.
Mendes also added that the title of Spectre — most likely referring to the secret terrorist organization run by 007’s nemesis Ernst Blofeld — gave a decent hint that the film would also relate to Bond films pre-Skyfall, without expanding further.
Spectre — the acronym for Special Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion — first appeared on screen in 1962’s Dr No., returning in Thunderball, You Only Live Twice, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service and Diamonds Are Forever.
Following Spectre’s announcement at the 007 Stage in London’s Pinewood Studios, Bond himself — Daniel Craig — talked of the challenges in attempting to follow up the success of Skyfall, which earned over $1.1 billion at the global box office, becoming the biggest U.K. film of all time.
“That makes it all the more exciting, all the more challenging,” he said. “It gives everybody a spur.”
Craig also added that in maintaining secrecy over the new title he had been “sending false names out all over the place to keep people off the scent.”
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