SPECTRE: New Bond Title Misleading, Says Mendes (Exclusive)

Orlando Parfitt
UK Movies Editor

Sam Mendes, the director of new Bond film ‘SPECTRE’, said we shouldn’t “assume the obvious” about the title.

When the name was revealed, we naturally assumed it stood for the SPecial Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion – the sinister global terrorist organisation that was first introduced to Bond in ‘Thunderball’.

But maybe not, according to Mendes, who spoke to Yahoo Movies UK at the Bond unveiling event.

He said: “We’re not using it necessarily in that way in the movie. So if I told you that it stood for ‘Special etc.’, then I would indicate that perhaps it was used in the obvious way and I don’t think you should assume the obvious about either the title or perhaps the villain.”

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Everyone assumes that Christoph Waltz, listed in the cast as a ski instructor called Oberhauser, will play a new incarnation of Blofeld, but perhaps not.

Mendes added that he liked using the history of the Bond series to “tease” fans, and that the title reflects this.

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“I certainly love playing with the iconography of Bond, that it has that existing relationship that you can tease an audience with in a way and with this movie it even goes as far as the title,” he said.

If ‘SPECTRE’ does have a double meaning, maybe it’ll reference Bond’s past.

Naomie Harris, who reprises her role as Moneypenny, said ‘SPECTRE’ is a “continuation” of the same story of ‘Skyfall’. She said: “We saw in ‘Skyfall’ an exploration of Bond’s past, and we see that carried through in this one as well.”

We know for example that Jesper Christensen, who played Mr. White in both ‘Casino Royale’ and ‘Quantum Of Solace’, will return. He was part of another secretive terror organisation - Quantum – so perhaps that’s what SPECTRE refers to? Maybe Quantum has had a rebrand?

Ralph Fiennes, once again playing the new M, said the film will also address modern issues with the intelligence services. He said: “I think Sam [Mendes] is keen to include elements that are current in the nature of intelligence. Things like how we know the intelligence services can get into our phones and our computers, how all of us can be tracked, all of our personal information can be read.”

Finally, Mendes also gave us a teasing comment on (one of) Bond’s new cars: an Aston Martin DB10.

“I would say that [the new car] it doesn’t behave in the way perhaps that even Bond thinks it might”.

Intriguing stuff. You’ll have to find out exactly how 007’s ride misbehaves when ‘SPECTRE’ is released in the UK on 23 October 2015.

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Interviews by Craig Stevens. Image Credit: Sony Pictures