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December 04, 2014

Next Bond Film: SPECTRE, With Christopher Waltz as Blofeld?

The film will definitely be called Spectre, which of course means the evil organization that bothered Bond through his first ten outings will be back to bother Bond some more.


If you don't know, Spectre and Blofeld exited the Bond mythology due to a lawsuit lodged by Fleming's one time would-be co-screenwriter Kevin McClory. Back before Bond appeared in the movies, Fleming thought he might goose interest in his meh-selling spy series by selling a screenplay about Bond. He enlisted two men, Kevin McClory and Jack Whittingham, to help thrash out a screenplay.

They wrote a screenplay together called, IIRC, Longitude 78 West, which introduced a villainous organization called "SPECTRE" and its evil mastermind Ernst Stavro Blofeld. Until then, the organization that Bond fought most of the time was the real-life Soviet spy division SMERSH, but I think Fleming realized that there was a lot of frankly communist sympathy in Hollywood and they might not be interested in a Cold Warrior like Bond who was constantly killing Soviet agents. So they created the fantasy terrorist organization SPECTRE to replace the too-real-for-comfort SMERSH.

The screenplay was never sold, and the project was basically abandoned as a failure... until several years later, when Fleming was writing a new novel, and he decided to use a lot of the ideas generated in the script-writing sessions for the new book he called Thunderball.

He did not credit McClory or Whittingham for having helped create the ideas and characters contained in that book. McClory would later sue, and as part of the settlement of that suit, he was given ownership of Spectre and Blofeld, as well as the right to remake Thunderball at some point in the future. (McClory did remake Thunderball as the non-EON Sean Connery Bond film Never Say Never Again.)

But now MGM has apparently acquired all rights that McClory once held, so all rights to Bond are finally now just held by one party.

And so, fifty years after Blofeld was killed by lawsuits, he's back to threaten the world.

Interestingly, Christopher Waltz (the Nazi from Inglorious Basterds, the Bounty Hunter from Django) is slated to play the villain, though they're claiming he'll be playing a guy named "Oberhauser," supposedly James Bond's... ski instructor?

That's so ludicrous that people are naturally suspicious he's playing Ernst Stavro Blofeld.

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posted by Ace at 07:02 PM

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