In the aftermath of Raoul Silva’s attack on MI6, a cryptic message sets in motion events that will see James Bond come face-to-face with the sinister organisation known as SPECTRE. As Gareth Mallory, the newly appointed M, continues fighting political pressures that threaten the future of MI6, Bond follows a trail from Mexico to Austria and Morocco as he is drawn into a confrontation with an enemy from his past; one who holds a dangerous secret that will force him to question the value of everything he has fought to protect.
Spectre is the twenty-fourth James Bond film produced by Eon Productions, and is the direct sequel to the 2012 film Skyfall. It features Daniel Craig in his fourth performance as James Bond, 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 around $245 million, it is the most expensive Bond film and one of the most expensive films ever made.
Sam Mendes revealed that production would begin on 8 December 2014 at Pinewood Studios, with filming taking seven months. Mendes also confirmed several filming locations, including London, Mexico City and Rome. Van Hoytema is shooting the film on Kodak 35 mm film stock. 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.
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. 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. Production was temporarily halted first by an injury to Craig, who sprained his knee whilst shooting a fight scene, and later by an accident involving a filming vehicle that saw three crew members injured, at least one of them seriously.
Filming temporarily returned to England to shoot scenes at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, which will stand in for a location in Rome, 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.
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. 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. The C-X75 was originally developed as a hybrid electric vehicle with four independent battery-powered engines before the project was cancelled, 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. Filming shut down Mexico City’s central plaza, the Zócalo.
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. The planned scenes required the city square to be closed for filming a sequence involving a fight aboard a Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm Bo 150 helicopter flown by stunt pilot Chuck Aaron, which called for modifications to be made to several buildings to prevent damage. 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.
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.
A brief shoot at London’s City Hall was filmed on 18 April 2015, while Mendes was on location. 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 Westminster and Lambeth Bridges.
Scenes were also shot on the river near MI6’s headquarters at Vauxhall Cross. 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. Prior to this, scenes involving Fiennes were shot at a restaurant in Covent Garden. Filming then took place in Trafalgar Square. 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.
After wrapping up in England, Production traveled to Morocco in June, with filming taking place in Oujda, Tangier and Erfoud after preliminary work was completed by the production’s second unit.
Principal photography concluded on 5 July 2015. A wrap up party for Spectre was held in commemoration before entering post-production. Filming took 128 days.
Directed by: Sam Mendes
Starring: Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Monica Bellucci, Ralph Fiennes, Léa Seydoux, Rory Kinnear, Naomie Harris, Stephanie Sigman, Jesper Christensen
Screenplay by: John Logan
Production Design byB Dennis Gassner
Cinematography by: Hoyte Van Hoytema
Film Editing by: Lee Smith
Costume Design by: Jany Temime
Set Decoration by: Anna Pinnock, Daniela Rojas
Music by: Thomas Newman
Studio: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Columbia Pictures
Release Date: November 6, 2015