The next James Bond film, the 24th picture in the long-running saga of 007 and the follow-up to Skyfall – the most successful Bond film yet – has been given a haunting yet familiar title: Spectre. Producers revealed the newest title at a press conference Thursday in London, along with the film's cast members and Bond's sleek new Aston Martin.
As previously reported, but officially confirmed in the Spectre press conference, Oscar winner Christoph Waltz will join the Bond universe in an unspecified role. Blue Is the Warmest Colour actress Lea Seydoux and Italian star Monica Bellucci (but not Stephen Hawking) will appear, joining returning cast members Daniel Craig, Naomie Harris, Ben Whishaw and Ralph Fiennes, who took over the role of M from Dame Judi Dench in Skyfall. Sam Mendes will return as director.
"I felt an attachment to the characters that we created in Skyfall," Mendes said at the press conference (via The Hollywood Reporter). "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." Mendes also promised "more variety and more locations" than Skyfall, which featured the usually globetrotting secret agent doing most of his fighting in his native England.
It's likely that Waltz will reboot the role of Ernst Blofeld, a longtime Bond nemesis previously portrayed by actors like Donald Pleasance and Telly Savales and the inspiration behind Mike Myers' Dr. Evil in the Austin Powers series. Blofeld served as the head of SPECTRE (Special Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion), a terrorist organization that Sean Connery's James Bond battled as far back as 1962's Dr. No. However, producers were reluctant to reveal Waltz' character.
Principal photography for the film will begin next Monday, producers revealed, with shoots in Mexico, Austria, Morocco, Italy and London planned. Spectre will arrive in theatres in late 2015.