The Secrets of Spectre

in SPECTRE Posts: 1,055
Here is an interesting article about the build up and pre-production of Spectre.

http://www.007magazine.co.uk/bond24/secrets_of_spectre1.htm
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Comments

  • bondjamesbondjames You were expecting someone else?
    Posts: 23,883
    Very interesting post @mepal1.

    I was not aware of a lot of what is contained in that link, including Sony's preference for an Oct release - which had to be nixed on account of the wait for Mendes according to the post. We discussed this on here a few weeks back actually - that October would have been a great time to release the film - given the Martian was cleaning up during that timeframe with no competition.

    Having recently seen a brilliant performance from him in The Secret In Their Eyes, I think Chiwetel Ejiofor, rumoured in that article for the role of C, would have been excellent, and superior to Scott, who fell flat for me personally. Perhaps he was too expensive, as has been mentioned somewhere, but still..

    It's telling to read the comments about Broccoli being a 'wreck' at one stage during script development. That bodes well for B25, because I believe she will do what she has to do in order to ensure this kind of scripting fiasco doesn't happen again.

    The article poses this final important & well asked question, and on this front, I don't think the film succeeded for some people, myself included:

    "Even more important, though, when considering the prospect of SPECTRE matching Skyfall in artistic terms, is whether the screenplay, direction and performances can successfully combine to provide a plausible psychological texture which convincingly links the film to the entire Craig canon."
  • Posts: 1,055
    Getting the script sorted seems to be a major hurdle for EON to overcome, in many of the Bond films in recent times.
  • Posts: 4,325
    mepal1 wrote: »
    Getting the script sorted seems to be a major hurdle for EON to overcome, in many of the Bond films in recent times.

    Yes this is becoming a bit of worrying pattern. Having read that article I'm convinced that Mendes is done, and I'm starting to wonder whether all of the chaos involved in bringing Spectre to the screen may have put DC off as well.

  • Posts: 10,867
    Agreed, we keep reading about script problems. :(
  • Posts: 4,325
    I have to say I really enjoyed Spectre, but can see its flaws. I'm just thinking having read that article it's amazing how well it turned out in the end - it could have been a disaster by all consenus given the mess in pre-production.
  • DragonpolDragonpol The Crazy World of David Dragonpol
    Posts: 13,420
    We really desperately need fresh blood in the writing department for Bond 25.
  • royale65royale65 Caustic misanthrope reporting for duty.
    Posts: 4,168
    I'm free
  • Posts: 4,325
    Yeah it's worrying that so many awful ideas were able to even make it to scriptwriting stage. They've had two similar situations in recent years - they got Peter Morgan who wrote a script which was rejecte bar the main hook, and Paul Haggis' script for QoS involving Bond on the trail of Vesper's child which was rejected. And then all the awful ideas of Blofeld being an African dictator, a woman etc. I really feel that they need to meet with a writer first and sense what their ideas are/give them some boundaries to work within before letting a writer loose to write something that ultimately is going to get rejected/ cause issues further down the line with rewrites because the third act isn't up to scratch. Screenplays always get rewritten, indeed often screenwriters just do rewrites of other people's script, but I'm a bit surprised at the level of chaos in preproduction of Spectre - especially as it was evident that they had similar issues in getting the script right for Skyfall.
  • WalecsWalecs On Her Majesty's Secret Service
    Posts: 3,157
    tanaka123 wrote: »
    awful ideas of Blofeld being an African dictator.
    It was still better than what we got - Blofeld and Bond knowing each other when they were kids.
  • RC7RC7
    Posts: 10,432
    Walecs wrote: »
    tanaka123 wrote: »
    awful ideas of Blofeld being an African dictator.
    It was still better than what we got - Blofeld and Bond knowing each other when they were kids.

    But the Blofled of SP resembles Fleming's incarnation sans the childhood link. Creating an African Dictator means you are essentially just using the name. I don't get how that's better.
  • WalecsWalecs On Her Majesty's Secret Service
    Posts: 3,157
    RC7 wrote: »
    Walecs wrote: »
    tanaka123 wrote: »
    awful ideas of Blofeld being an African dictator.
    It was still better than what we got - Blofeld and Bond knowing each other when they were kids.

    But the Blofled of SP resembles Fleming's incarnation sans the childhood link. Creating an African Dictator means you are essentially just using the name. I don't get how that's better.

    He had a scar and a white car in the books? He was completely unmeancing in the books?

    It's been ages since I read Fleming's books, so I may have forgotten.
  • RC7RC7
    Posts: 10,432
    Walecs wrote: »
    RC7 wrote: »
    Walecs wrote: »
    tanaka123 wrote: »
    awful ideas of Blofeld being an African dictator.
    It was still better than what we got - Blofeld and Bond knowing each other when they were kids.

    But the Blofled of SP resembles Fleming's incarnation sans the childhood link. Creating an African Dictator means you are essentially just using the name. I don't get how that's better.

    He had a scar and a white car in the books? He was completely unmeancing in the books?

    It's been ages since I read Fleming's books, so I may have forgotten.

    You're picking up on superficial cinematic appendages. As for whether he was menacing, that's down to taste and I, and others, thought he conveyed that brilliantly. I do suggest you read the novels again.
  • Posts: 12,671
    Walecs wrote: »
    RC7 wrote: »
    Walecs wrote: »
    tanaka123 wrote: »
    awful ideas of Blofeld being an African dictator.
    It was still better than what we got - Blofeld and Bond knowing each other when they were kids.

    But the Blofled of SP resembles Fleming's incarnation sans the childhood link. Creating an African Dictator means you are essentially just using the name. I don't get how that's better.

    He had a scar and a white car in the books? He was completely unmeancing in the books?

    It's been ages since I read Fleming's books, so I may have forgotten.

    I find Waltz menacing as Blofeld. If you don't that's entirely your appreciation. Waltz looks like Blofeld from OHMSS and his origins are at least closer to the novels' (in which he was not German but had German blood). He also started his career as a criminal gathering confidential information which he sold. In any case Blofeld is not remotely an African warlord.
  • Posts: 4,325
    I just find it surprising that Morgan, Haggis and Logan were left loose to write scripts that largely get rejected. Wouldn't they save time and all the hassle that ensued on Spectre if the rejected ideas were aired and rejected first before a whole script was written. Sounds like from the leaks that they were just wasting their own time and Logan's by not getting a basic consensus on what they wanted to do before a screenplay was written. I could be wrong, but that's the way it appears.
  • Posts: 12,671
    I'm not a specialist in script writing but isn't it possible that a first completed draft is usually required, however messy, to start rewriting it? What surprises me is how poor were some of the ideas coming from Logan. Not that I ever was a big fan of him to begin with mind you. But an African warlord as Blofeld? Really? From the person advocating his return that's lame.
  • JNOJNO Finland
    Posts: 135
    No more explaining next time. The writing has to be right.

    Here´s to you EON: hire a good writer and let him do his/her job. Give him enough time.

    And don´t reject everything.
  • Posts: 4,325
    Ludovico wrote: »
    I'm not a specialist in script writing but isn't it possible that a first completed draft is usually required, however messy, to start rewriting it? What surprises me is how poor were some of the ideas coming from Logan. Not that I ever was a big fan of him to begin with mind you. But an African warlord as Blofeld? Really? From the person advocating his return that's lame.

    Yes absolutely, but you'd think that MGW and BB would want to have the gist of what's going into that first draft and nip in the bud any stupid ideas at that stage.
  • Posts: 12,671
    JNO wrote: »
    No more explaining next time. The writing has to be right.

    Here´s to you EON: hire a good writer and let him do his/her job. Give him enough time.

    And don´t reject everything.

    They didn't reject everything. But they discarted a lot and rightly so, I might add.
    tanaka123 wrote: »
    Ludovico wrote: »
    I'm not a specialist in script writing but isn't it possible that a first completed draft is usually required, however messy, to start rewriting it? What surprises me is how poor were some of the ideas coming from Logan. Not that I ever was a big fan of him to begin with mind you. But an African warlord as Blofeld? Really? From the person advocating his return that's lame.

    Yes absolutely, but you'd think that MGW and BB would want to have the gist of what's going into that first draft and nip in the bud any stupid ideas at that stage.

    I think they'd ask the scriptwriter (and this goes for every project) to go as they feel like, then they get rip it apart.
  • Posts: 1,055
    I would of thought it might be a good idea to initially hire several writers to come up with a provisional story for a Bond film, then select the best story, and develop it further.

    I get the impression that a great deal of effort and huge amounts of money are spent working on the action set pieces, and $5 dollars spent on the script.
  • TheWizardOfIceTheWizardOfIce 'One of the Internet's more toxic individuals'
    Posts: 9,117
    mepal1 wrote: »
    I get the impression that a great deal of effort and huge amounts of money are spent working on the action set pieces, and $5 dollars spent on the script.

    Except the action in the last few films has been rubbish as well.

    Why can't MGW take over writing duties and Babs concentrate on producing?

    The 80s scripts (with the possible exception of AVTAK) are all better than anything we've had since CR - and they had way better action into the bargain.
  • Posts: 1,055
    mepal1 wrote: »
    I get the impression that a great deal of effort and huge amounts of money are spent working on the action set pieces, and $5 dollars spent on the script.

    Except the action in the last few films has been rubbish as well.

    Why can't MGW take over writing duties and Babs concentrate on producing?

    The 80s scripts (with the possible exception of AVTAK) are all better than anything we've had since CR - and they had way better action into the bargain.

    Having re-watched some of the 80's Bond films recently, i can concur with this.

  • DragonpolDragonpol The Crazy World of David Dragonpol
    Posts: 13,420
    mepal1 wrote: »
    mepal1 wrote: »
    I get the impression that a great deal of effort and huge amounts of money are spent working on the action set pieces, and $5 dollars spent on the script.

    Except the action in the last few films has been rubbish as well.

    Why can't MGW take over writing duties and Babs concentrate on producing?

    The 80s scripts (with the possible exception of AVTAK) are all better than anything we've had since CR - and they had way better action into the bargain.

    Having re-watched some of the 80's Bond films recently, i can concur with this.

    Yes, the 1960s and the 1980s were the best for Bond films to my mind.
  • royale65royale65 Caustic misanthrope reporting for duty.
    Posts: 4,168
    Yes, the writing was certainly top notch in both decades.

    Surely isn't hard to write a good plot/script for a Bond movie? Cubby gave BB some very good advice - "don't let them f*** it up".

    I blame Kinnear. Just because.
  • TheWizardOfIceTheWizardOfIce 'One of the Internet's more toxic individuals'
    Posts: 9,117
    royale65 wrote: »

    I blame Kinnear. Just because.

    I'm happy to go with that.

    #itsallrorysfault
  • tanaka123 wrote: »
    Ludovico wrote: »
    I'm not a specialist in script writing but isn't it possible that a first completed draft is usually required, however messy, to start rewriting it? What surprises me is how poor were some of the ideas coming from Logan. Not that I ever was a big fan of him to begin with mind you. But an African warlord as Blofeld? Really? From the person advocating his return that's lame.

    Yes absolutely, but you'd think that MGW and BB would want to have the gist of what's going into that first draft and nip in the bud any stupid ideas at that stage.

    I suspect that after the success of SF, Logan was given carte blanche to go off and write whatever he liked for the first draft.
  • Posts: 4,325
    dinovelvet wrote: »
    tanaka123 wrote: »
    Ludovico wrote: »
    I'm not a specialist in script writing but isn't it possible that a first completed draft is usually required, however messy, to start rewriting it? What surprises me is how poor were some of the ideas coming from Logan. Not that I ever was a big fan of him to begin with mind you. But an African warlord as Blofeld? Really? From the person advocating his return that's lame.

    Yes absolutely, but you'd think that MGW and BB would want to have the gist of what's going into that first draft and nip in the bud any stupid ideas at that stage.

    I suspect that after the success of SF, Logan was given carte blanche to go off and write whatever he liked for the first draft.

    Yes this is what I meant that they just left it entirely in his hands. I don't know BB personally but she does come across as quite cool if a bit feisty (in a good way, and not a naughty way :), which I guess you have to be as a producer. Given that it seems hard to picture her as a wreck cos of all the scriptwriting issues. I have the greatest of respect for both BB and MGW, he comes across as really cool too, just can't help thinking that they let the ball slip and handing over too much trust to Logan. I have always had the impression that they gave Roald Dahl a brief to work too - including his famous mention of the three girl formula. Obviously you don't want to straight jacket a writer otherwise you wouldn't get interesting takes on the Bond formula, but I feel they need to make it clear early on what they are looking for from their writer. This of course is all guess work about what's gone on behind the scenes given the knowledge I have from the leaks etc.
  • Posts: 12,671
    The early drafts really felt like Logan was suffering from hubris. A bit like Morgan with his draft with Bond killing M actually.
  • Posts: 2,040
    Ludovico wrote: »
    I find Waltz menacing as Blofeld. If you don't that's entirely your appreciation.

    Not entirely his own--I felt the same way. Waltz was the campiest Blofeld since Charles Gray. He gave a ruinously self-satisfied performance. I thinkFleming would have dismissed the childhood connection as sheer corn.
    Waltz looks like Blofeld from OHMSS

    Aside from the longish white hair, green eyes, syphilitic nostril, tallness, and pretty much every other physical attribute of Blofeld in OHMSS? I agree with you that making Blofeld an African warlord would have wasted the original character, but Spectre's version was also ill-conceived.
  • Posts: 12,671
    Waltz has white hair and his haircut looks foppish. He does not have a syphilitic nostril and is not tall, but he is lean like in OHMSS and has an aristocratic demeanor. If his eyes are not green, he does have "soft doll's eyes" that have piercing gaze. I do not see sign of camp in his mannerism. Maybe when he cuddles his cat? Even then he comes off as creepier than anything else.
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger Robotswana
    edited December 2015 Posts: 38,573
    Pleasence, Gray and Hollis were camp. Gray in a good way.
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