I thought it may be interesting to talk about John Logan's original scripts for Spectre before he left the production.
Having looked through the Sony emails, I imagine many of us would expect Logan's work to be radically different to what we ended up with on the screen. The simple irony is that it really isn't. From the evidence I've been able to glean it would seem that the fundamental structure of the film and the main beats are all intact in the finished film. It's also interesting to know that many of the big ideas, locations and set-piece had been decided on as early as early/mid 2013.
I was under the impression that P&W undertook a page one rewrite. However, it was Logan who devised the Day of the Dead opening, the Rome meeting and car chase, the Mr. White scene, the Austrian spa and plane chase, the North African train ride and the finale in London. The actual details of these sequences obviously changed considerably, but the foundations set by Logan seemingly never changed throughout the process.
Additionally, the idea of Bond falling in love and leaving MI6 was always the big "hook" of the film from the outset. Additionally, the whole "everything is connected" angle was something that figured very early on in Mendes's conception of the film.
Here are some details of Logan's first draft:
- Interestingly, the whole MI6 team are in the field for the opening sequence. Bond is posing as a cage fighter in Amsterdam where he is fighting a man named Valenti. Q is posing as Valenti's medic throughout the fight. It all leads to a grand boat chase. Valenti is essentially the Sciarra of the script, however Bond does not kill him in the opening. Instead 007 fakes his own death and escapes, Bond reencounters Valenti later in Rome at a masked ball.
- The "Blofeld" reveal also happens during the opening sequence. You don't physically see the character, instead you witness Bond decipher a book code which yields the name "Blofeld". Apparently, the sequence had a tinge of WWII/enigma machine about it. I'd love to know more about this as all the studio execs are in agreement that the name reveal is terrific.
- Logan introduces the idea that there is a mole within MI6, with even characters like Moneypenny being under suspicion. Apparently this would have led to paranoia developing back in London with the allies being picked apart; especially MP and Tanner who are said not to get along.
- Additionally there is no reference made to Franz Oberhauser (it would appear that the half-brother nonsense came during P&W's run at the script). In Logan's draft, Blofeld is an African warlord with a grudge against Britain going back to there colonial days. It would also be revealed that Blofeld's real name is Joseph Ki-Embu (Chiwetel Ejoifer had agreed to play the role).
- In the first draft there is no plane chase in Austria, instead reference is made to "Parkour on skis".
- It would seem that Mendes had a rather different plan for the "iconic henchman" role. In the final film we got Mr. Hinx, however, in the Logan script we meet a Black-Ops CIA agent named Charlotte. She essentially fills the role that Hinx plays in the final film and turns up at all the intervals he does (eg; reference is made that it is her who finds the dead Mr. White in the chalet, chase Bond in Rome and be involved in the Austrian plane chase). Charlotte would have started the film as Bond's ally in Rome, only later to be revealed as a Spectre operative. During the ski chase Bond would give Charlotte an "iconic" wound to her face.
- It should also be mentioned that there is no reference to Oberhauser, C or "Nice Eyes". In fact, Blofeld's scheme involves blowing up a NATO base in the first draft.
All in all, I like what I hear. I think the idea of incorporating the Blofeld character early on is a far more effective method than the one deployed in the film.
After this Logan did an additional draft that switched Amerstdam for Mexico City and the Day of the Dead. The big difference here was that MP would have been invovled and suffered great wounds that lead to her going to hospital. The general consensus was that Logana's second draft was "worse" than the execs imagined which of course paved the way for P&W to return.