Worst plot in the entire franchise?

in SPECTRE Posts: 231
Sure, there have been more vapid plots like Moonraker and Diamonds Are Forever, but the former does nothing to diminish The Spy Who Loved Me's legacy and the latter came at the end of the trilogy so the harm was limited. Die Another Day may have been my top choice if its consequences weren't as large. However, Spectre's plot both nullifies the plot of previous movies and potentially gives us two more movies that validate its plot.

There are so many aspects of this movie's plot writing that are a mix of embarrassing and infuriating. Copying the cliche "close relative as villain" trope from Star Wars. Copying the "brother as villain" trope from Austin Powers. Naming the movie Spectre and putting the viewer through 1.5 hours of buildup expecting the reveal of the villain that everyone already knew to be Blofeld to be a surprise. The villain's grand plan being a personal grudge on the protagonist (a 1 in ~7 billion chance). A torture scene that was as ridiculous as almost anything in Die Another Day. Blofeld going on Google, printing pictures of all of Bond's loved ones and posting them on the walls in a symmetrical fashion is about the time I realized the mid-term future of this franchise may have no hope.
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Comments

  • RemingtonRemington I'll do anything for a woman with a knife.
    Posts: 1,499
    Can't disagree with most of this.
  • Posts: 623
    Although Spectre wasn't as good as Skyfall, I really enjoyed it, and when I come here I'm often surprised at how it looked down on. I re-watch it with that in mind, and still can't see a rubbish film. Some people would have it as bad as Brozzer's last Bond. I can't see that at all.
  • ThunderballThunderball playing Chemin de Fer in a casino, downing Vespers
    Posts: 586
    Totally with you there, shamanimal. Even the worst moments in Spectre are many times greater than the best moments in Die Another Day. I don't even agree that SP is Craig's worst, that'd be QOS, although I like that one too.

    To me, though it surely isn't Brosnan's worst (that'd be the aforementioned DAD, also the worst ever Bond film) but TWINE is so full of promise but a lot of the plots gets bungled. I'd forgotten that it was that way until I first watched Haphazard Stuff's review of it. TWINE had every opportunity to be a really good movie, but a useless "villain" (Elektra is/should be the real villain), pointless plot meandering and an underwhelming climax frustrate me when I watch it. I want a movie about Bond falling for Elektra then finding out who she truly is and dealing with it. Could've been better than Goldeneye. I dunno. Just a disappointment. Maybe many of you love the film as it is, and that's understandable. There's a good movie buried there somewhere. I guess that doesn't equal "worst plot in the franchise" but it's the most mismanaged, to me anyway.
  • TheWizardOfIceTheWizardOfIce 'One of the Internet's more toxic individuals'
    Posts: 9,117
    M16_Cart wrote: »
    There are so many aspects of this movie's plot writing that are a mix of embarrassing and infuriating. Copying the cliche "close relative as villain" trope from Star Wars. Copying the "brother as villain" trope from Austin Powers. Naming the movie Spectre and putting the viewer through 1.5 hours of buildup expecting the reveal of the villain that everyone already knew to be Blofeld to be a surprise. The villain's grand plan being a personal grudge on the protagonist (a 1 in ~7 billion chance). A torture scene that was as ridiculous as almost anything in Die Another Day. Blofeld going on Google, printing pictures of all of Bond's loved ones and posting them on the walls in a symmetrical fashion is about the time I realized the mid-term future of this franchise may have no hope.

    Difficult to argue with this. That said it's not that the plot is actually that bad (brothergate twist aside) it's that the execution is terrible.

    If they had dropped brothergate altogether (would change absolutely nothing) and then just explained in a bit more detail how SPECTRE plotted with loose cannon Silva to commit terrorist attacks across London that would necessitate the implementation of Nine Eyes it could have been OK. In addition in this version I could live with Fiennes' M being SPECTRE's man all along as part of the scheme was that they got Silva to kill Judi knowing Mallory would be elevated to the job (an added bonus is we lose the rather superfluous character of Denbeigh).

    Oberhauser is just Blofeld and the 'author of all your pain' speech is amended to 'You have been a thorn in our side and crossed our path a few times Mr Bond with Le Chiffre and Green but ultimately there was nothing you can do to prevent SPECTRE's supremacy as we now have almost total control of MI6.'

    We lose the dismal finale in London and just have an old fashioned 'Bond blows up the villain's lair' finale with Blofeld escaping to die another day.

    Don't get me wrong it doesn't blow me away but if we must connect all the films up I'd prefer it no to be so utterly ham fisted.
    Totally with you there, shamanimal. Even the worst moments in Spectre are many times greater than the best moments in Die Another Day.
    Would agree with that. There are moments of SP when I'm angry to be a Bond fan but only DAD has ever made me cringe into my cinema seat actually ashamed of being a Bond fan.

  • TripAcesTripAces Universal Exports
    edited March 2018 Posts: 3,882
    M16_Cart wrote: »
    There are so many aspects of this movie's plot writing that are a mix of embarrassing and infuriating. Copying the cliche "close relative as villain" trope from Star Wars. Copying the "brother as villain" trope from Austin Powers. Naming the movie Spectre and putting the viewer through 1.5 hours of buildup expecting the reveal of the villain that everyone already knew to be Blofeld to be a surprise. The villain's grand plan being a personal grudge on the protagonist (a 1 in ~7 billion chance). A torture scene that was as ridiculous as almost anything in Die Another Day. Blofeld going on Google, printing pictures of all of Bond's loved ones and posting them on the walls in a symmetrical fashion is about the time I realized the mid-term future of this franchise may have no hope.

    Difficult to argue with this. That said it's not that the plot is actually that bad (brothergate twist aside) it's that the execution is terrible.

    If they had dropped brothergate altogether (would change absolutely nothing) and then just explained in a bit more detail how SPECTRE plotted with loose cannon Silva to commit terrorist attacks across London that would necessitate the implementation of Nine Eyes it could have been OK. In addition in this version I could live with Fiennes' M being SPECTRE's man all along as part of the scheme was that they got Silva to kill Judi knowing Mallory would be elevated to the job (an added bonus is we lose the rather superfluous character of Denbeigh).

    Oberhauser is just Blofeld and the 'author of all your pain' speech is amended to 'You have been a thorn in our side and crossed our path a few times Mr Bond with Le Chiffre and Green but ultimately there was nothing you can do to prevent SPECTRE's supremacy as we now have almost total control of MI6.'

    We lose the dismal finale in London and just have an old fashioned 'Bond blows up the villain's lair' finale with Blofeld escaping to die another day.

    Don't get me wrong it doesn't blow me away but if we must connect all the films up I'd prefer it no to be so utterly ham fisted.
    Totally with you there, shamanimal. Even the worst moments in Spectre are many times greater than the best moments in Die Another Day.
    Would agree with that. There are moments of SP when I'm angry to be a Bond fan but only DAD has ever made me cringe into my cinema seat actually ashamed of being a Bond fan.

    That's it in a nutshell. There was no need for brothergate. But there was also no need to connect Spectre with Quantum, except maybe to suggest that Spectre had risen from the ashes of Quantum and that the bounty on White's head was the he was a liability, the last of the surviving Quantum members.

    The worst plot? MR, DAD, and YOLT are right up there. But unlike the other two, YOLT overcomes this with a "cool factor." And if we're going to be honest with ourselves, any plot (like YOLT) that deals with SPECTRE or some other organization and its employment of thousands and thousands of minions is nothing short of ridiculous. I have a hard time getting past this in YOLT and TSWLM. SP was doing a good job of avoiding this until the lair scene, where there were rows and rows of computer programmers, all too submissive to Blofeld's orders. I just can never figure out how these people are hired. LOL
  • SeanCraigSeanCraig Germany
    Posts: 683
    If Blofeld would have remained in the shadows, no brothergate but just a connection to Spectre via Hans Oberhauser, no connection between Silva and Spectre ... the movie would have been pretty decent. Still no highlight but Ok ... and a good way to connect Quantum and Spectre, which makes some sense to get this classic organization back. The Mr. White storyline and his daughter ... it all makes sense.

    But the way it is, I just can‘t watch it anymore - not beyond L‘americain and tend to ignore the movie completely.

    What still amazes me is, that Craig himself said in interviews he can‘t do Roger Moore humour and that they need to be careful with humor in general due to Austin Powers. Yet they made Spectre the way it is ... with attempts at Roger Moore humour plus a near-rip-off from Austin Powers. What were they thinking? I am curious if one day we will learn what really went on behind the scenes ...
  • thedovethedove hiding in the Greek underworld
    Posts: 3,516
    Bond was started in the roots of Fleming. Then as the series got more successful they became more about escapism and entertainment. From about YOLT on the plots all had holes you could drive a Mack truck through. To me the times you notice these holes is when the acting or the execution of the film was not to par.

    I was watching DAF yesterday and realized for the first time that it made no sense for Wint and Kidd to be killing all the people in the pipeline. For example the dentist was bringing the diamonds to "Joe" for a money exchange. Yet in the scene after his death the pilot was expecting the Dentist...shouldn't he had been expecting Joe? Or was the dentist merely giving the money to Joe and then keeping the diamonds? Then Wint and Kidd the little old lady after she dropped the diamonds off at Tiffany Case. Why not just kill both ladies and move on with the diamonds.

    LALD is another one with a weak plot. Mr Big attempting to flood the market with heroin is rather lame especially when you consider that there are other producers of the drug. This won't just benefit Mr Big but all other dealers.

    I would classify SP in the missed opportunities when it comes to plot. They tried to cram in a couple of films worth into one film. Resulting in a unsatisfying and rather ham fisted plot. Much better would have been to do a slow play with SPECTRE itself. First film Bond discovers them, second film Bond crosses them again, third film Bond finishes off the organization but not Blofeld. Then you set up a Blofeld Bond movie and could do the whole YOLT novel plot. It's a shame the opportunity was wasted.

    Great thread!
  • BirdlesonBirdleson San Jose, CAModerator
    edited March 2018 Posts: 29,594
    The Mendes films for sure. And this is not me just bashing SP (which is easy enough to do), as I truly do enjoy SF. Mendes is married to a character driven approach (which is not an ideal fit for Bond, in my eyes) and as a result things such as storyline, core plot/villain's scheme and logic take a secondary position (if considered much at all). He's more concerned with getting Bond, M and whoever from point A to point B, by any means necessary.
  • doubleoegodoubleoego #LightWork
    Posts: 11,090
    SP was an embarrassment.
  • edited March 2018 Posts: 197
    I enjoyed Spectre. The worse James Bond film has to be Quantum of Solace.
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 18,207
    Mazouni wrote: »
    I enjoyed Spectre. The worse James Bond film has to be Quantum of Solace.

    You can't be serious. QOS is worse than TMWTGG, AVTAK, DAD, ...?
  • TheWizardOfIceTheWizardOfIce 'One of the Internet's more toxic individuals'
    Posts: 9,117
    thedove wrote: »
    I would classify SP in the missed opportunities when it comes to plot. They tried to cram in a couple of films worth into one film. Resulting in a unsatisfying and rather ham fisted plot. Much better would have been to do a slow play with SPECTRE itself. First film Bond discovers them, second film Bond crosses them again, third film Bond finishes off the organization but not Blofeld. Then you set up a Blofeld Bond movie and could do the whole YOLT novel plot. It's a shame the opportunity was wasted.

    And this is why SP has to go down as one of the biggest cock ups of the franchise.

    It was all there on a plate really and somehow they managed to f**k it up on a par with AC Milan in 2005.

    Is Dan to blame as I'm sure I read somewhere that his refusal to commit to another film forced them to cram it all into one film?

    Well I say 'forced them'. They should have had the bottle to say to Dan 'Ok if you can't commit then we'll just do a standalone and the next bloke gets SPECTRE and Blofeld as we can't do justice to them in one film.'

    Poor leadership from EON is what runs throughout SP's DNA; from the negligence regarding the script development, to insanely signing off on brothergate, to greenlighting an explosion that, if it breaks any record it's the one that reads 'most underwhelming way to spend millions of dollars.'

    EON really need to stop all their crappy side projects no one cares about (has anyone ever read an article yet about The Rythmn Section that doesnt include the sentence 'EON Productions, the makers of the James Bond films?') and bring their A game to B25 as if we get more of the same ineptitude as SP the series will be in serious trouble.
  • edited March 2018 Posts: 684
    thedove wrote: »
    I would classify SP in the missed opportunities when it comes to plot. They tried to cram in a couple of films worth into one film. Resulting in a unsatisfying and rather ham fisted plot. Much better would have been to do a slow play with SPECTRE itself. First film Bond discovers them, second film Bond crosses them again, third film Bond finishes off the organization but not Blofeld. Then you set up a Blofeld Bond movie and could do the whole YOLT novel plot. It's a shame the opportunity was wasted.
    Yes, this is why Quantum comes across better, I think. There was a build up throughout CR/QOS. Some mystery. We got to see them at work. The Connery films did the same thing. SP just drops us in, relying on our being familiar with the SPECTRE of old.
    Well I say 'forced them'. They should have had the bottle to say to Dan 'Ok if you can't commit then we'll just do a standalone and the next bloke gets SPECTRE and Blofeld as we can't do justice to them in one film.'
    Yes.
  • edited March 2018 Posts: 5,644
    In all of the leaked emails, I don’t think anyone even hinted SP was to be DC’s last one.

    EDIT: You'd think that if DC was thinking this was to potentially be his swang-song (hence why he supposedly was not committing), that would indeed be a topic of discussion amongst the producers-- especially during the panicked script development.

    Sounds like the script troubles came long before DC was hinting he may’ve had enough (and if he was, at one time, done with the role (no matter what we THINK we know, this is still speculation), perhaps it was because of the material he was given? Nine months shooting what could possibly have been not a very “pleasant” experience).

    And before anyone says he was a producer on the picture, this felt more like a token, a reward, since he does bring on talent (one of the roles a producers performs), and so they awarded him this credit.

    But, once again, going back to the leaked emails, did any of the other producers say DC, as one of the producing team, wanted this or that in the script? No, I don’t think so. And that’s because he wasn’t really involved in the process until he had to shoot the film.

    I’d say the damage was already done by that point.
  • JamesBondKenyaJamesBondKenya Danny Boyle laughs to himself
    Posts: 2,656
    The bad plots in the franchise are few in my opinion

    Skyfall
    Spectre
    DAD
    TWINE
    TB
  • TheWizardOfIceTheWizardOfIce 'One of the Internet's more toxic individuals'
    Posts: 9,117
    peter wrote: »
    In all of the leaked emails, I don’t think anyone even hinted SP was to be DC’s last one.

    EDIT: You'd think that if DC was thinking this was to potentially be his swang-song (hence why he supposedly was not committing), that would indeed be a topic of discussion amongst the producers-- especially during the panicked script development.

    Sounds like the script troubles came long before DC was hinting he may’ve had enough (and if he was, at one time, done with the role (no matter what we THINK we know, this is still speculation), perhaps it was because of the material he was given? Nine months shooting what could possibly have been not a very “pleasant” experience).

    And before anyone says he was a producer on the picture, this felt more like a token, a reward, since he does bring on talent (one of the roles a producers performs), and so they awarded him this credit.

    But, once again, going back to the leaked emails, did any of the other producers say DC, as one of the producing team, wanted this or that in the script? No, I don’t think so. And that’s because he wasn’t really involved in the process until he had to shoot the film.

    I’d say the damage was already done by that point.
    Well it's well documented that Mallory was to be a traitor until Fiennes said he wasn't having it.

    The fact that DC didn't shut down brothergate like Fiennes did to the dumb suggestion they had for M means he has to be held culpable at least for this if not the overall shoddiness of the script.
  • Posts: 7,594
    I would qualify SP & SF both as Mendes fan wank that made beautiful movies with a really poor plot, Mendes wanted to show 007 as a superhuman who's overcome death in his need for national pride. To bad he did not chose the TMWTGG option in which 007 comes back from the dead to kill his boss and is send on one mission to save his tarnished reputation. A chance to do some Fleming and make a shedload more sense than being around, or not needing him around, to have his boss killed and then his bloody foster brother being the bane in his existence. Nolan did well to steer clear of this cluster....... of scripting. They should knee the responsible person in their groins for all eternity imho.
  • edited March 2018 Posts: 5,644
    @TheWizardOfIce , I’ve only read on here that Fiennes apparently stopped that plot point. I’ve not read that in the leaked emails. I could have missed this altogether and what was published. If it is actually true, then good on him.

    Saying that, I think too many have given DC far more power in their imagination than what he actually has in reality.

    Who knows, maybe he hated “brothergate” and fought against it, but by that point, as the leaks show, they were down to the wire, and no more major plot points would be added or subtracted.

    Or, better yet, perhaps he loved the idea and was overwhelmed it was kept in.

    My point is, “producer “ Craig had very little to nothing to say about the development of the script, especially in the late hours after Logan's dismissal, as seen from the leaks (in fact, do they even mention DC at all?).
  • SeanCraigSeanCraig Germany
    Posts: 683
    I read that Mendes and Craig clashed alot on the set of SP - maybe over exactly these nonsense „plot points“? In the TV world after x seasons the main star(s) often receive producer credit hence nothing really changes except an extra paycheck so to speak ... dunno if this is the very same here.

    I wonder why Craig was so sick of the role and the filming after SP ...

    Anyway - good there‘s new blood in the script and director roles at least and I am curious how this will all turn out ...
  • Last_Rat_StandingLast_Rat_Standing South Florida
    Posts: 3,569
    I like em all. 24 movies, 24 stories.
  • edited March 2018 Posts: 5,644
    Just going through wikileaks— starting in 2013 and reached late 2014. So far nothing about M being a traitor, but Tanner certainly was (and commits suicide); there were intense issues with the script from very early on, including Barbara’s concerns.

    Mendes was working quite closely with Logan on the script, right up until his dismissal.

    Blofeld was originally a woman (I forgot that one); melds into African warlord...

    At one point, they were five months behind when the script was to be delivered.

    Going through these again, it really is an intense read.

    And, so far, nothing on “producer” Craig and his input. Lots of producers, including Barbra, are involved in these emails. Lots of mentions about how Mendes and Logan were distressed that the script was being read—- they didn’t want this draft read yet, but “Brocs” knew “it was time”.

    It’s amazing how what was originally being said about early scripts is what we got in the final product: namely a plot that couldn’t hold onto its own threads and completely lost it in a lack lustre third act.

    So far, as i refresh myself on this, it’s quite evident DC played no role in development, but Mendes’ DNA is all over every draft, from the first with Logan, to the work with P&W.

    And it seems to be a case of: the script problems weren’t resolved by first day of principle, but they were on the hook to deliver a film.

    Edit: they all went in knowing there were serious issues— but that’s the nature of the biz. At that point they couldn’t NOT deliver something.
  • Posts: 684
    Lots of mentions about how Mendes and Logan were distressed that the script was being read—- they didn’t want this draft read yet, but “Brocs” knew “it was time”.
    I've not heard this before. To open up the door and invite critique on a draft that the writer regards as unfit seems like a colossal mistake. I understand deadlines have to be met, but even so. Was Logan very much behind?
  • Posts: 5,644
    At that point it sounded like he had received notes in-house from EoN, but no one at Sony had read a recent draft— and yes he was way behind schedule. Barbra asked for the script not to be circulated, and noted that the entire PTS was supposed to be re-written. MGM were also to read this draft too, and we’re doing so on the weekend.

    The notes on this script were: it was even worse than the previous draft they had read!...
  • edited March 2018 Posts: 5,644
    Further reading: just a couple months before shooting was to begin, Sony had lots of amazing notes, which included their issues with the foster brother angle (that seems established before P&W came on board).

    Just two months from shooting, this "foster-brother" character was still called Stockmann... And @TheWizardOfIce, this is where I'm first reading about M:

    It was a Sony executive, in his notes, who suggested, since this is about surveillance, could Bond be more suspicious of M? But not once is it suggested that M himself is the mole in Mi6. Just that Bond be suspicious of him.

    Most of the Sony notes suggest most were happy with the first 100 hundred pages. However, all of them disliked the third act still. One was even so astute to say her issues of the third act will have ramifications in acts one and two.

    I'm trying to gobble this all down today, but the issue of tone and jumbled intentions of the final product are clearly the issues the producers, all of them, and from very early on, were having with the script/story.

    Barbara was concerned back in '13 and Eon had, what sounds like, given Logan all the support he needed-- as a producer will do. It also sounds that with each draft he submitted, the worse it got.

    It also is clear that Mendes's DNA is all over this mess, and was co-author to brother-gate.

    It also is apparent that "producer" Craig-- at least what I've read to date, had nothing to do with development of story or script(s).

    It also seems like Barbara, and the producers at Sony and MGM, did everything that any producing team would do: they were in on the ground floor; their concerns were voiced; they continued meeting and they continued developing with the writers-- but they themselves are not writers, and had to wait for the man that helped deliver SKYFALL to them... Barbara, as is believed on this forum, did not come in too late.

    And, Barbara, as producer, did the tough job in seeing Logan wouldn't deliver this time and hired P&W. Brother-gate, it appears, was established before they came on.

    However, once they did come on, Sony was far more pleased with the script than they previously had.

    One other thing of note: in one of Logan's drafts, locations were Italy, Austria and Tangiers and back to London for Blofeld to (yes, this is true), make a "phone call" (???). And yes, there was to be a ski sequence-- in fact a ski/parkour sequence (which sounds wild).

    And yes, there started to develop the idea in the Logan drafts, that maybe SP would be James Bond's last mission (not Daniel Craig's. They still have not even mentioned DC). Bond, in these drafts, was supposed to be weary of all the surveillance, and he tosses his gun away and drives off with Madeline (an even earlier draft had him shooting Blofeld in the head; Sony found it too cold, even for this Bond). Sony wanted more motivation for Bond to consider leaving the service-- they thought what was in the scripts at this point was too watery.

    So, very clear they wanted to have Bond leave the service at the end, but, even then, the executives were asking: is he really leaving? Or is he taking a well deserved holiday? But, this was in the context of the character and not the lead actor.

    A lot of misconceptions are certainly being cleared up. I always called SP a beautiful mess-- and indeed it was.

    The producers did their jobs, but they didn't solve their script issues. Time had run out and they needed to deliver a film to their investors. Babs and Co went in with eyes wide open. This had nothing to do with producer-incompetence and everything to do with the nature of this industry: a deadline was looming, the executives, at a very early stage, were aware of the issues (from Babs on down); a change of writers with some polishing of another writer were brought on (as is what ANY producer would do: hire writers to solve writing issues-- this happens all the time and screenwriters make more money from script-doctoring (a lot of times not even taking a credit), than they do selling their spec scripts)... They followed the producer play-book--

    BUT, time ran out, they had to go to cameras.

    The only thing they could have done was waste millions of dollars in pre-production and development work, and shut the production down. Toss out all SP drafts and start afresh.

    Do you think anyone backing EoN and MGM would have been happy with this other, remaining option?

    And that gives me even greater faith for 25-- the perfect storm of B24 is well behind them.

    EDIT: it also seems that Stockmann, Oberhauser, Blofeld was responsible for Bond's pain from very early drafts as well.

    LAST EDIT: Have access to the scripts that got leaked--- not all of them got on the 'net. Will make a project of reading them all. But, it seems: the perfect storm that came together to make SF a billion dollar success, there was an equal perfect storm that tried to take down SP at every turn (but it still made 800 million-- that, I'm gathering, was the risk the investors, not the producers, wanted to take (knowing the trepidation of the project by this point, since they would have access to the notes that were leaked)).

    The only conclusions I have at this point: (it's long, I will write it anyways knowing that 90% don't give a damn-- but there are lots to be uncovered with the leaks that contradict many assumptions on these boards):

    1. From my experience in "the biz" (and @RC7 and @ColonelSun can elaborate on since, as I've noted, I'm not at their level; but I've been in negotiations/discussions/and HAVE DONE WORK WITH theproducers from SAW, Mel Gibson's ICON, Brett Ratner and Relativity), Babs and her partners at MGM and Sony took the appropriate actions, at the appropriate times, to mold SP into a solid film-- as is the producers job.
    2. They re-hired an A-list writer (Logan-- check out his A-list credits) to come up with a story equal to the billion dollar film he was involved with previously.
    3. They re-hired the same director that delivered this 1 billion dollar film (would you? Warner Bros hired Nolan off of BB then again with DK. Producers want to keep the winning formula together. Makes sense, right?)
    4. Logan had some initial good ideas but, when he scripted them, it started to fall apart (no fault to Logan, that's the story-telling process-- some stories "work"; others do not.)
    5. Barbara Broccoli (or "the Broc" as Sony called her), was very present in the development of a losing script. She did everything in her producing power to turn it around. The only option she could have taken, as noted, was shutting this down asap. BUT, whomever finances her pictures would have been pissed (and, in the end, their gamble paid off to a second film that almost made another billion bucks).
    6. From reading the leaks, almost every single assumption about EoN's incompetence stated on this forum, has been dead wrong.
    7. M being a traitor-- as far as I read-- was based on notes from a Sony Exec who wanted Bond to be suspicious of M. But M WAS NEVER THE MOLE.
    8. "producer" Craig was never involved in script development, brother-gate, or anything else, as far as the email leaks revealed. In fact, everything I read, DC's name was NEVER mentioned.
    9. DC, at the time of the leaks wasn't threatening his commitment to the franchise; via the organic nature of the creative process, they were "thinking" of showing an ending where "Bond" (not Craig), has had enough of the Service and leaves. In these emails that were sooo specific, never once was DC brought up in his desire to leave the franchise, but, as a story element, that Bond was weary of the service and leaves at the end. ...


  • SeanCraigSeanCraig Germany
    Posts: 683
    Thank you VERY much for this in-depth view of the process - and as far as I‘m concerned (voiced that before) P&W get bashed too much for something they didn‘t come up with.

    I am amazed that all this „A-List talent“ in the writer and director came up with SP ... and an on-the-fly writing team of Marc Forster and Daniel Craig at least got a tonally stable picture off the ground. I am amazed how this „A-list talent“ as of Logan and Mendes with the biggest budget ever for a 007 movie came up with nothing more than what we got in SP.

    I know this film has it‘s fans and so be it - but I don‘t wonder anymore Craig and Mendes clashed (as I read - I don‘t have any details myself) on set and Craig wanted to „slash his wrists“ afterwards. There MUST have been heated discussions about several plot points. SP is, indeed, a beautiful mess: Well shot, well acted, some really really good scenes). But in total ... a mess.

    In my book Mendes never wanted to do the Film and therefore also the script did not come along. He was not really invested into it like he was with SF. He never should have come back.
  • TheWizardOfIceTheWizardOfIce 'One of the Internet's more toxic individuals'
    Posts: 9,117
    peter wrote: »
    Further reading: just a couple months before shooting was to begin, Sony had lots of amazing notes, which included their issues with the foster brother angle (that seems established before P&W came on board).

    Just two months from shooting, this "foster-brother" character was still called Stockmann... And @TheWizardOfIce, this is where I'm first reading about M:

    It was a Sony executive, in his notes, who suggested, since this is about surveillance, could Bond be more suspicious of M? But not once is it suggested that M himself is the mole in Mi6. Just that Bond be suspicious of him.

    Most of the Sony notes suggest most were happy with the first 100 hundred pages. However, all of them disliked the third act still. One was even so astute to say her issues of the third act will have ramifications in acts one and two.

    I'm trying to gobble this all down today, but the issue of tone and jumbled intentions of the final product are clearly the issues the producers, all of them, and from very early on, were having with the script/story.

    Barbara was concerned back in '13 and Eon had, what sounds like, given Logan all the support he needed-- as a producer will do. It also sounds that with each draft he submitted, the worse it got.

    It also is clear that Mendes's DNA is all over this mess, and was co-author to brother-gate.

    It also is apparent that "producer" Craig-- at least what I've read to date, had nothing to do with development of story or script(s).

    It also seems like Barbara, and the producers at Sony and MGM, did everything that any producing team would do: they were in on the ground floor; their concerns were voiced; they continued meeting and they continued developing with the writers-- but they themselves are not writers, and had to wait for the man that helped deliver SKYFALL to them... Barbara, as is believed on this forum, did not come in too late.

    And, Barbara, as producer, did the tough job in seeing Logan wouldn't deliver this time and hired P&W. Brother-gate, it appears, was established before they came on.

    However, once they did come on, Sony was far more pleased with the script than they previously had.

    One other thing of note: in one of Logan's drafts, locations were Italy, Austria and Tangiers and back to London for Blofeld to (yes, this is true), make a "phone call" (???). And yes, there was to be a ski sequence-- in fact a ski/parkour sequence (which sounds wild).

    And yes, there started to develop the idea in the Logan drafts, that maybe SP would be James Bond's last mission (not Daniel Craig's. They still have not even mentioned DC). Bond, in these drafts, was supposed to be weary of all the surveillance, and he tosses his gun away and drives off with Madeline (an even earlier draft had him shooting Blofeld in the head; Sony found it too cold, even for this Bond). Sony wanted more motivation for Bond to consider leaving the service-- they thought what was in the scripts at this point was too watery.

    So, very clear they wanted to have Bond leave the service at the end, but, even then, the executives were asking: is he really leaving? Or is he taking a well deserved holiday? But, this was in the context of the character and not the lead actor.

    A lot of misconceptions are certainly being cleared up. I always called SP a beautiful mess-- and indeed it was.

    The producers did their jobs, but they didn't solve their script issues. Time had run out and they needed to deliver a film to their investors. Babs and Co went in with eyes wide open. This had nothing to do with producer-incompetence and everything to do with the nature of this industry: a deadline was looming, the executives, at a very early stage, were aware of the issues (from Babs on down); a change of writers with some polishing of another writer were brought on (as is what ANY producer would do: hire writers to solve writing issues-- this happens all the time and screenwriters make more money from script-doctoring (a lot of times not even taking a credit), than they do selling their spec scripts)... They followed the producer play-book--

    BUT, time ran out, they had to go to cameras.

    The only thing they could have done was waste millions of dollars in pre-production and development work, and shut the production down. Toss out all SP drafts and start afresh.

    Do you think anyone backing EoN and MGM would have been happy with this other, remaining option?

    And that gives me even greater faith for 25-- the perfect storm of B24 is well behind them.
    An impassioned defence for sure but to try and pretend it was all down to the fact they had to start shooting and so there was nothing they could do whilst true to a degree doesn't really absolve them in my eyes.

    For a start you could just have the villain as Oberhauser in a Largo kind of role and keep the step brother relationship if you want but not make him Blofeld or just make the main villain Blofeld and drop brothergate entirely.

    That's a two minute fix which while it doesn't solve all the problems at least removes the most offensive aspect.

    Similarly explain Quantum and SPECTRE's relationship properly, explain Silva's actions, explain the ring thing properly; these are all things that could have been sorted in an afternoon by P&W. Just a few extra lines of dialogue here and there and the whole thing might just about hold together.

    So whilst I broadly accept your points that with a project of this size you are tied into a release date and at some point you just have to start filming, the notion that they were simply hostage to the shooting schedule and utterly helpless to come up with something better is somewhat generous to all involved when you consider Forster and DC were still writing QOS as they went along.

    Here's a mention of the Fiennes thing about M:
    http://www.007magazine.co.uk/bond24/secrets_of_spectre1.htm
    Whilst I haven't pored through the emails myself this is reasonably reputable source.
  • Posts: 5,644
    Thanks for the link @TheWizardOfIce.

    Re: M as traitor, the article says it was an idea that the actor himself also rejected. From reading all those emails, it only made mention of Bond being suspicious of M as the mole inside Mi6-- but he wouldn't have actually been one.

    I wonder if this idea was miscommunicated (if you read the emails, it really was a swirl of many different voices)? But, other than seeing this idea in an email for one of the script meetings, there wasn't mention of M as traitor (although there were plenty of other traitors, Tanner amongst them).

    Wizard, this next point is not to sound condescending, so please don't take it that way:

    Re-writing a script is more than just adding a little here, or taking away a pinch there. As one Sony executive pointed out, she liked the first two acts, but hated the third act. The changes she wanted to make to the third act, would then mean the first two acts (which she liked) would also have to be re-written.

    I've done re-writes many times (on my own work, and a couple times I was hired to clean up, or polish someone else's work). Once you change one plot-beat, that thread will untie a bunch of other mini plot-points , and then, that little re-write I started on, becomes a major project.

    Saying that, I think EoN and Sony were trying to tinker with a story that wasn't ever really working, and once they re-wrote the thing into the ground, they had two options: polish as best as they could and meet their deadline, or toss the entire project out (no Blofeld, no SPECTRE), close down pre-production (at a loss of a few million), and start a brand new story from scratch. But that would have been a deadly delay, and I don't think Sony or the investors would have wanted that at all.

    Why didn't they think of tossing everything out earlier? I don't know, but I will make a guess after reading the emails: all the powers that be (EoN, MGM, Sony), were all hell-bent on a Spectre/Blofeld story-line. They were very enthusiastic in the emails about resurrecting Spectre, and they desperately wanted to make a cool movie. I think the idea of NOT doing a Spectre story never entered their collective thoughts-- it was Blofeld or nothing. So they kept trying to re-shape a story that had problems very early on (and those same problems are evident in the final picture).

    P
  • Posts: 5,644
    SeanCraig wrote: »
    Thank you VERY much for this in-depth view of the process - and as far as I‘m concerned (voiced that before) P&W get bashed too much for something they didn‘t come up with.

    I am amazed that all this „A-List talent“ in the writer and director came up with SP ... and an on-the-fly writing team of Marc Forster and Daniel Craig at least got a tonally stable picture off the ground. I am amazed how this „A-list talent“ as of Logan and Mendes with the biggest budget ever for a 007 movie came up with nothing more than what we got in SP.

    I know this film has it‘s fans and so be it - but I don‘t wonder anymore Craig and Mendes clashed (as I read - I don‘t have any details myself) on set and Craig wanted to „slash his wrists“ afterwards. There MUST have been heated discussions about several plot points. SP is, indeed, a beautiful mess: Well shot, well acted, some really really good scenes). But in total ... a mess.

    In my book Mendes never wanted to do the Film and therefore also the script did not come along. He was not really invested into it like he was with SF. He never should have come back.

    No problem, @SeanCraig -- it was interesting to read and see the behind the scenes "anatomy" of script writing process on a 250 million production (not much different than what happens on the lower scale, but with many more voices chiming in!).

    Yes, I also read that DC and Mendes relationship became strained on this film, and, I agree, mendes wanted out of the project a few months before principal shooting was to begin. I think all his creative efforts was spent on SF, but it makes sense why all the big players would want to put a "winning" team back together.
  • Posts: 3,875
    Thanks @peter for a good summation of the leaks. It is surprising that now they have longer between movies they can’t find time to reshape a plot ahead of a deadline.

    Still with all the money they made they probably won’t think of it as being anything like the disaster that it is thought of here.
  • Posts: 5,644
    I dunno @vzok, I think producers will always have "take-aways" from any given experience-- good or bad. From reading these emails, all the players knew they had major issues, and, I would think, they won't want to repeat the same mistakes.

    I think we're already seeing that play out now: last time, they seemed hell-bent on a story that involved SPECTRE and Blofeld and that's why, I think, they kept trying to develop a story over and over that was showing it was flawed from the beginning; this time out EoN has a finished script, but Boyle has pitched something that sounds radically different. And they're listening. They're not stuck on one story, one way, this time out.

    At least that's how I'm reading the past and present situations and how they compare and contrast.

    Meanwhile, for anyone who's interested, Deadline wrote a review on Danny Boyle's new series TRUST. Check it out, it'll get your imagination fired up on how this guy will tackle Bond:

    http://deadline.com/2018/03/trust-review-fx-getty-kidnapping-danny-boyle-donald-sutherland-1202352773/

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