Bond Girls, lone wolves and supervillains – Five things we learned from the Spectre trailer

The first full trailer for Spectre – the 24th entry in the James Bond franchise – has finally arrived and as expected, fans of Ian Fleming’s iconic super spy are going wild with anticipation. This latest glimpse at Daniel Craig’s fourth outing as Bond suggests that director Sam Mendes is aiming to build on the hard-hitting action sequences, emotional and thematic depth, lush visuals, and sly humour that made its predecessor Skyfall such a smash hit, which bodes well.

But what else does the trailer tell us about what to expect from Spectre? Read on to find out!

5. It’s gonna be meta

An overlooked aspect of Skyfall is just how meta textual it is. Its story of a world-weary super spy from the old school fighting for survival (and relevance) in a modern era of digital threats is a metaphor for the James Bond franchise itself facing down the challenge of more fashionable upstart series like the Jason Bourne movies.

It seems that Mendes will continue to mine this for all it’s worth in Spectre. Consider the exchange between Moneypenny and Bond seen in the trailer, where she expressing the sentiment that Bond is “just getting started”. To me, this seems like a not-so-subtle statement to audiences (or is it a promise?) that the newly revitalised James Bond franchise, having reclaimed its crown as the best spy series on the block with Skyfall, is only going to get better (and more meta) from here on out.

4. Bond’s going to be rolling “lone wolf” style

Based on the new Spectre trailer, it looks like Bond will once again be operating outside the sanction of MI6. You’d think a guy licensed to kill people would be content just to tow the company line, but if I’m right, this’ll mark the third consecutive flick in which Bond has gone rogue in order to serve queen and country.

It appears that Bond’s behaviour this time around will land him somewhere between being outright hunted by MI6 as he was in Quantum of Solace and acting with their tacit approval as in Skyfall. M’s stern rebuke about Bond’s activities while on “holiday” in Mexico suggest that 007 will be pursuing an agenda all his own in Spectre, and this is further borne out when he later asks Q to use geek wizardry to make him “invisible”.

We already know from the Spectre‘s teaser that part of film’s plot will revolve around a secret from Bond’s past (more on that later) – what that secret is we’re not yet sure, but it looks like the reason for his decision to strike out alone.

3. The Bond Girls won’t break the mould

What would a James Bond film be without at least one Bond Girl? In Spectre, our lucky super spy will be making the acquaintance of two new ladies: Doctor Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux) and Lucia Sciarra (Monica Bellucci). The former is cerebral, the latter is seductive, both are gorgeous, and neither seems poised to add anything new to the franchise formula.

The “clever girl in over her head” archetype has been used many times over the franchise’s 53 year run, so let’s hope there’s more to Doctor Swann than meets the eye. That said, if there’s trope that’s even more overused than “clever girl in over her head”, it’s the “femme fatale from the underworld”, so fingers crossed Ms Sciarra subverts expectations as well (on the plus side, at 50 years of age, Bellucci is an age appropriate choice to star opposite 47 year old Craig, so kudos for that).

2. Think of Spectre as Skyfall: Part II

Spectre probably isn’t a direct sequel to Skyfall to quite the same extent that Quantum of Solace followed hot on the heels from Casino Royale (since those movies were set, like… an hour apart). Even so, it looks like the new film will be filled with plenty of callbacks to continuity from its immediate predecessor (as well as to the other Craig entries in the series).

As mentioned earler, the teaser has already revealed that Bond is hiding a secret in Spectre, and that it somehow ties in with his ancestral home (destroyed at the climax of Skyfall). Both the teaser and the trailer also confirm that Quantum agent Mr White will be back, tying Spectre in to both Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace. This lends further credence to the theory that this film will function as a not only as a sequel to Skyfall, but that it will tie all four of Craig’s James Bond films together.

1. Someone’s been manipulating 007 all along

With the arrival of the Spectre trailer, the evidence is starting to mount that Bond will uncover a conspiracy that’s shaped the course of his entire life. Indeed, it appears that 007 may be the the common link to many of the SPECTRE crime empire’s evil undertakings.

SPECTRE, in the form of Christoph Waltz’s shadowy villain Oberhauser, seems to have been pulling strings in Bond’s life for quite awhile. The baddie even claims to be “the author of all [Bond’s] pain”, and claims to have crossed paths with 007 countless times before without detection.

Interestingly, in Ian Fleming’s original novels, Oberhauser was Bond’s (benign) boyhood skiing instructor and mentor – could his cinematic counterpart have also filled those role, but for far more nefarious reasons? Is he responsible for the deaths of Bond’s parents, who (according to the books) died in a mountaineering accident? Just how long has this guy been engineering heartbreak for Bond?

But of course, the big question on everyone’s lips right now is whether Oberhauser is in reality the John Harrison of the James Bond franchise. Certainly, smart money is on Waltz ultimately standing revealed as the legendary Bond foe Blofeld, but other than his familiar choice of apparel in the trailer, it’s really too early to say…

What do you think about the new Spectre trailer? Have I missed any clues? Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter or Facebook!

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