‘SPECTRE’ Speculation: What We All Think We Know About the Next James Bond Movie

By  · Published on December 4th, 2014

Sony Pictures

This morning, the next James Bond installment went from being known as “Bond 24” to having an actual title we can sort of hold on to. And also wonder about. The movie, which is being helmed by Skyfall director Sam Mendes, is now called SPECTRE, which should probably always be capitalized as it’s the acronym name of the franchise’s most notable villainous organization. For more than 50 years, since the Ian Fleming novels, SPECTRE has stood for “SPecial Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion,” and their shadowy existence has been either prominently featured or in the background of many of the 007 movies, beginning with the first, Dr. No.

The current reboot of the screen franchise with Daniel Craig as Bond had seemed to be purposefully avoiding the organization, with a similar group known as Quantum being invented for the series instead. In fact, it was intentionally, having to do with a copyright dispute going back decades, but that legal matter was settled last year allowing Bond movie producers EON to use the SPECTRE name as well as that of a certain iconic nemesis who many of us (including former 007 Roger Moore) assume will also be in SPECTRE: Ernest Stavro Blofeld. If he is, it’s all but completely obvious that he’s being portrayed by Christoph Waltz. However, that significant detail was not confirmed by the studio or filmmakers today.

The strange, suspicious thing is that this morning’s press conference announcing the title also paraded the main cast of SPECTRE and confirmed who they’re playing, all except that Waltz’s role was not named. Joining Craig is Dave Bautista as evil henchman Mr. Hinx, Léa Seydoux and Monica Belluci as “Bond girls” respectively named Madeleine Swann and Lucia Sciarra, Andrew Scott as MI6’s Denbigh, along with returning fellow good guys Ralph Fiennes (M), Ben Whishaw (Q), Rory Kinnear (Bill Tanner) and Naomie Harris (Miss Moneypenny). It wasn’t until later that the official James Bond Twitter account gave Waltz’s role as Oberhauser. More specifically, he’s reportedly Hanz Oberhauser, who could be of relation to Hans Oberhauser, a murdered character from Fleming’s short story “Octopussy” (but not in the movie of the same name) who had been Bond’s ski instructor.

But almost everyone on Earth believes that’s a red herring, like Benedict Cumberbatch’s “John Harrison” in Star Trek Into Darkness, who was really Khan. But why would anyone try for such secrecy with such a highly expected reveal when the Star Trek attempt angered so many and has gone down as having been a huge mistake? If it’s due to a reveal in the movie, well, there’s really no point. Just tell us he’s Blofeld already and don’t worry about twists that millions of people see coming before the thing is even shot.

Of course, he could not be Blofeld. If the title were to be spelled as Spectre (as many keep typing it) rather than SPECTRE that would make it sound like the organization is just there in spirit for this movie, and while Blofeld is sure to appear eventually, maybe he’ll only show up in cameo at the end of this next installment, played by another actor we don’t know is involved yet (or played by a nobody whose hand and back of the head are the only things visible), as a tease for his full return in Bond 25 – similar to his cinematic teases in From Russia with Love and Thunderball then full introductory reveal in You Only Live Twice. In a way, though, it would be a shame if Waltz wasn’t Blofeld, given how perfectly he looks the part in The Zero Theorem:

Amplify Releasing

While we wait to find out the truth, hopefully before the movie comes out, we might as well speculate about other possibilities for Spectre based on what we know of modern franchises (the Blofeld options are either Star Trek or The Avengers, for instance). Our favorite so far goes the Indiana Jones the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull route:

Fanficing “Spectre” with @misterpatches, came up with this: Belluci as Bond’s love interest, Seydoux as her daughter.

— Christopher Rosen (@chrisjrosen) December 4, 2014

@chrisjrosen @misterpatches her/THEIR daughter? DUNH DUNH DUNNNNHHHHH – Joanna Robinson (@jowrotethis) December 4, 2014

Oh, and how about this idea about Belluci’s character, all you sexist assumers?

@brubaker – friend had a theory she could be the new Blofeld. Which would be so fantastic.

— Arune Singh (@arune) December 4, 2014

I’ve decided Monica Bellucci is Blofeld. This simply must be. #SPECTRE

— Jeremy Smith (@mrbeaks) December 4, 2014

Or is it she:

Option 4: LEA SEYDOUX IS BLOFELD. (this is the only option I’ll accept).

— olilyttelton (@olilyttelton) December 4, 2014

Or he:

Option 2: Andrew Scott is Blofeld and they’re doing the same thing as SHERLOCK, down to the same actor.

— olilyttelton (@olilyttelton) December 4, 2014

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Christopher Campbell began writing film criticism and covering film festivals for a zine called Read, back when a zine could actually get you Sundance press credentials. He's now a Senior Editor at FSR and the founding editor of our sister site Nonfics. He also regularly contributes to Fandango and Rotten Tomatoes and is the President of the Critics Choice Association's Documentary Branch.