At New Yorker Festival, actor backs off statement last year that he'd rather "slash my wrists" than do another film as 007: "If I were to stop doing it, I would miss it terribly"
By Alex Ritman, The Hollywood Reporter While much of the chatter about who will next play James Bond, should Daniel Craig end his run in the iconic role, has been focused on Idris Elba, another British actor has seen his 007 star rise in recent weeks. Tom Hiddleston, whose name has often been linked to the iconic role, has further stirred Bond rumors thanks to his lead role in The Night Manager, the six-part adaptation of John le Carré’s spy thriller currently airing on the BBC in the U.K. (it’s due to air on AMC in the U.S. in April). I would not take it lightly.” Related: ‘The Night Manager’: Berlin Review Hiddleston’s role in the The Night Manager, produced by U.K. banner The Ink Factory (run by le Carré’s sons) at a cost of some $30 million, has seen British betting shops slash their odds of him becoming Bond. Bookmakers William Hill cut his price from 25/1 to 10/1, although the actor still trails favorite Tom Hardy, followed by Elba, Damian Lewis, Aiden Turner and Henry Cavill in most outlets.
To the delight of studios and fans alike, 2015 was the year that audiences decided to go back to the movies. Films like Jurassic World and Star Wars: The Force Awakens became full-blown cinematic events, attracting massive crowds and shattering box-office records. This week, industry analysts confidently declared that domestic box office would surpass $11 billion by the end of the year, an all-time high. While tentpole films made waves, it was also a good year for low-budget cult movies and limited-release Oscar contenders, as well as demographics that have often been underrepresented in Hollywood (like films starring African-American characters and/or female protagonists). Click through for a sampling of 2015’s biggest box-office winners. (Go here for a roundup of the year’s biggest box-office busts.)
By Pamela McClintock, The Hollywood Reporter SPECTRE and The Peanuts Movie had no trouble beating a trio of new competitors during another quiet weekend at the North American box office, while Angelina Jolie Pitt and Brad Pitt’s By the Sea was marooned in its limited debut despite teaming two of the world’s biggest stars. Sam Mendes’ SPECTRE fell a modest 51 percent in its second weekend to $35 million from 3,929 locations for a 10-day domestic total of roughly $130 million.
It’s all in a film’s work for the international man of mystery whose exploits have been earning him some serious frequent flier miles since he first hit the big screen in 1962. SPECTRE is now in theaters.
Sean Bean with Pierce Brosnan in ‘GoldenEye’ (MGM) In a world of mega-franchises, crossovers, and spinoffs, it’s amazing to think James Bond has held such a monopoly over the MI6 universe. In SPECTRE, the 24th movie to focus on the singular exploits of 007, another agent is at least mentioned. Q (Ben Whishaw) informs Bond (Daniel Craig) that the new Aston Martin ride that was being pimped for him has been reassigned to another agent, one 009. Later, we find out that 009 has a taste for Frank Sinatra when the car’s personalized stereo system blares out “New York, New York” (which Bond promptly presses the kill-switch on).
We haven’t seen Blofeld — who made his first appearance in 1967’s You Only Live Twice — in an “official” Bond movie for nearly 35 years, but as the third act of Spectre revealed (and as most people had already guessed), Christoph Waltz’s sinister Franz Oberhauser is revealed to also go by the name Blofeld, and even ends up with the character’s iconic facial scar. Bond thinks he gets his man, but Ernst Stavro is soon back on the scene, using stolen diamonds to build a laser satellite to hold the world’s nuclear weapons for ransom.
By Oliver Lyttelton James Bond is back in theaters in the 24th 007 movie SPECTRE. Like its predecessor Skyfall, the new film throws in a number of callbacks to previous Bond entries. But there are several elements from 007’s 50-plus-year history in the movies that we’re unlikely to ever see revived. Here are four things from earlier Bond films that have aged particularly badly (and, for the record, we’re not counting Roger Moore.)
By Pamela McClintock, Rebecca Ford James Bond and Charlie Brown’s gang re-energized the North American box office after a dismal few weekends. SPECTRE launched to $73 million from 3,972 theaters, the second-biggest opening for any film in the iconic spy franchise, and one of the top showings of the year to date. Globally, SPECTRE took in nearly $200 million for the weekend for an early worldwide cume north of $300 million. The Peanuts Movie, looking to launch a new family film franchise, opened to $45 million from 3,897 locations, a solid start considering newer generations aren’t necessarily familiar with the late Charles M. Schulz’s famous comic strip.
Warning: Major SPECTRE spoilers ahead! Christoph Waltz tried to deny it. If you want to be tougher on the guy you could say he flat-out lied about it. When asked by British GQ earlier this year if he was playing iconic Bond villain Blofeld in SPECTRE, Waltz responded: “That is absolutely untrue.
Daniel Craig as James Bond in ‘SPECTRE’ (Sony) The James Bond universe is built on self-referential winks. From the traditional opening-credits to the theme song, from the “Bond, James Bond” introductions to the bottomless martinis “shaken, not stirred,” you know each movie is going to be packed with callbacks and links to previous installments. SPECTRE is no different — in fact, the new release, the 24th in the official canon, might be the most recursive 007 flick yet. It’s all right there in the plot description: “A cryptic message from Bond’s past sends him on a trail to uncover a sinister organization.”
WARNING: This story contains plot spoilers for ‘Spectre.’ If you haven’t seen the movie yet, take warning! Midway through the 24th James Bond outing, Spectre, 007 makes his way to a mountaintop research facility where he flirts with a pretty girl and runs afoul of henchmen working for evil mastermind Ernst Stavro Blofeld. Spectre is filled with deliberate allusions and callbacks to many of the preceding Bond outings, and this particular sequence is a direct nod to 1969’s previously forgotten On Her Majesty’s Secret Service — the sixth 007 adventure, and the first one not to star Sean Connery as Ian Fleming’s hard-drinking, hard-living spy. Instead, Australian-born model George Lazenby donned Bond’s crisply ironed tuxedo for a single outing (Connery returned two years later, in 1971’s Diamonds are Forever). For decades, OHMSS seemed to dwell in the Bond margins, regarded as a mere blip on the radar instead of a key installment in the franchise’s evolution.
Dave Bautista doesn’t speak all that much as Drax the Destroyer, the hulking criminal-turned-superhero in last year’s box office sensation Guardians of the Galaxy. Hinx says exactly one word in 007’s 24th big-screen adventure. It’s a choice four-letter one — and it was almost even less than that: “I thought it’d be great if he never spoke,” Bautista told Yahoo Movies this week. We first meet Hinx at a board meeting of sorts for the diabolical agency S.P.E.C.T.R.E, where he volunteers for a promotion by gouging his predecessor’s eyes out with metal fingernails.
SPECTRE, Daniel Craig’s fourth film as James Bond, opens in theaters Friday. But how well do you remember his last three Bond movies? After all, it’s been nine years since Casino Royale opened in theaters, proving to the world that Craig could fill the shoes (and swim trunks) of previous 007 agents like Pierce Brosnan and Sean Connery. SPECTRE brings it all home, tying together plot points introduced in Casino Royale (2006), Quantum of Solace (2008), and Skyfall (2012).
Léa Seydoux in ‘Spectre’ (MGM/Sony) With 2012’s Skyfall and this week’s Spectre, director Sam Mendes and star Daniel Craig worked to create a new James Bond, turning an immortal, sex-crazed Teflon tuxedo into a bleeding, bruised middle-aged man on a mission. Luckily, they found a perfect partner in French actress Léa Seydoux. Warning: Minor spoilers for Spectre below: The 30-year-old French actress, who broke out in 2013 with the critically acclaimed relationship drama Blue is the Warmest Color, plays Dr. Madeleine Swann, a physician with a link to Bond’s troubled last few years — and who’s running from her own dark past. She saves him.” Swann turns out to be the estranged daughter of the assassin Mr. White, the top villain in Casino Royale (2006) and its sequel, Quantum of Solace (2008). The character, played by Jesper Christensen, shows up again in SPECTRE — part of Mendes’ effort to tie all the Craig-era films together — and gives Bond some important information, in exchange for a promise that Bond will keep Swann safe.
When it comes to being perpetually peeved, nobody does it better than Daniel Craig. The 47-year-old actor has been playing James Bond for nearly a decade now, resulting in two very good movies (Casino Royale and Skyfall), one really bad one (Quantum of Solace), and this week’s Spectre, which has drawn mixed reviews, and resulted in several cantankerous interviews with its star, who often looks like he’d rather be drinking a herring-guts milkshake than promoting a movie. (Even Sir Crankypants himself, Timothy Dalton, opened up his pearly-white gates once in a while). With Craig dropping hints that he’s through with the franchise, here are 16 reminders of how Octopissy the actor can get while on the red carpet:
Gert Fröbe and Sean Connery in ‘Goldfinger’ By Adam K. Raymond Forget all those high-tech gizmos and fancy-pants fashion accessories. James Bond may be an international man of mystery, but one thing about 007 is obvious: He lives for sex. Threatening Bond’s manhood therefore threatens his existence, something few characters have known better than the titular villain in Goldfinger. Related: 13 Things You Didn’t Know About ‘Goldfinger’ But first, let’s go back to the original novel, which was written in 1959, before the first laser was even built.
Along with cool gadgets, exotic locations, beautiful women and shaken (not stirred) martinis, a stylish title sequence is a crucial element of any James Bond movie. When done well, the opening credits — which typically mix a tune crooned by a big-name singer backed by lots of silhouetted balletics — can get the audience hyped for the adventure to follow. Looking at you, Quantum of Solace.) To mark the latest Bond movie, SPECTRE — whose title sequence falls firmly into the “Meh” category —we’ve ranked the best and three worst Bond title sequences, paying specific attention to the imagery and title design, rather than the music. THE BEST 10) Dr. No (1962) You can’t not include the very first 007 feature on this list, even if the art of the franchise’s title sequence is very much a work in progress at this point.
Release date: Nov. 6, 2015 Written by: John Logan, Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, Jez Butterworth Director: Sam Mendes Starring: Daniel Craig as James Bond Christoph Waltz as Franz Oberhauser Léa Seydoux as Dr. Madeleine Swann
This week’s new James Bond thriller ‘SPECTRE’ is the 24th 007 movie since 1962. That means there’s been a bounty of star-studded premieres over the years. Click through to take a tour through five decades of red-carpet glitz and glamour, with more than a few appearances by the royal family, who are always on hand to support everyone’s favorite British superspy.
Sean Connery in ‘Never Say Never Again’ By Oliver Lyttelton One of the stranger years in James Bond history was 1983. In June, Octopussy premiered with Roger Moore’s superspy battling a rogue Soviet general and an Afghan prince. This second Bond movie was from a different studio, Warner Bros., and featured an old face: Sean Connery, who returned to the role he made famous after leaving it for the second time in 1971 with Diamonds Are Forever, supposedly swearing “never again.” Even more curious: Never Say Never Again was essentially a remake of 1965’sThunderball, which had 007 facing off against his old rival, the criminal organization SPECTRE. The story began nearly 25 years earlier, when James Bond was still just a character on a page.
Everyone remembers Pussy Galore — not to mention Honey Ryder, Xenia Onatopp, and, ahem, Octopussy. But what about the lesser-known Bond girls, and the stars who played them? These actresses may not have been among 007’s top leading ladies, but they’ll always have a place in fans’ hearts — even if it takes a while to remember their names.
In SPECTRE, the new 007 film opening on Nov. 6, James Bond gets entangled with a woman named Dr. Madeline Swann, played by Léa Seydoux. By regular world standards, that’s an elegant, if unremarkable, name for a woman. By Bond Girl standards though, “Madeline Swann” is almost shockingly plain.
James Bond is a master spy, a solid hand-to-hand combatant, and a dapper dresser. But his most impressive skill must just be wordplay. The MI6 secret agent has been specializing in corny innuendo for more than 50 years, quipping his way into the hearts and beds of women around the world. Yahoo Superfan collected some of 007’s best double entendres, ranging from Sean Connery’s modest quips to Pierce Bronsnan’s blunt forehead-slappers (see: “I thought Christmas only came once a year” — as spoken to a lover named Christmas Jones).
Daniel Craig at the ‘SPECTRE’ premiere in London (Matt Crossick/PA via AP) By Alex Ritman, Pamela McClintock, The Hollywood Reporter Director Sam Mendes’ SPECTRE opened in the U.K. Monday night to a rousing $6.4 million from 647 locations after the movie held its world premiere in London. From Sony and MGM, SPECTRE is launching in the U.K. more than a week before its Nov. 6 debut in North America. While the 24th James Bond film is expected to be a sizable player, there’s been much discussion about whether it can match Skyfall, its record-breaking predecessor.