James Bond re­turns to clas­sic roots with

China Daily (Canada) - - LIFE - By AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE in London

Ger­man Os­car win­ner Christoph Waltz and Ital­ian ac­tressMon­ica Bel­lucci will star along­side Bri­tain’s Daniel Craig in the next James Bond film Spec­tre, in a new out­ing promis­ing a strong dose of 007 nostal­gia.

The movie— ti­tled after a global crim­i­nal or­ga­ni­za­tion fea­tur­ing in the early Bond films — will be shot in Mex­ico City, Rome and Tang­iers, and will also see Bri­tain’s fa­mous spy re­turn­ing to the ski slopes, in Aus­tria, di­rec­tor SamMen­des said on Dec 4 at Pinewood Stu­dios.

Speak­ing on a stage built specif­i­cally for the Bond films in the 1970s, Men­des gives noth­ing away about the plot as he un­veils the cast­ing of what will be the 24th film in the hugely suc­cess­ful se­ries based on au­thor Ian Flem­ing’s fic­tional Se­cret Ser­vice agent.

Waltz, best known for his ex­pert turns in the Quentin Tarantino movies In­glo­ri­ous Bas­terds and Django Un­chained, will play the vil­lain in Spec­tre, which is due to hit screens in Oc­to­ber next year.

Bel­lucci, who played in the Ma­trix sci-fi tril­ogy, will also ap­pear, along with new­com­ers in­clud­ing French ac­tress Lea Sey­doux ( Blue Is the Warm­est Color) and An­drew Scott, best known for his role as the vil­lain Mo­ri­arty in the BBC’s Sher­lock se­ries.

Re­turn­ing ac­tors to the lat­est Bond ad­ven­ture will be Ralph Fi­ennes, pro­moted to spy chief M, and Ben Whishaw, who played the Se­cret Ser­vice’s tech­no­log­i­cal whiz-kid, both in­tro­duced in the last Bond film Skyfall. The Filipino-Amer­i­can wrestler and ac­tor Dave Bautista is also in.

The shoot­ing started on Dec 8, Men­des says.

The di­rec­tor says the cast mem­bers have be­gun re­hearsals and film­ing will take around seven months.

Bond will be back be­hind the wheel of an As­tonMartin, a Bri­tish sportscar long as­so­ci­ated with the debonair 007, Men­des says. The lat­est model be­ing used, a DB10, was shown on the sounds­tage along­side the ac­tors.

The ti­tle of the new movie harks back to the sin­is­ter SPEC­TRE or­ga­ni­za­tion bat­tled by Bond back when he was in­car­nated by Sean Con­nery and then George Lazenby and Roger Moore. SPEC­TRE’s boss, evil ge­nius Ernst Stavro Blofeld, was Bond’s neme­sis in films from the 1960s to the early 1980s.

The acro­nym stands for “spe­cial ex­ec­u­tive for counter-in­tel­li­gence, ter­ror­ism, re­venge and ex­tor­tion”.

This will be

Craig’s

fourth time

play­ing Bond after Casino Royale, Quantum of So­lace and Skyfall.

“We’ve got an amaz­ing cast,” the 46-yearold tells the BBC.

Fol­low­ing the huge box-of­fice suc­cess of Skyfall, he says the cast and crew were “a lit­tle ner­vous” about try­ing to match its per­for­mance.

But he adds: “Hav­ing a chal­lenge like that is pretty good in life.”

He also gives lit­tle away about the film’s plot, say­ing: “I read the script this morn­ing.”

Waltz is equally tight-lipped about his role but says it isan­honorto take part intheBond “legend”.

“Every­body’s seen the Bond movies from child­hood on. It’s legend. It’s prac­ti­cally mod­ern­mythol­ogy. To par­tic­i­pate in that— come on — you don’t have to think, you just do it,” he says.

Sey­doux, 29, has been in sev­eral high pro­file art­house and block­buster films, work­ing with big­namesin­clud­ing QuentinTarantino, Ri­d­ley Scott, Woody Allen and Wes An­der­son.

She­won­crit­i­cal ac­claim forher­role in­Blue Is the Warm­est Color, a les­bian com­ing-ofage drama that won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Fes­ti­val last year.

James Bond has in­spired one of the high­est-earn­ing film se­ries ever.

The se­rial se­ducer, a gov­ern­ment as­sas­sin em­ployed by MI6, has been played by Con­nery, Lazenby, Moore, Ti­mothy Dal­ton and Pierce Bros­nan. Craig in­fused mus­cu­lar new en­ergy into the role since tak­ing over in 2006’s Casino Royale.

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