WARNING: MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS. POSSIBLY.
The familiar gunbarrel scene, the suited figure whirls, shoots. The Mexican jungle. The camera swoops over a forest landscape and the Aztec pyramids of Palenque. Mexico City next – and the modern marvel of architecture that is the Museo Nacional de Antropología. Bond meets his contact, Estrella, who tells him of a plot to blow up a hotel in the city. In a desperate race to prevent this, Bond chases Marco Sciarra, an Italian terrorist, his task made harder by the multitudes thronging the city for the Day of the Dead. The parade features ghoulish carnival floats and the revellers are painted to resemble skeletons, the focus being on a massive square. Bond falls and the building is levelled, blasted into rubble.
Determined to make him pay, Bond chases Sciarra onto a Helicopter that has swooped down to collect him, dispatching a henchman on the way to engage in a desperate life or death struggle above the city. Both men seem equally matched, Sciarra trading blows with 007. During the fight, Bond manages to take Sciarra's ring from his finger. The chopper crashes into flames, Bond falling onto a giant float – saved by the Catrina herself, the symbol of the parade... or does he?
Its all speculation, folks. I've decided not to read any leaked scripts; what I do at Volcano Cat is close to the knuckle as it is and somehow profiting from a stolen script isn't for this blog. What you read is speculation – it will probably be hilariously inept; perhaps the chopper hits the hotel, perhaps the Museo will appear as another building. All I do know is at the time of writing, shooting has just wrapped on Spectre's Mexico scenes and the cast and crew have some time before the Morocco shoot begins. Palenque – the ancient Aztec citadel is featured, as is the Día de Muertos – 1,500 extras were involved (With CGI they will appear a much bigger crowd), there's definitely a big explosion – a rubble-strewn set was used as was an SFX hotel – a frame was used which will be completed later. The helicopter fight is spectacular – the pictures and amateur videos confirm this. The fabulous Chuck Aaron, Team Red Bull's aerobatic pilot extraordinaire is clearly visible in the cockpit – his handlebar moustache an easy identifier. For an example of his work, click the link;
Bond producing veteran Michael G.Wilson stated the Mexico sequence was the biggest ever...
But of course, shooting started last year; 2014. Scenes on the river Thames and in Bond's London flat were the first official shoots, though a small part of Morocco's train sequence was reportedly shot last year with a stripped-to-the-bone Unit.
More speculation; after Bond kills Sciarra, its back to London where Moneypenny delivers a box for JB at his place. It's from the previous 'M' – Judi Dench – and contains items such as a burnt photo and a document retrieved from the burnt remnants of Skyfall Lodge. The document is a temporary Guardianship certificate for the young James in the name of Oberhauser – the photo of a young James with the same, but Oberhauser's face has been burnt away. What does it mean?. A troubled Bond looks pensively out of his bay windows and broods on the past. There's trouble at the office, too; new 'M' Ralph Fiennes is fighting government plans to merge MI6 with the domestic MI5 – making MI11?. The oily Andrew Scott plays Denbigh, an MI5 type who is probably a shit as he's Moriarty in Sherlock. A boat-ride along the Thames past the old blown-up MI6 building at Vauxhall Cross and to a secret base accessa-bubble only by river... (Camden Lock provided the setting here). For my money, this is the new home of Q-branch and Bond is shown the new car – the Aston Martin DB10.
To Austria and Bond finds himself at the place where as a boy he learnt to ski and to mountaineer, an old lodge by Lake Altaussee.
Obertilliach also features; it's in the Lienz district, as in Lienz Cossacks – who were betrayed so terribly by the British in 1945. Perhaps a co-incidence (If it rings a bell, it should; the Cossacks featured in Goldeneye.) In the lodge, Bond finds none other than Mr.White (Jesper Christensen) and shows him the octopus ring before – presumably, killing him.
There's a scene with Bond flying a medium sized plane which crashes onto a hillside and there's a shootout with bad guys and a scene in a mountain-top clinic (Echoes of Piz Gloria) with Lea Seydoux playing Dr.Madeleine Swann. Patients there are being treated – but for for what?.
Finally, there's a glacier road chase. Q – Ben Wishaw returns, being chased in Austria by bad guys. Somewhere in the Austrian fighting Bond meets a muscular henchman called Mr.Hinx, played by Dave Bautista, who uses a rather novel double pistol (An Arsenal Firearms 2011 Dueller Prismatic for the record. 007 himself carries an Arsenal Firearms LRC-2 in the Mexico scenes showing a tie-in with the company)
Rome: the Eternal City. Bond attends Sciarra's funeral, joining a sinister crowd of black-suited people, including a rather beautiful woman. This is Lucia, widow of the deceased Sciarra. Bond gets to know her and finds out more about the shadowy group behind all this. They meet at a vast palazzo that more than resembles Blenheim Palace... the palace courtyard is filled with exotic cars and Bond pops in for a squizz (It's a technical spy term...). Inside, a vast hall, with a gallery around which stand shadow figures. The whole place darkly lit. At a vast conference table in the centre of the hall sits Christoph Waltz – the shadowy Oberhauser.
This then, is SPECTRE, the shadowy criminal organisation (I suspect from the lack of punctuation that they've dispensed with the campy acronym.) Oberhauser – or is it Blofeld? - is waiting for Bond, possibly a trap and 007 just gets away in the DB10 as a hail of gunfire rings out across the courtyard. A chase ensues, with Mr.Hinx pursuing Bond in a fabulous auto – the Jaguar C-X75.
Through the streets of Rome they race, an automated duel (The Jag wins hands down on looks for me) that goes down by the river Tiber where Bond hits the button and fries the Jaguar with the built-in flamethrower. A gadget!. I've heard rumours of machine guns and all-sorts here, including an ejector seat that sends Bond parachuting down into a square...
We're getting out of synch here; perhaps fatally so. A four-month prep has been underway in Morocco for the scene aboard a train and that set-piece may be before or after the Rome scenes. Intriguingly, a scan of the area shows several wonderful bridges and a large dam; perhaps a big explosion and wreck is planned. Nor do I know where and when Q rocks up. Apologies, dear friends for the mess. There's more; Brigitte Millar has been cast as a villainess – my gut tells me this will be Bunt. As in Irma. Veteran actor Detlef Bothe is billed on IMDB as 'man in cable car.' Really?. Of course, the production is based at Pinewood – and so it should be. That's about all I have – it's not much, but without reading the script that's all I have. SPECTRE will be awesome – it has to be. If Sam Mendes and co mess this one up after a blitzer like Skyfall it will be a disaster. Wait for the release later this year, buy a ticket and find out...