In “SPECTRE”, Daniel Craig Makes 007 His Own

As he approaches his fourth big-screen outing as 007 in SPECTRE, Daniel Craig feels very comfortable in the role. He has made the part his own, rebuilding James Bond as a 21st century hero, a man with great emotional depth to accompany his remarkable skillset.

“I am a big fan of James Bond,” begins Craig, “and when I did Casino Royale, if I had been presented with a script that had lots of gags and jokes in it, I would have said, ‘No, I can’t do this movie, because that is not my thing. I don’t know how to do that.’ I can’t pretend to be someone else, or to mimic someone else.”

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Thankfully, the script for Casino Royale and the films that followed were very different beasts. “It was very stripped back,” says Craig. Indeed, the decision to remix the James Bond cocktail for the Daniel Craig movies was a shrewd move, shaking up the franchise and stirring up the audience.

The world’s most famous secret agent remains as popular as ever — Skyfall took over US$1.1 billion at the worldwide box office. But for Craig, the remit for SPECTRE was even simpler. “We wanted to be better than Skyfall,” he says. “It is as simple as that. We didn’t have a choice; we had to be bigger and better. With Skyfall, we set something in motion and we wanted to go a bit further with it and experiment a bit more.”

EON Productions’ Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, long-serving producers of the franchise, agree. “I think this film is very much about the empowerment of Bond,” says Broccoli, “and with Daniel portraying the character, he does this with such enormous integrity that we really feel what he is going through, emotionally as well as physically.”

In the new film, Bond’s proactive nature has given the filmmakers plenty of scope in terms of location and narrative ideas. The film sees a cryptic message from the past, which sends 007 on a rogue mission to Mexico City and eventually Rome, where he meets Lucia Sciarra (Monica Bellucci), the widow of an infamous criminal. When overseas, Bond infiltrates a secret meeting and uncovers the existence of a sinister organisation known as SPECTRE.

This infamous organisation has featured in six previous Bond films — Dr No, From Russia With Love, Thunderball, You Only Live Twice, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service and Diamonds Are Forever — introducing a whole host of villains. The latest film, however, sees the organisation reimagined for the 21st century.

Craig says, “Having SPECTRE in the film opens up lots of avenues for us to explore,” the actor says. “Having this organisation allows us to be both traditional while also bringing in something very new.”

Daniel Craig is hailed as one of the finest actors of his generation on stage, screen and television. His last outing as James Bond came in the critically acclaimed box office smash Skyfall. Craig also played Bond in Casino Royale and Quantum Of Solace. In 2011, he starred in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, directed by David Fincher, playing the lead character Mikael Blomkvist opposite Rooney Mara.

Craig’s earlier film credits include Enduring Love, The Mother, Love Is The Devil, Road to Perdition, Layer Cake, Infamous and Stephen Spielberg’s Oscar®-nominated film Munich.

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In “Spectre,” a cryptic message from the past sends James Bond on a rogue mission to Mexico City and eventually Rome, where he meets Lucia Sciarra (Monica Bellucci), the beautiful and forbidden widow of an infamous criminal. Bond infiltrates a secret meeting and uncovers the existence of the sinister organisation known as SPECTRE.

Meanwhile back in London, Max Denbigh (Andrew Scott), the new head of the Centre for National Security, questions Bond’s actions and challenges the relevance of MI6, led by M (Ralph Fiennes). Bond covertly enlists Moneypenny (Naomie Harris) and Q (Ben Whishaw) to help him seek out Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux), the daughter of his old nemesis Mr White (Jesper Christensen), who may hold the clue to untangling the web of SPECTRE. As the daughter of an assassin, she understands Bond in a way most others cannot.

As Bond ventures towards the heart of SPECTRE, he learns of a chilling connection between himself and the enemy he seeks, played by Christoph Waltz.

Opening across the Philippines on Friday, Nov. 06, “Spectre” will be distributed by Columbia Pictures, the local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.

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