Everything’s exciting about a year which features the release of a new Bond film. But this excitement revolves around not only the actual watching of the film, but delving into all the other details and discovering Easter Eggs within the movie. So when Spectre was announced for release, we all knew that we were in for much more than just exploding watches, cold villains and sexy ladies. No, there is much more to a James Bond movie than what meets the eye, or at least what you see during the first watch.
Spectre, like every other James Bond movie that has ever been released, is full of awe-inspiring technological advancements, secret techniques of cinematography and of course a few further clues for the fan to unravel about their favourite spy and his world. While cinemas around the world screen the movie to jam-packed audiences, it is up to us to reveal a few exploding facts about the 24th James Bond movie that you might not have noticed, heard about or looked out for.
The charm of the series lies in discovering these small details and piecing them together to create the coveted atmosphere of secrecy. It is no wonder that James Bond has remained one of the most intriguing film series for decades since its inception.
20. An Odd but Successful Audition
Mexican native Stephanie Sigman plays the beautiful Bond character Estrella who is in the Day of the Dead scene at the beginning of the film. The young actress had just begun to learn English two years before she landed the role in a pretty funny and strange way. Apparently, she and her friend simply got a camera and conducted the audition in her kitchen. The director of Spectre, Sam Mendes, was actually quite impressed by the young actress and called her a month later to meet with her in Mexico City and discuss the role. Sigman stated that she was surprised and overwhelmed when she landed the role.
19. A Night On the Thames
The high speed night time boat chase scene that takes place on the River Thames in London proved to be a massive feat for not only special effects but for the supervising locations manager, Emma Pill. The filming took six nights of shooting and loads of scheduling and detailed lighting plans to make right. At the time of filming, elections were happening as well as Trooping the Colour and the opening of parliament so that made things much more hectic. They had to light up 17 bridges , 10 different rooftops as well as coordinate with local businesses and buildings to make sure the proper lighting was arranged during the time of the shooting.
18. Sand Storms & Nomads
While filming in the Moroccan desert towns of Oujda and Erfoud, there were a few hurdles to jump. Although Morocco is very much a favorite for filmmakers and the locals are used to being part of the set crew and helping out, they had to prepare people for the extremely loud explosions they would be making. They hired local nomads as guides and security and alerted all of the tribes and villages within 2o miles of where they were filming. The crew also encountered an intense sand storm on one of the hottest days of filming. The wind and swirling sand reached up to 50mph and forced everyone into their vehicles.
17. Speeding Around In Style
The car chase scene in Rome was quite epic for a reason – the filmmakers put a lot of effort into making it perfect. The scene took 18 nights to film because of how much work went into it. They used seven Jaguars and eight Aston Martins to film and had to do a lot of testing and pushing of the cars beforehand in order to make sure they would handle well under the pressure that was in store for them. The last thing the filmmakers wanted was to injure their stunt drivers or damage thousand-year-old buildings. They were also able to shut down some major streets in Rome. Throughout all of the car chases in Rome, London and Austria, over 1000 tires were used.
16. The Complications with Action Scenes Using Planes
Special effects director Chris Corbould was definitely challenged throughout the film with all of the complex scenes and scenarios. However, the action scenes that were the main part of their shooting in the Alps of Austria proved to be the most work for them to make look authentic. They spared no expense though and got it done right. They had planes hanging from wires as they flew through the valley towards the villains. They also had two planes that could actually fly. Four of the planes were merely carcasses that were outfitted with a way to be controllable from the ground.
15. Bringing The Snow To Austria?
There are many technical difficulties that are encountered when filming a movie, but having snow in the mountains of Austria is usually a given. Usually, at the time of year they were there, the hillside would be covered in a thick layer of snow. Unfortunately for the crew of Spectre, Austria was experiencing unseasonably warm weather which caused a severe shortage in snow and ice. The scenes are specifically meant to take place in snowy mountains so the filmmakers had no choice but to ship in their own snow. In order to cover enough of the hillside, they had to haul in approximately 400 tonnes of snow so that the scene looked appropriate.
14. Red Bull Stunt Pilot Used In Filming Helicopter Crash
The fight scene in the helicopter was made possible by one of the film’s Red Bull-sponsored aerobatic pilots. Chuck Aaron is world famous for the crazy stunts that he pulls and shows he puts on with Red Bull. The scene was actually filmed in the large square in the middle of Mexico City called The Zocalo. The pilot was flying a special Red Bull helicopter that was made specifically to handle free-diving and barrel-rolling better than your average helicopter. Aaron was able to fly his helicopter just barely 30 feet over the extras while the stuntmen were hanging from the outside of the helicopter.
13. Spectre Cast and Crew Made It Into the National Portrait Gallery
The film’s cast and crew have made it into various portraits that are on display in the London based National Portrait Gallery. All of the photos were taken while the film was being shot and they are each printed as inkjet prints. The works are attributed to Anderson & Low, Rankin, Mary McCartney and Graciela Iturbide. These images give a great behind the scenes look at the making of the movie and the hard work and passion that went into the whole process. It isn’t often that you get to see such beautifully candid photos of moments like these portrayed in such an artistic way.
12. They Made Their Own Day of the Dead Celebration
The makers of Spectre went all out when it came to the big scene near the beginning of the movie where Bond is immersed in the sights and sounds of the Day of the Dead festival in Mexico City. They believed it was very important for this scene to be extremely well done so they made everything as big and bright as possible. With many giant skeleton maquettes and hand made floats, they certainly made a scene. Some of the props were up to a whopping 11 metres high. The crowd took 3 hours just to set up for shooting every day the scene was shot. Over 1500 extras were hired and over 100 makeup artists were in charge of dressing and decorating all of those people.
11. Mr. Hinx is a WWE Wrestling Superstar
Well, okay, the character himself is not a world famous wrestling star – the actor who plays him is. This especially interesting and quirky Bond villain is played by none other than Dave ‘Batista’ Bautista, who is a former WWE superstar. What Bautista thinks is especially cool about his character is the fact that he isn’t just beating people up – Mr. Hinx is well-mannered, especially stylish and quite smart. Bautista asked about all of this when he learned he was up for the villain role. He believes that it is refreshing to see a villain that is not a big bumbling brute and actually has a head on his shoulders – it makes things more interesting.
10. Daniel Craig Got Hurt
While we wouldn’t expect James Bond to sport an injury on screen, Daniel Craig seems to get hurt quite often behind the scenes. He apparently got injured twice during the filming of Spectre, one of them being behind the wheel of the Aston Martin DB10 during the shooting of the chase scene in Rome. The car hit a bump on the road which resulted in Craig hitting his head and being rushed for medical care. Fortunately the injury wasn’t serious at all and he resumed shooting shortly after. He had also previously suffered from a knee injury while shooting one of the scenes in Austria.
9. Mexican Government Meddled in Spectre’s Affairs
The Mexican Government had allegedly meddled in the shooting plans of Spectre, which is featured in the opening scenes of the film. It has been revealed that the government paid the makers of the film big bucks to persuade them to portray Mexico in a flattering light, to depict the color and celebrations of Mexico and steer clear of any references to violence and gangs. Apparently it worked, since it is reported that the film makers removed a corrupt Mexican official and villains from the film. It doesn’t do much to affect the film so no harm done, but it is truly interesting to see the politics that go on behind the scenes.
8. War Memorial List – Easter Egg
There’s a scene towards the end of Spectre that features a long War Memorial List that is supposedly dedicated to all of the men and women who had died in service to their country. Tension is heightened greatly when Bond looks at it and actually finds his own name spray painted across the bottom of the list. On closer inspection one will discover that most of the names on that list actually belong to the crew members of Spectre itself – a clever little Easter Egg in the film, that we are sure the crew members had a laugh over.
7. Longest Bond Film
With a running time of nearly 148 minutes, this lengthy film is almost two and a half hours long! Spectre is officially the longest Bond film to have been released – ever. The record was previously held by Skyfall and before that it was Casino Royale. The common thread between the three longest Bond films is Daniel Craig who has starred in all of them. Casino Royal which is the second longest Bond film was actually beaten by Spectre by only a matter of four minutes. Are we to expect the Bond films to grow longer in length with each installment?
6. A Prototype Car Only For Bond
The James Bond film franchise has been synonymous with featuring fancy exotic cars which have become symbols of macho machines. However, Spectre is the first time that a new car has been designed and used as a prototype for the film and will not be sent into production and sale after the film. The Aston Martin DB10, which features briefly in the film – especially during the chase scene in Rome – was designed especially for the movie. It has been used as a temporary car for Bond since the DB9 ended its career with the previous film Skyfall and a new DB11 will be featured in the next film. While fans drool over the DB10, it is unlikely that the car will ever go into production and be driven by anybody except Bond.
5. Ian Fleming Never Wrote It
Spectre, like a few other James Bond films, does not take on the title of any of the books that were written by Ian Fleming, the author and creator of the James Bond book series. However, Spectre and its succeeding film, Bond 25, are both not based on any actual book. Of course, the concept and story line stems from Fleming’s novel Thunderball that was never actually turned into a film. Although the concept of Spectre originates from and is definitely inspired by the novel, the film plot itself was conceived and written by the director of the movie – Sam Mendes.
4. The Title Song Was Written In Half An Hour
Sam Smith and Jimmy Napes were asked to help write the title theme song for the film and apparently they came up with it in just about a half an hour. They are to be believed to have sat together for one planning and brainstorming session and then they wrote the song in thirty minutes. Right after writing it, they recorded the demo immediately. In fact, it was the demo itself that was used for the final release with the film. Not only is that impressive, but “Writing’s on the Wall” has also become the first ever Bond theme to top the UK Billboards.
3. Set a Guinness World Record
No, this was not set for the number of times an actor adjusts his cuff links in a spy movie. Spectre set a new record for the largest stunt explosion ever to have been created on film. The official title has been awarded to Chris Corbould who orchestrated the special effects that were used to create the explosion scene set in Morocco. The explosion itself lasted for 7.8 seconds and was the result of using more than 8000 litres of kerosene combined with 33 kgs of explosives. As always, Spectre held on to the title of James Bond film pushing the limits of cinematic boundaries.
2. Monica Bellucci Is The Oldest Bond Girl
Monica Bellucci turned heads at the age of fifty one, crowning herself as the oldest Bond girl in history – in fact she is decades older than the average Bond girl (can we get in on her beauty routine secrets?). The Bond girl closest to Monica’s age was Honor Blackman who played Pussy Galore in Goldfinger, at the age of thirty nine. With the sudden change of priority in not only the film franchise but in Bond’s character from the audience’s perspective is up for a lot of speculation, it is safe to say that attraction has no age.
1. On The Most Expensive List
Spectre, is now ranked among the top ten most expensive films to ever have been made, the cost of course is adjusted according to inflation as per budget of every movie. Nonetheless, with a budget of $245 million, it is definitely the most expensive Bond film of all time. This is to be expected given that the Spectre crew traveled to more locations than any other Bond crew, apparently the principals of the film received a raise and they also cast more expensive actors for the movie. Despite the fact that other movies such as The Dark Knight Rises and The Avengers used same kind of extensive special effects, Spectre still managed to surpass them in terms of cost.