Dissecting the new SPECTRE theatrical trailer

It is here – the first full-length theatrical trailer for SPECTRE. And your humble correspondent from Station C is here to break it down, frame by glorious frame. (“This Week in James Bond” will return soon, I promise.) I will refer to my earlier post about the SPECTRE TV spot quite often, so give that a re-read if you haven’t already.

The usual warnings apply – if you’re trying to stay as spoiler-free as possible for SPECTRE, please do not read any further as I will be scrutinizing this trailer in excruciating detail.

And of course, you can watch and listen to Tom react/analyze the new trailer.

My sincere thanks go to MI6Community forums user and redditor Antovolk who kindly uploaded a series of high-resolution screencaps of the new trailer, and made them publicly available. You can see them all here. You can also right-click and open the images below to see them in full resolution.


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The very first image we see is a beautiful aerial shot of Mexico City. Could this potentially also be the first shot of the finished film? As we know, Bond films often open onto an establishing shot of a location after the gunbarrel sequence. The location of the (setting?) sun just hovering above the horizon would lend itself well to a stylized dot transition out of the gunbarrel. We shall find out in November.

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If you look closely at the next scene, you can see Bond and Marco Sciarra (Alessandro Cremona) standing on opposite sides of the Day of the Dead parade here. I’ve placed bright red boxes around them for your convenience. Marco Sciarra is either badly wounded or wearing a red scarf/kerchief of some sort; he may also be holding an object near his right ear. It could be a cellphone or a gun or something else entirely, who knows.

Cut to Bond and Estrella (Stephanie Sigman) walking through the parade, wearing Day of the Dead costumes and masks and holding hands. However, somewhat more importantly, we then hear and see M for the first time.

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And he’s not happy.

Note the newspaper on M’s desk that’s close to Bond. Given the context of this scene, I would guess that one of the reasons why M is berating Bond is because the latter has caused yet another extremely public mishap for MI6. It wouldn’t be the first time for Daniel Craig’s 007.

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Another point worth noting is that M’s office in this trailer looks exactly like it did at the end of Skyfall; compare his office in the trailer with the still from Skyfall below. The only difference appears to be that the photograph/painting of MI6’s Vauxhall Cross headquarters has been replaced with a different painting, which could either be an insignificant detail or a clever bit of foreshadowing.

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In comparison with the offices of Judi Dench’s M used in Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace, and Skyfall (which looked completely different from one another and were often located in completely different buildings), this small bit of continuity is a nice change. It is also yet another sign that SPECTRE will be occurring shortly after the events of Skyfall.

M then demands to know what Bond was doing in Mexico City, which clearly means whatever Bond was doing wasn’t officially sanctioned.

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We have not seen Bond be a sniper since Licence to Kill in 1989. And just like that movie, Bond is on a rooftop here watching his quarry through a window – except in SPECTRE, Bond fires an incredibly volatile bullet that somehow causes the entire side of a building to explode.

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After a quip and another establishing shot of London, Bond walks through what is presumably the new MI6 headquarters. It’s a little hard to tell from this screencap but almost everyone that Bond walks past stares at him – which corroborates the theory that whatever happened in Mexico City was unsanctioned and public.

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As pointed out by Tom in the podcast, Bond’s outfit and pose in this scene where he talks to Moneypenny is highly reminiscent of Bond preparing to shoot Professor Dent in Dr No and of Bond drinking before he sees Paris Carver in Tomorrow Never Dies. It’s a nice visual homage that is subtle enough for non-Bond fans to be unaware of, but obvious enough for big fans to admire.

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Bond, Q, and Tanner get to admire the Aston Martin DB10 in the next scenes; also shown is its chase with Hinx’s (Dave Bautista) Jaguar C-X75 that appeared previously in the TV spot. It also appears Q Branch have relocated once again; whether or not the new location is underground cannot be determined.

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Plenty of interesting things are going on in the background as Bond asks Q to make him disappear. Notice what appears to be the Aston Martin DBS behind Bond to his left, a car that hasn’t been seen since Quantum of Solace. Some have already postulated that the car partially hidden behind Q appears to be the Aston Martin DB5 (AKA Bond’s most iconic vehicle, and the car destroyed by Silva in Skyfall), but it’s concealed to the extent that one cannot be certain.

Bond’s also playing with what appears to be a wristwatch (or the strap of a wristwatch) in this scene. Since the scene is taking place in Q Branch after all, perhaps Bond has been given a new watch for his new mission.

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Cut to Austria and a log cabin where Mr White is sitting alone, surrounded by … lots of things. Let’s take a look at some of them.

  • Nine televisions, eight of which are on the wall and cabinets in front of Mr White. Most of them seem to be showing various chaotic events happening on the news; the BBC’s distinctive red news ticker can be seen on the one on the far right. Perhaps he’s trying to stay in the loop.
  • About four large plastic water jugs, the kind that people take to the supermarket and fill up with gallons and gallons of water.
  • Lots of newspapers strewn everywhere.

Personally I get the impression of a hermit or a person preparing for some kind of emergency from this scene.

White’s also attached to an IV drip here, so maybe he’s not in the best of shape. He does certainly look more haggard and worn-out than we have seen in the past.

We are then shown a few things that we’ve seen in past trailers, like the SPECTRE octopus ring and Bond and Lucia Sciarra getting up close and personal. Always a welcome touch.

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Note that in this shot, we get to see Hinx mauling somebody’s face from a different angle. In my earlier post breaking down the SPECTRE TV spot, I noted the bloody thumbs of Hinx in this scene; now we can see that the eye sockets of his victim are indeed bloody. Could this potentially be the “signature move” of this henchman?

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The trailer then introduces us to Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux) as somebody that Mr White is trying to protect. If you’ve already listened to Tom’s podcast about this trailer then you’ll know her connection to him, but if not then click here to read the new official plot synopsis on 007.com, which gives away Swann’s character. We see her in the back of a car driven by Hinx as in previous trailers, while Bond chases after them in cars and planes.

Note that Swann delivers the line “Get away from me” extremely viciously. God knows what Bond said or did to her.

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Here’s our first clear look at what may be SPECTRE itself. Franz Oberhauser (Christoph Waltz) is sitting at the head of the table in the middle here, with dozens of underlings surrounding him. The attendance appears to be quite diverse, so perhaps SPECTRE hasn’t lost its flair for international mayhem just yet.

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In one of the coolest moments of the trailer, Hinx uses his double-barrelled gun to fire some huge holes in the fuselage of the plane that Bond is flying. As Bautista himself has said, Hinx is a badass. No doubt about it.

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The visually interesting (albeit probably highly unrealistic) data visualizations from Skyfall return here, now with 80% more octopus. There must be an amazing graphic design school for Bond villains somewhere. The good news is that Q seems to have learned from his mistakes from Skyfall and is now using his own laptop to access the data, as evidenced by the tape in the upper-right corner and the various stickers behind the laptop screen.

Another interesting point is that Madeleine seems to know what SPECTRE is. Assuming SPECTRE has no public relations department of any significance, this probably means Madeleine is not just an ordinary woman caught in the crossfire.

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Bond encounters a memorial wall full of names in the next scene, and his own name is scrawled on the wall at the very end in red graffiti. Note that this may be the same wall mentioned by M in Skyfall when she tells Silva his name will be struck from it, since the name “Jonathan Hall” appears twice in the second column of names.

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Franz Oberhauser looks up directly at Bond in this scene. Bond’s facial expression says it all.

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BOND ON A TRAIN!

Besides the obvious parallels to similar scenes of romance in From Russia With Love and Casino Royale, check out Bond’s white dinner jacket here, which looks exactly like the one seen in Goldfinger (and, later, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom). Yet another visual homage to excite the fans. Also, I cannot think of a more badass trio of actors than Daniel Craig, Sean Connery, and Harrison Ford.

Madeleine’s comment to Bond is also slightly reminiscent of Natalya’s “It’s what keeps you alone” line to Bond in GoldenEye. Unfortunately for the Léa Seydoux fans, she’s not wearing the same outfit as Natalya in that scene.

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Cut to Bond walking through a hallway, past a target that appears to have Bond’s silhouette superimposed on top. Compare it with the stylized targets of Bond seen in the title sequence of Skyfall.

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Next, we see Bond and Hinx fighting in what appears to be the same restaurant car that we saw Bond and Madeleine in earlier. This is almost certainly an overt homage to the fight onboard the Orient Express between Bond and Red Grant in From Russia With Love, or to the fight between Bond and Jaws on the train to Sardinia in The Spy Who Loved Me (which was itself probably an homage to the fight from FRWL). As the casting of Dave Bautista as Hinx was welcomed by many as a possible physical match for Daniel Craig’s Bond (which his films have more or less lacked, to date), these brief glimpses of a Raiders of the Lost Ark-style old-fashioned fistfight are promising.

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A few frames later we see Hinx push open the doors of a train car, and the doors and walls are covered in wood panelling like the train cars in The Spy Who Loved Me. Note that Hinx is also dressed in a nice grey three-piece suit here. SPECTRE must have a great stylist on hire.

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Right before Bond pushes a button on his DB10 to engulf Hinx’s C-X75 in flames, we get a brief glimpse of the dashboard of the Aston Martin. Some of the buttons are interestingly named, notably “Backfire”, “Atmosphere”, and “Exhaust”. The “Backfire” button, appropriately, is the one that activates the flames.

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Not since The Man With The Golden Gun have we seen a vehicle do a barrel roll somersault through the air, but the next scene shows us a helicopter in Mexico City doing just that due to Bond attacking the pilot. And yes, people have already added slide whistle sound effects to this clip.

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Additional footage from the funeral attended by Lucia Sciarra reveals that Oberhauser is also present. He seems to be able to sense Bond’s presence as well, as he did in the SPECTRE meeting scene earlier. Maybe Bond needs to go easy on the cologne from now on.

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Next we get our first glimpse of what is likely Oberhauser’s villainous lair. Since the Craig era has in general lacked villainous lairs of any kind, this is an extremely exciting addition. The grey colour scheme and the dozens of televisions on the walls and ceiling are slightly reminiscent of Eliot Carver’s stealth boat during the climax of Tomorrow Never Dies.

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After one of Oberhauser’s nameless henchmen hits Bond in the stomach with a baton (ouch), Oberhauser says the most repeated line from this entire trailer: “It was me, James. The author of all your pain.” And yes, he’s wearing The Jacket.

Putting aside the unlikely possibility that Bond’s favourite book is called All Your Pain, this may indicate that Oberhauser is not just your run-of-the-mill psychopathic megalomaniac. Note that in the teaser trailer and TV spot, allusions were made to the death of Bond’s parents when we saw the old documents and photographs with Charmian Bond, Hans Oberhauser, and a 12-year-old James; perhaps that is the pain he refers to. One could also postulate that Oberhauser may be referring to the deaths of Vesper and M from earlier in the Craig era.

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We also see a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it shot of what appears to be M and Max Denbigh (Andrew Scott, making his first appearance in any of the SPECTRE promotional material) fighting. One of them fires a gunshot which shatters the glass behind Denbigh.

Although EON has been suspiciously silent on the character of Denbigh thus far, this shot definitely lends credence to the theory that Denbigh is a villain. He is locked in what appears to be a fairly tense confrontation with M, so either Denbigh is villainous – or M is. I would wager that it’s the former since Skyfall already went to the trouble of making Gareth Mallory seem like an antagonist before revealing his good intentions in the final act; in my opinion, it would be counterproductive to throw all of that character development away for the sake of a reveal in this movie.

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And then, a second later, in case you were still unsure of Denbigh’s intentions, we get this image of him looking extremely malevolently at something. I hope that’s a Vivienne Westwood suit he’s wearing.

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The very last shot of the trailer is Madeleine piloting a speedboat down (what I presume is, judging by the bridge in the background) the Thames while Bond fires at something. I draw attention to this because this means that the character of Madeleine Swann has thus far appeared in three different major locales of this film: Austria (when Hinx captures her and Bond chases them with a plane), the train (where she and Bond get dressed up and have an intimate discussion), and now London. In contrast, we have seen Lucia Sciarra only at a funeral and in a lavish room of some sort, which could both be in the same location for all we know – and Estrella has appeared only in scenes taking place in Mexico City. This is strong evidence that Madeleine is the primary Bond girl of the movie.

Some final thoughts from your humble correspondent:

  • Three of my biggest queries after seeing the TV spot were that we hadn’t seen Oberhauser’s face yet, we hadn’t seen Denbigh yet, and it was still unclear whether Madeleine Swann or Lucia Sciarra was the primary Bond girl. This trailer has answered those questions for me pretty well. That said, we still don’t know much about Denbigh beyond the fact that he works for the British government and, according to this trailer, is an antagonist of some sort.
  • Bond seems to be much more quippy than usual in this movie. I am ambivalent about this since I personally think Daniel Craig’s comedy strengths come out when he is asked to do situational humour (e.g. the valet scene in Casino Royale, him and Fields trying to find a hotel in Quantum of Solace) and not when he is asked to utter “witty” one-liners all the time. However, we shall see if the quips work in Craig’s favour within the context of the film.
  • Moneypenny, who was featured fairly prominently in the teaser trailer and TV spot, appears only once at the beginning of this trailer. Despite Naomie Harris’ claims that Moneypenny would be highly involved in the action of this film, we have yet to see the character interact with anyone other than Bond and she only appears in his apartment from the footage we have thus far.

That’s all from Station C. Don’t forget to tune in to the podcast and join the conversation on social media – we’d love to hear your reactions to new trailers as they are released.

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About The Author

Linda Zhu

Linda is a biochemistry major at the University of British Columbia. When she's not busy being a Bond fangirl, she enjoys listening to alternative rock music, backpacking and (trying to learn) foreign languages, and fiddling around with the innards of PCs and Android devices.