Serial Bonds: What the SPECTRE Teaser Reveals About the James Bond Franchise

Washington University in St. Louis’ Center for the Humanities website is currently featuring my essay on the SPECTRE teaser trailer. Here’s a sneak peek:

In November 2013, Eon Productions acquired all rights from the McClory estate, and the recent teaser raises expectations that SPECTRE, due out in November, will finally write the closing chapter of Fleming’s SMERSH continuity—by tying it to a rebooted SPECTRE plotline.

Daniel Craig’s Bond, introduced in 2006’s Casino Royale, is a character with a past, a Bond who endures or witnesses trauma—in other words, a SMERSH-era Fleming spy. But SMERSH isn’t responsible for Vesper (Eva Green)’s suicide in the film continuity; we learn in 2008’s Quantum of Solace that the blame falls on a secretive group, with ties to the CIA and to MI6, called Quantum. Still, like Fleming’s version of the character, the world around Craig’s Bond shows wear and tear, and so does he, not only because of the physical demands of the job, but because painful memories continue to force their way back into his life, coloring his outlook, his missions.

The teaser opens with a brief glimpse of MI6 headquarters, blownout, defaced by the villain Silva (Javier Bardem) in Skyfall (2012). Immediately, a traumatic memory flashes up.

For the entire essay, click here.