The setting for the new James Bond film, titled Spectre, is inspired by real-life events. While in Scotland on holiday with his family, James Bond spots a yacht in distress and sails off to help. Upon arriving, he is astonished to learn that the culprit behind the yacht’s ordeal is none other than his old arch-enemy, Ernst Stavro Blofeld.
The film’s production designer, Barbara Broccoli, grew up in Scotland and has family in the area. She told The Telegraph, “We were determined that the filming should reflect the beautiful scenery and offer the chance for some great outdoors shooting”.
To achieve this, she said they focused on “the rugged wilderness of the Scottish Highlands, with its breathtaking views and golden beaches”.
The article goes on to state that Broccoli and her family “were over the moon” when they heard the news that the film was being set in Scotland and that James Bond would be visiting their country. The setting was truly inspired by the region, and Broccoli had this to say:
“It was fantastic to see how the landscape and colours inspired the film’s design. In particular, I loved how the lighthouse came to life. We had a hard time finding a real-life example of a typical Scottish lighthouse, so the idea and research team spent a lot of time finding the perfect one for the film.”
The film’s costume designer, Michael Kaplan, also hails from Scotland and designed the outfits for the main characters, including James Bond. In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Kaplan said:
“The inspiration behind the design of the Spectre outfit is the image of a typical Scottish highlander — gruff, quite bold, with some rough edges… I wanted to capture the essence of that. So it’s this idea of masculinity in crisis.”
While the outfit was designed with an urban edge in mind, so that it would not be out of place in a fashionable urban area such as Rome or London, Kaplan admitted that a stroll along a Scottish beach was required to fully realize his vision.
The designer also revealed that he spent some time in seclusion to fully understand Bond’s character and to envision an outfit that would suit him:
“I went to bed and slept on it and woke up with a sudden idea… We started building a collection around it and within a few days, we had a complete outfit. Then we built different shoes and the rest is history.”
The designer’s research also inspired a hat for Bond, called the Trilogia. A member of the 007 community will be receiving one of these hats as part of their welcome package.
From Scotland to Rome
Many locations were earmarked for the film’s production — including Venice and St. Barts — but the most notable setting is undoubtedly Rome. One of the first images we’re treated to of the legendary city is that of James Bond walking towards his hotel. As he makes his way through the streets, he is accompanied by his bodyguard, Tiger, who is carrying his briefcase.
While Venice and St. Barts would offer a more glamorous backdrop, the city of Rome — which is, in fact, in Italy — offered a more significant location.
According to a report in the The Daily Mail, Bond’s choice of setting was specifically because of its impact as an “icon of masculinity”:
“It was important we found a location that would represent the crisis of masculinity that the character of James Bond is going through. Naturally we looked to Italy as it’s an iconic place of masculinity and adventure. We also loved the idea of having a sequence in a classical Roman setting. It’s a dream to shoot a film in Italy.
“Venice and St. Barts were also really nice choices, but as we’re trying to represent a crisis, it had to be somewhere that everyone would know about. Rome is full of history and really famous for its grand scale and beauty. As well as that, it’s close to where I live. So it was a no-brainer.”
A Lighthouse, An Urban Jungle And The Upside Of Aging
The film marks the comeback of actor Robert Pattinson, who played the titular character in the Twilight franchise. In an interview with Metro News, Pattinson discussed how he would approach the role and what it was like returning to acting after a six-year hiatus.
Pattinson has had an interesting time since leaving the Twilight franchise, starring in high-profile films such as Cosmo, The Lost City Of Z and the just-released Good Time.
Asked about returning to the role of James Bond, Pattinson said he was “excited and nervous” at the same time. He admitted that he found it difficult to put into practice all of the physical and mental training he put in for the role, but that it was “worth it in the end.”
In an interview with Metro News, screenwriter Anthony Horowitz discussed the making of Spectre and revealed some interesting things about the character of 007 and the film industry in general.
Horowitz revealed that the idea for Spectre came to him when he was brainstorming ideas for another script. He said:
“It was a crazy idea, but I thought it was a great way to start… I love James Bond and I’ve always been a bit of a science fiction fan, so it was the perfect fit. I adore the way the costume designer [Kaplan] brings the future alive, using all the materials and techniques available today, and blends them with a bit of the past. It’s such a cool look…The more I thought about it, the more it made sense.”
Spectre is currently in theaters across the country.