Ah SPECTRE, how long we've waited for you to come back into the BCU.
For those of you who weren't aware, over the last couple of decades a lawsuit has been playing out over the rights of the use of SPECTRE in Bond films. EON had "lost" it back when Never Say Never Again happened and had been fighting to get the rights to use it back. Then a few years ago the man who had the rights to it died and EON got the rights back. I'll be honest that's the really short version as I'm feeling lazy and it about sums it up anyhow.
Right, back to the point of the post: What was the importance of Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace in relation to the SPECTRE organization?
It all begins with QUANTUM, what we all speculated when Casino Royale came out was that QUANTUM was going to be the replacement for SPECTRE since EON at the time still hadn't gotten the rights back. Now that might have been true until the rights were retrieved for the use of SPECTRE, but now QUANTUM fits in a little differently.
As I see it QUANTUM was/is an organization under SPECTRE responsible for financing or helping to finance political projects of 3rd parties. This was seen during the first two movies of Daniel Craig's Bond.
Now, this is where Mr. White fits in, and this might contain some spoilers, but, Mr. White is/was a lieutenant in SPECTRE responsible for QUANTUM. Here's why I think this, if you've watched the trailers for SPECTRE Mr. White seems like he's hiding and on the run from SPECTRE, we know why (see next blog post about SPECTRE spoilers/break down of trailers) and during CR and QoS he was the man setting money in play without touching it, something high ranking members of SPECTRE like to do. After Bond discovers the members of QUANTUM during QoS at the opera, I believe QUANTUM got disbanded since they were discovered and Mr. White took the fall for it being responsible for the organization.
Some history for you all, since the movie is a few weeks away. SPECTRE stands for Special Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge, and Extortion, and yes, they do exactly what you think they do. We know that QUANTUM funded the "TRE" part of SPECTRE but back in the day there were many more uses for SPECTRE. In some of the early films we saw SPECTRE responsible for trying to extort money out of the major world powers and Bond had to foil their plans. We saw them try to heat up the Cold War and turn the US/UK directly against the USSR. What they'll do in the modern non-cold war era of the BCU is probably going to be similar to QUANTUM, funding terrorists, pinning countries and governments against each-other, sabotaging them from the inside out.
Possible SPOILERS ahead about SPECTRE the organization in relation to the upcoming film:
Let's move to SPECTRE itself and try to grasp how Bond/MI6 become aware of it. Up until the movie all MI6 was aware of was QUANTUM. I dont know why Bond is in Mexico at the beginning of the movie but the first thing he does according to the trailers is kill a member of SPECTRE which is how he gets the ring. Thus begins his hunt and I assume MI6's hunt to figure out what SPECTRE is.
Along the way we find out that Bond's childhood ski instructor's son is now at some high level within SPECTRE if not in charge. Even-though Waltz, who plays Franz Oberhauser, has said in interviews that he's not Blofeld in anyway, I still think the possibility is there that he perhaps becomes Blofeld towards the end of the movie. Anyhow that was full of spoilers.
The only other knowns about SPECTRE the org going into the film based on the trailers is the following:
1. Mr Hinx (Bautista) appears to be both a lieutenant and muscle for SPECTRE
2. Madeline Swan either works for SPECTRE or is being "held" to ensure that her father, Mr. White, doesn't do anything to compromise the organization (I'll cover this more in the next post)
One thing I believe we'll know more about is that SPECTRE has people everywhere, and this is what Bond is going to discover throughout the film and I believe will cause some tension "at home" at MI6.
What the movie is going to do is set up the BCU and franchise to use SPECTRE going forward as the enemy of the post Cold War world. I don't think they'd "one and done" with SPECTRE after the legal battle over it.
Anyhow, that's about all I've got on the subject going into the film.
Let me know what you think or if you have any questions about all this.