Since the 1960s James Bond 007 has been battling nefarious individuals who all display narcissistic tendencies as large as their Swiss bank accounts. Increasingly these figures, and their plans for world domination, became quite far fetched and widely parodied.
With the soft reboot that was Casino Royale and the casting of Daniel Craig as 007, we have a edgier character. Where once the movie franchise focused upon thwarting the megalomaniac ambitions of villains, now they focus upon the personality, history and flaws of particular individuals, specifically the character of James Bond.
In Casino Royale, a very high-powered poker game turns on a tragic twist of betrayal in Venice.
Likewise, in Quantum of Solace, the sinister activities of the QUANTUM organisation reveal the honey trap that QUANTUM used to tragic effect on Vesper Lynd. With the movie Skyfall, the focus tightens upon “M” and Bond’s attempts to escape Silva’s plan for revenge. Whereas, earlier Bond movies had concentrated on missions to subvert dastardly plots, the past three movies have tended to focus upon characters with greater definition and empathy, particularly 007 himself.
In the SPECTRE teaser trailer (below) the conflict at Skyfall has unearthed unexpected revelations about Bond’s childhood that perhaps Bond himself would rather avoid; we catch a glimpse of charred legal documents and an incomplete photograph (below).
From Ian Fleming’s written work, we know that the character of James Bond was left orphaned after the death of his parents as a result of skiing accident. The legal document reveals that his maiden aunt, Charmain Bond, had given Temporary Guardianship of Master James Bond when aged 12 to one Hannes Oberhauser.
Why is not yet known, but in Ian Fleming’s book Octopussy, the character of Hannes Oberhauser was an Austrian climbing and skiing instructor; at one time in his life, he was a father figure to young James Bond.
More worryingly, in Fleming’s mythos, he was a member of the Gestapo during WWII. The photograph is interesting for what it does not show. It shows a boy, likely to be Bond, standing beside a man of the likeness of Christoph Waltz, but the third figure is obscured. Is it possible that this is Hannes Oberhauser’s son, who was reared alongside James? Is this, in fact, Franz Oberhauser? Perhaps this may explain the enigmatic dialogue of Christophe Waltz’s character to James, not necessarily during the shadowy meeting: “Welcome James, its been a long time and finally, here we are.”
It may also explain the deserted Austrian alpine house, complete with squawking crows. Perhaps, like the Skyfall house, this house holds familiar memories to Bond.
Is this is the abandoned home of Hannes Oberhauser? Albeit, the dialogue track with the character of Mr White may have been edited over the Alpine scene to give us a false impression that this is where a rather haggard Mr White is holed up. Which itself begs the question, why does he look so unwell? Was QUANTUM a front for SPECTRE, a loose affiliation of very wealthy industrialists, sharing limited economic goals, or a rival organisation to the goals of SPECTRE? Is the sickly Mr White himself in hiding from SPECTRE?
Until we see the next trailer, and indeed the movie, all our speculation will be like, as Mr White puts it, a kite in a hurricane.