Spectre to be title of next James Bond film
Spectre will be the title of the 24th official James Bond film, its makers have announced.
Director Sam Mendes revealed the title at a launch event at Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire, where principal photography is due to begin on Monday.
Daniel Craig will play 007 for the fourth time in the film, to be released in the UK on 23 October 2015.
Other cast members were also announced at Thursday's event, which was beamed around the world.
They include Sherlock's Andrew Scott, as a Whitehall-based character called Denbigh, and Guardians of the Galaxy actor Dave Bautista, playing a henchman called Mr Hinx.
Italian actress Monica Bellucci and France's Lea Seydoux have been unveiled as the new 'Bond girls', named Lucia Sciarra and Madeleine Swann respectively.
As previously reported, double Oscar winner Christoph Waltz will have a role in the film, playing a character called Oberhauser.
The name of the character is the same as that of Bond's former ski instructor, though it has been rumoured Waltz will really be playing Bond's old nemesis Ernst Stavro Blofeld.
Spectre - Special Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion - was the name of an international crime syndicate, whose 'Number One' was Blofeld himself.
The organisation featured in the Bond films of the 1960s and was part of a legal tussle with a rival film producer that was recently resolved after many years.
Thursday's event also saw the unveiling of the Aston Martin DB10 which Bond will be driving in his latest screen adventure.
The car manufacturer had had a long association with the James Bond series, starting with Goldfinger in 1964.
Returning cast members Ralph Fiennes (M), Naomie Harris (Moneypenny), Ben Whishaw (Q) and Rory Kinnear (Tanner) were also presented before the world's media, alongside Craig himself.
Craig, 46, first played Ian Fleming's legendary secret agent in 2006's Casino Royale, then in 2008's Quantum of Solace and 2012's Skyfall.
"We've got an amazing cast and, I think, a better script than we had last time," Craig told the BBC's Lizo Mzimba after the announcement.
But he refused to confirm Waltz would be playing Blofeld in the film, saying people would have to "wait and see".
"We started something in Skyfall, it felt like a beginning of something," the actor went on.
"This feels like a continuation of that. We're going to put all of those elements in, and much more."
According to the film studio, the plot will see "a cryptic message from Bond's past send him on a trail to uncover a sinister organisation.
"While M battles political forces to keep the secret service alive, Bond peels back the layers of deceit to reveal the terrible truth behind Spectre."
The 007 production will be based at Pinewood Studios and on location in London, Mexico City, Rome and Tangier and Erfoud, in Morocco.
Bond will return to the snow once again, this time in Solden, along with other Austrian locations, Obertilliach, and Lake Altaussee.
"All of them are amazing places," said Mendes. "I'm very excited to be going to these locations over seven months, which is how long we'll be shooting."
Bond producers Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli said they were "excited to announce Daniel's fourth instalment in the series".
They also said they were "thrilled that Sam has taken on the challenge of following on the success of Skyfall with Spectre".
John Logan has written the script for Spectre alongside writing team Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, while Hoyte van Hoytema will be its director of photography.
The Dutch cinematographer of Her and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy recently wowed audiences with his work on Christopher Nolan's Interstellar.
Skyfall was the highest grossing film of all time in the UK and made more than $1.1bn (£705m) at the worldwide box office.
The film also picked up two Oscars: one for singer Adele's title track, and another for sound editing.