Danjaq, LLC and MGM, the companies behind the James Bond, 007 film series (Eon Productions, the producer of the British superspy films is a subsidiary of Danjaq) came to an agreement with the McClory estate on November 15th over a dispute pertaining to the use of several characters and concepts from past 007 movies. The characters in question include Ernst Stavro Blofeld and his terrorist orginization, SPECTRE. Blofeld is notable for being one of the few villains to menace Bond over multiple films (consider him the Lex Luthor to Bond’s Superman). He was famously portrayed in 1967’s You Only Live Twice by Donald Pleasence (whose grey jumpsuited, scar-faced appearance inspired the Austin Powers villain, Dr. Evil).
The dispute existed largely because director Kevin McClory, who made the 1965 Bond film Thunderball – which Blofeld and SPECTRE featured in – retained the rights to use said character and organization; he even filmed a 1983 remake of Thunderball, titled Never Say Never Again, the only Bond film not produced by Eon (except for the 1967 spoof Casino Royale). Danjaq and MGM now have the right to use Blofeld and SPECTRE in all upcoming 007 movies.
The absence of Bond’s arch-nemesis has been felt in the recent reboot of the franchise beginning with Casino Royale (2006). A very SPECTRE-esque organization called Quantum was introduced into the new series, and featured as the main antagonists of Quantum of Solace (2008). Like SPECTRE, Quantum was a criminal group shrouded in mystery whose members remained mostly anonymous. Unfortunately, the group failed to be as entertaining or as threatening as its predecessor, and was ignored in the subsequent Skyfall (2012) – which most considered superior to Quantum of Solace.
Terrorists and terrorist organizations are favorite antagonists in action movies nowadays, and longtime fans of James Bond would be interested to see how the group and its leader would reinterpreted for a modern age.