Will James Bond return in... Shatterhand?
That's certainly how Daniel Craig's upcoming outing as 007 is being referred to in movie circles, following the revelation that the title appears in reference to Bond 25 in industry publication Production Weekly.
But is that really what it's going to be called?
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It's true that Bond has a long history of one-word titles. Think Goldfinger, Thunderball, GoldenEye. It's also true that the last two Bond films have been single words, and have both begun with the letter s – Skyfall, Spectre. And there's no denying that not all of the titles fall entirely outside the bounds of ridiculousness – here's looking at you Octopussy.
And despite it sounding like a regrettable accident a female spy might have when caught short, there's also some clear reasoning behind Shatterhand. You see, not only is Dr Guntram Shatterhand an alias of Bond's arch-nemesis Ernst Stavro Blofeld, it's also the name of the estate where Blofeld dies in Ian Fleming's original 007 books.
Given that Blofeld has been an increasing presence in the most recent Bond films, and that Daniel Craig is likely to hang up his holster after this film, it would make sense that Shatterhand completes a kind of Bond trilogy with Skyfall and Spectre and that it, hopefully, sees the criminal mastermind meet his end.
On the other (Shatter)hand, it is clearly listed in Production Weekly as a working title, which could still hint at the plot but means the name of the film is very much open to change. And would Bond's producers really be so careless as to allow the actual title to be revealed before they were ready?
The bottom line is that we won't know for sure until we get an official announcement. At least that gives us time to get used to Shatterhand...
James Bond 25 – whatever it's called – is due in cinemas on 8th April