Apple's forthcoming Campus 2 is set to become Silicon Valley's most envy-inducing headquarters: the kind of futuristic home base that belongs in a James Bond movie.
With work progressing nicely, en route to a 2016 opening, we thought the time was right to look at some of the (fictional) headquarters it will be competing against for title of best secret lair of all time.
Scroll through our gallery to take a look at some of our other picks. You never know when Tim Cook will decide to incorporate an underground cave or shark tank into Apple's new home...
The James Bond movies have given us plenty of memorable headquarters over the years — mostly belonging to supervillains. While the most famous one is probably Blofeld's hollowed-out volcano lair from You Once Live Twice, I’ve always been partial to Karl Stromberg’s underwater hideaway Atlantis, from Roger Moore’s best Bond entry, The Spy Who Loved Me.
Not only can the self-sufficient HQ rise to the ocean’s surface or dive below it to suit requirements, but it’s also got four helipads, plenty of luxury dining space, and a shark tank for getting rid of those pesky guests who overstay their welcome.
The Batcave is probably the most iconic superhero lair of all time, and has undergone plenty of different interpretations since first appearing in an episode of the 1943 Batman movie serial entitled “The Bat’s Cave.”
Which version scores a place on this list? Multiple versions stand out, although my personal favorite remains the one from the 1966 Batman TV show, starring Adam West and Burt Ward. Quick Robin, to the Batpoles!
Bruce Wayne’s Batcave may have an undisputed place on this list, but as mansions go, Wayne Manor can’t hold a candle to the X-Men’s Xavier’s School For Gifted Youngsters. Also known as the X-Mansion and Xavier Institute for Higher Learning, this Westchester County, New York manor house has been in the Xavier family for generations.
Today it is both the headquarters and training ground for current and future X-Men: the only learning establishment where your teachers are likely to include Wolverine and Nightcrawler.
If I could pick one location on this list to claim as my own, it would be Tracy Island from the classic Gerry Anderson 1960s TV series, Thunderbirds. The secret headquarters of International Rescue, the palmtree-lined tropical island hideaway looked like the best holiday resort ever — and that was before you caught a glimpse of the giant rocket hidden under the swimming pool.
Marvel Comics has always been great at cranking out the kind of superhero headquarters that would have other comic characters turning green with envy. Given the celebrity status of its inhabitants, The Fantastic Four, the Baxter Building is the antithesis of a secret lair. Located at 42nd Street and Madison Avenue in New York City, the top five floors of the 35-story tower block are used to house the Fantastic Four’s headquarters.
With everything from extensive lab space, to rocket launch sites, to art deco relaxation areas, it’s the Google HQ that Google never had.
Sure, Dexter's Laboratory was a kid’s cartoon, but is there anyone out there who didn’t dream of having a fully equipped high tech lab hidden at the back of their bedroom? From shrink rays and super intelligence caps, to crime-fighting canine androids and giant robots, Dexter built all this and more with a seemingly endless budget and more floor space than Jeff Bezos can dream of. The kitsch, retro vibe just serves to make this lair all the better.
Could have done with improved anti-sister locks on the doors, though.
Austin Powers’ arch-nemesis Dr. Evil gets a place on this list for the sheer variety of his evil lairs over the years. At various times occupying a lunar base, personalized sub, Blofeld-style extinct volcano, and sinister HQ hidden behind the Hollywood sign, Dr. Evil’s constantly-rotating assortment of villainous HQs no doubt made some architects and contract builders very, very rich indeed. Before they were unceremoniously offed for failing to provide sharks with laser beams on their heads.
A possible allusion to Superman’s Fortress of Solitude, Dr. Manhattan’s mechanical cathedral on Mars is not only one of the most brain-searingly unforgettable images in Watchmen, a comic that is never anything less than memorable — it’s one of the most stunning hideaways seen anywhere. It might be a visual representation of Dr. Manhattan’s melancholy and loneliness, but it’s also a dope crib, yo!
How do you create a list like this without paying homage to Star Wars’ iconic Death Star? The mother of all evil lairs, this Empire production looks the kind of thing that Google would be sure to build were it ever to expand its headquarters into space.
Not only is it as sleekly minimalist as the best Apple product, it possesses planet-obliterating power that is nothing short of extraordinary. That easily-destructible exhaust shaft though? How it made it past quality control I will never know!
The name of the next James Bond movie was announced earlier today and it is Spectre. Marking the return of Daniel Craig as Bond and Sam Mendes as director, the movie is set to land in theaters 6 November, 2015.
Taking a note from Steve Jobs's playbook, the reveal of this info and more was carried in Apple-like fashion by way of a live event, avidly watched via livestream by fanboys, the most vocal and passionate conveyors of film news on the Internet.
So with the name, cast, shooting locations and a few scant plot details now released, what are we hoping for from Bond's 24th (canon) spy thriller? Scroll through our gallery to find out. And remember: it's for your eyes only.
Skyfall's Javier Bardem set the bar high for villainous performances in Bond movies. What could be better than one great actor? How about two! By hiring both Sherlock's Andrew Scott (a.k.a. Jim Moriarty) and Django's Christoph Waltz, fans are already salivating at the prospect of two of the most memorable villains in Bond history.
The idea of Waltz as Ernst Stravro Blofeld, making his first appearance since 1981's For Your Eyes Only, is just perfect casting. As for Scott? There's no guarantee he'll play a baddie, but it would be a shame not to let him show off his villainous chops. Perhaps he could be Blofeld's No. 2, complete with eyepatch?
It’s been years since we had a great henchman in a James Bond film. By my reckoning you’d be looking at Xenia Onatopp in 1995’s GoldenEye, which will be 20 years ago once the new Bond movie comes out. (Xenia was also a henchwoman, but it still counts!)
As memorable as Francisco Scaramanga and Auric Goldfinger undoubtedly were, when it comes to the villainous characters who really stick in our minds it is Jaws, Baron Samedi, Oddjob, Rosa Klebb and Red Grant all the way. By hiring former WWE wrestler Dave Bautista fresh off his role in Guardians of the Galaxy, we're excited at the possibilities. According to casting notes, he'll play a character named Hinx -- not to be confused with Halle Berry's Jinx in Die Another Day.
The Bond movies have always been known for their superb practical stunts. From the corkscrew car stunt in The Man With The Golden Gun to the GoldenEye's dam jump, these real world feats impress more than ever in a world inundated with CGI. In fact, with the right scientific measuring tools you could probably establish the exact correlation between the clunky CGI tidal wave surfing in the awful Die Another Day and the point at which I stopped caring about seeing Pierce Brosnan as Bond.
With the exception of the awful CGI komodo dragons and unnecessary Raoul Silva deformation in Skyfall, director Sam Mendes seems to steer clear of computer trickery. Hopefully that continues into the next movie, too. Even a bad Bond movie can be made good with an impressive stunt — as For Your Eyes Only proved, with stuntman Rick Sylvester’s 100 foot leap off a mountain.
Both Casino Royale and Skyfall took us back to points earlier in James Bond’s career: helping flesh out a character that, even after 50 years on screen, is often unknowable. According to its producers, Spectre will tell the story of, "A cryptic message from Bond’s past [which] sends him on a trail to uncover a sinister organisation."
What could fit more perfectly than some more flashbacks of Bond's past: showing us how he first entered the world of MI6 and, perhaps, just how far back SPECTRE's roots go? We’ve heard dribs and drabs of Bond’s origin over the years, but fans would love to know more. And I can’t be alone in thinking that.
Like sinister henchmen with zany gimmicks, secret lairs have been gradually phased out in recent years. Perhaps not coincidentally, just as GoldenEye gave us the last great henchman (or henchwoman) so too did it feature the last true evil hideaway, hidden beneath a lake.
The Austin Powers movies lampooned the cliché of the sinister secret base, which probably helped scare future Bond directors away from trying any such thing. But whether it’s a volcano lair (You Only Live Twice) or an undersea bunker The Spy Who Loved Me), deep down all of us love a high-concept hideaway filled with death traps. And with Blofeld and SPECTRE --
the fictional terror group Special Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion -- both returning, now's the perfect opportunity. We wouldn't expect anything less from an evil genius.
While M’s relationship with Bond provided the heart of the last James Bond movie, for years the series' emotional center (and comedic highlights) came from 007’s interactions with Q, played by Desmond Llewelyn. After a brief misstep with John Cleese as R in The World Is Not Enough, Skyfall introduced MI6’s latest quartermaster, played by whippersnapper Ben Whishaw. He and Bond only got one real scene together, but it hinted at what could be a fantastic comedy pairing going forward: only this time with Q as the the younger man and Bond the aged veteran. Which is probably how it should be.
Casino Royale got us back into Ian Fleming territory, by adapting the last book that hadn’t previously been turned into a (canon) James Bond movie. While there are no more Fleming Bond novels to bring to the screen, there are still plenty of story elements that have yet to be incorporated — such as the deadly garden owned by Dr. Shatterhand (a.k.a. Blofeld) in the novel You Only Live Twice, or the way Drax is outed as a villain because he cheats at cards.
Smart watches are cool, but very, very nerdy-looking. Not that being a nerd is off-putting, but you may not always want to send that message when someone looks at your wrist.
That’s why the COOKOO watch is so awesome. It gives you most of the functionality of any competing smart watch, and you can still wear it on a date without looking like you’re going to have Scotty beam you up out of the restaurant mid-meal. And you can get one for yourself for 23% off the regular price…just $99!
We’ve seen some really neatcarhacks that use the iPhone and iPad to do some crazy stuff, but this one might take the cake.
A group of Russians decided to take their Opel Vectra car and turn it into the “James Bond car” that could be driven with a cellphone in Tomorrow Never Dies. The result, is a beat up beauty that can be driven with an iPad. Check it out:
Feeling a bit secret agent lately, and looking for the ultimate in protection for your Macbook Pro or Macbook Air? The folks over at ViVAX think they have the solution, with their completely sealed, impact-proof laptop case using a variety of cutting edge technologies. Made completely in Italy, the developers behind the project claim this is the first Italian-based Kickstarter project of its kind, and they’d like you to help fund their dream goal of producing and eventually selling this amazing case.
James Bond gets all the cool stuff. Fancy gadgets. Fast cars. Beautiful ladies. And a bottomless bucket of martinis. But he doesn’t have an iPhone controlled dragonfly that can spy on all the bad guys without making a sound.
You’re not James Bond, but you can get your very own dragonfly robot to conduct your own espionage missions, or just take pretty ariel pictures to post on Instagram. The best part is that your flying robot will be controlled with your iPhone and it’ll only cost you 120 bucks.
Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs is filled with a lot of personal anecdotes about what the charismatic Apple co-founder and ex-CEO was like in his personal life… and most of them were not very good at making Jobs look likable or human.
That’s why I was grateful to see this thread pop up on Quora, in which Tim Smith, the principal at the Applied Design Group talks about the time that Steve Jobs, his son and Laurene Powell Jobs tried to fix his car back in the 1990s… along with a mysterious man in a tuxedo who looked eerily like James Bond.