The movie formerly known as Bond 23 has a title. And that title is Skyfall. This has been announced at a press conference inLondon yesterday by director Sam Mendes.
What a minute. Sam Mendes? He of American Beauty and Revolutionary Road directing a traditional action flick? Yes. Sam Mendes. When this was announced it sparked rumors that Bond 23 would be low on action and heavy on dialogue and character. But Mendes denied these rumors at the press conference by saying that Skyfall will have “all the elements of a classic Bond movie including, to quell any rumors, a lot of action”. Good.
So whadawethink, titlewise? Skyfall? Well, it does not have the mysterious quality of The Man With the Golden Gun or From Russia With Love, but it does beat such garbly nonsense as Tomorrow Never Dies and Die Another Day. And one-word-titles have turned out to be good films in the past: Goldfinger, Goldeneye. Although there are also, oops, Moonraker and Octopussy. Skyfall is not a title with any connection to the Ian Fleming universe. The name is otherwise known as that of a Transformer (though not one from the Bay-films) and as the title of several fantasy novels. What is a Skyfall then? Perhaps a plan, or a machine, or a weapon… You can place your bets now.
The script is written by regular Bond writers Neal Purvis and Robert Wade and guest writer John Logan (Gladiator, Rango, the upcoming Scorsese film Hugo). Mendes and producer Barbara Broccoli would not reveal much about the plot except for this little blurp:
“Bond’s loyalty to M is tested to the full as her past comes back to haunt her. As MI6 comes under attack, 007 must track down and destroy the threat, no matter how personal the cost.”
Okay. That sounds exciting enough. But what about Quantum; the mysterious organization from the last two movies? Mendes says that Skyfall is its own story and does not feature Quantum. I find that disappointing. Surely, Quantum of Solace was massively flawed, but I had invested interest in the SPECTRE like secret conspiracy and its mysterious leader Mr. White (Jesper Christensen). I want to see Mr. White getting sucked into a jet engine or ripped to pieces by a giant underwater drill. As I said, a bit of a disappointing move.
Talking casting: Daniel Craig will return as Bond, thank God, he is definitely good enough to do a considerable number of films as 007. Judi Dench will be ‘M’ again, which is also reassuring. New names are (take a deep breath): Ralph Fiennes AND Javier Bardem as bad guys (Bond teaming up against Voldemort and Anton Chigurh, wow!), Naomie Harris and Bérénice Marlohe as Bond girls, Albert Finney (The Bourne Ultimatum) as a government official and Ben Whishaw (Perfume, The Tempest) as an unnamed character.
Filming will take place in London, Istanbul, Shanghai and Scotland. Skyfall is planned to premiere on October 26 2012 in the UK, and one week later in the US and The Netherlands. That is all so far. Apart from this nice piece of traditional Bond artwork: