Skyfall is the twenty-third film in the James Bond series, produced by EON Productions and distributed by MGM and Sony Pictures Entertainment through its Columbia Pictures division. It features Daniel Craig's third performance as James Bond, and Javier Bardem as Raoul Silva, the film's antagonist. The film was directed by Sam Mendes and written by John Logan, Neal Purvis and Robert Wade. As a stand-alone adventure, it doesn't directly continue the story arc of Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace but does occur within the same continuity.
Skyfall premiered in London on 23 October 2012 and was released in the United Kingdom on 26 October 2012. It was the first James Bond film to be screened in IMAX venues, although it was not filmed with IMAX cameras. The film's release coincided with the 50th anniversary of the James Bond series, which began with Dr. No in 1962. Skyfall became the highest grossing Bond film of all time, and is one of the highest grossing films of all time, earning over $1.1 billion worldwide.
MI6 agents James Bond (007) and Eve assist on a mission in Turkey in which an MI6 operative has been killed and a Solid State drive stolen. The drive contained details of all NATO agents operating undercover in terrorist organisations. Bond and Eve chase the assailant, the French mercenary Patrice, and attempt to recover the disk. During the chase, Bond is shot in the shoulder, but continues his pursuit, until he is shot from a train by Eve, who misjudged her shot as it was meant to hit Patrice. He is posted as "missing, presumed killed".
Five of the agents' names are released onto the Internet, with the promise of more the next week and the head of MI6, M, comes under political pressure to retire during a meeting with the Chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee, Gareth Mallory. On her return from the meeting, MI6 is hacked and an explosion occurs in the offices, killing a number of MI6 employees. On hearing the news of the attack, Bond returns to London. The shrapnel taken from his shoulder wound points to Patrice and Bond is sent to Shanghai, where it is known the mercenary will shortly arrive.
Bond finds and follows the Frenchman and witnesses him undertake an assassination, at which Bond also sees Sévérine. The two men fight and Patrice falls to his death before Bond can find out who his employer was. Searching the assassin's equipment Bond finds a gambling chip, which leads him to a casino, where he is paid €4 million for the kill. Sévérine warns Bond that he is about to be killed, but promises to help him if he will kill her employer. Bond beats his attackers—with help from Eve —and joins Sévérine on her boat. They travel to an island, but are taken prisoner by the crew and delivered to Sévérine's employer, Raoul Silva. Silva had previously worked with M and blamed her for his capture, torture and imprisonment by the Chinese. Silva kills Sévérine, but Bond overpowers his guards and captures Silva for return to the UK.
Back in the MI6 headquarters, Q attempts to decrypt Silva's laptop, but instead of accessing the computer successfully, the computer has been programmed to access the MI6 computer system and release Silva, enabling him to escape into the London Underground tunnel system. Pursued by Bond, Silva adopts the disguise of a policeman and attacks M during a public inquiry into her handling of the stolen hard drive. Bond arrives to join Mallory and Eve in fighting off Silva's attack, and M is hurried from the building by her aide, Bill Tanner. Bond drives M away from the scene in her car and, after exchanging it for his own Aston Martin DB5, drives her to his empty and remote childhood home in Scotland, Skyfall Lodge. He instructs Q to leave an electronic trail for Silva to follow, a decision supported by Mallory.
At Skyfall, Bond and M are met by Kincade, the gamekeeper to the Bond family estate. Bond tells them that Silva will attack the place with his henchmen. The trio are only lightly armed, but improvise a series of booby traps. When Silva arrives, Bond, M and Kincade fight off the first assault, although M is wounded in the process. Silva arrives by helicopter with a second wave and Bond sends M and Kincade off through a tunnel at the back of a priest hole to a chapel on the grounds. The second assault consists of firepower from the helicopter, with Silva throwing incendiary grenades into the building. Bond detonates a stick of dynamite with two gas canisters and retreats down the same tunnel as M and Kincade. The resulting blast causes the helicopter to crash, killing a number of Silva's men. Silva sees Kincade's torch beam and follow it. As they arrive at a frozen lake, Bond attacks Silva's sole remaining follower and the two fall through the ice, where Bond kills him. In the meantime Silva makes his way to the chapel and forces his gun into M's hand where he begs her to kill them both. Bond arrives and kills Silva, but M succumbs to her earlier wounds. Her position as head of MI6 is taken by Mallory, while Eve decides not to become a field agent, and reveals she will become M's secretary while revealing to Bond that her surname is Moneypenny.
- Skyfall is not related to any previously published Ian Fleming James Bond short-story or novel.
- Skyfall does not carry on from where the previous film left off, as Quantum of Solace did with Casino Royale. Producer Barbara Broccoli stated that the series "will go on to other different stories from now on." She also talked about the common villain organization across the three movies, saying that Bond "will go after the Quantum organization. So in that sense, it may become a trilogy, but we haven't really structured it that way." Ultimately, Quantum did not feature in Skyfall.
After Quantum of Solace was released many fans theorised that the title of the next film in the franchise would take its name from one of the few remaining Ian Fleming titles that had not previously been used, namely "007 in New York", "Risico", "The Property of a Lady" or the "The Hildebrand Rarity". However, officially the film's working title remained "Bond 23".
In August 2011 several news websites posted a rumour that Bond 23 would be called "Carte Blanche" and would be an adaptation of the Jeffery Deaver novel of the same name, although EON Productions denied these claims. On the 3rd October 2011 fifteen domain names related to "jamesbondskyfall.com" and "skyfall.com" were reported to have been purchased by Sony and MGM, hinting at the intended title for the film. However, the studios declined to comment until the name Skyfall was officially confirmed in a press conference held in November 2011.
According to producer Barbara Broccoli, the title has an emotional context that will be revealed in the film, similar to Quantum of Solace. The title refers to Skyfall Lodge, Bond's ancestral home and a key location in the film. Skyfall is the first one-word Bond title since GoldenEye in 1995.
- £29 million, a third of the film's budget, was raised by selling product placement spots, including a deal with Virgin Atlantic. Virgin CEO Richard Branson had a cameo as a air traveller being searched by security in Casino Royale.
- Production of Skyfall was delayed for several months in 2010-11 due to the bankruptcy and delayed sale of studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), with the production being officially suspended on 19 April 2010. Production resumed in January 2011.
- Despite the production stoppage, many of the film's producers and crew continued pre-production of the film, fully assuming it was a momentary setback. EON wanted to ensure Bond 23 would be released to the silver screen on Bond's 50th anniversary.
- Skyfall prominently features the return of the Aston Martin DB5 in its third act.
- The movie's theme song was performed by Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Adele. It earned an Academy Award for Best Original Song at the 85th Academy Awards on February 24, 2013, making it the first Bond theme song to ever achieve that feat.
Cast & CharactersEdit
- James Bond - Daniel Craig
- M - Judi Dench
- Miss Moneypenny - Naomie Harris
- Q - Ben Whishaw
- Raoul Silva - Javier Bardem
- Sévérine - Bérénice Marlohe
- Gareth Mallory - Ralph Fiennes
- Patrice - Ola Rapace
- Bill Tanner - Rory Kinnear
- Kincade - Albert Finney
- Clair Dowar - Helen McCrory
- Doctor Hall - Nicholas Woodeson
- The character of Felix Leiter, played by Jeffrey Wright in Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace, does not appear in Skyfall.
- Javier Bardem is the first Spanish actor to play a James Bond villain, and the second Oscar-winner to appear in a Bond film (after Christopher Walken; Benicio del Toro has also won an Oscar, but not until after his appearance in Licence to Kill).
- Daniel Craig and Ben Whishaw previously worked together on Layer Cake.
- Ben Whishaw will be the fourth actor to play Q in the official James Bond series. Whishaw is younger than Daniel Craig, which makes Bond older than Q for the first time in the series. Q's last appearance previously was in Die Another Day.
- Much speculation surrounded the role taken by Ralph Fiennes, with some saying he would play a new version of Bond's nemesis Ernst Stavro Blofeld, although it was later revealed that Fiennes' character was a government agent, debunking this rumour. Others theorised that he would replace Judi Dench as M, who would retire during the course of the movie - this one was confirmed, although Dench's M was killed off rather than retiring.
- Naomie Harris plays Eve Moneypenny; while early rumours stated she had been cast as Moneypenny, both the actress and the producers strongly denied them. She is the the first black actress in the role. At 35, Harris is one of the oldest Bond Girls, although she does not actually engage in a physical relationship with Bond at any point making this classification subjective. The classification is also subjective because Berenice Marlohe's character, Severine, is considered the main Bond girl of the film.
- This is Judi Dench's seventh and final film as M. She played the character for 17 years, tying her with Bernard Lee as the longest-serving M (although during his tenure Lee appeared in more films as the character — eleven).
- Freida Pinto, Olivia Wilde, Rachel Weisz, Esti Ginzburg, Margarita Levieva, Alice Eve, Ana Araujo, Emilia Fox and Ebru Akel were rumored to star as Bond Girls before Bérénice Marlohe and Naomie Harris were cast.
- In Skyfall, Daniel Craig became the second James Bond to sport a beard, the other being Pierce Brosnan in Die Another Day.
- The time between filming Quantum of Solace and Skyfall, 4 years, is the longest gap between Bond films that have featured the same actor in the lead role.
- Kevin Spacey was considered for a role, but declined due to scheduling conflicts. Spacey worked with Skyfall's director Sam Mendes on the latter's first feature film American Beauty.
- Directed by: Sam Mendes
- Written by: Ian Fleming (characters only), John Logan, Neal Purvis, and Robert Wade
- Produced by: Barbara Broccoli, Callum McDougall, Andrew Noakes, David Pope, *Anthony Waye, and Michael G. Wilson
- Music composed by: Thomas Newman
- Film editing by: Stuart Baird
- Cinematography by: Roger Deakins
- Production design by: Dennis Gassner
- The first Bond film that director Sam Mendes ever saw was Live and Let Die.
- Mendes is also the only Academy Award winning director to direct a James Bond film.
- Mendes has previously worked with Judi Dench in live theater, with Daniel Craig on Road to Perdition, and with cinematographer Roger Deakins on Revolutionary Road and Jarhead.
- Skyfall is only the sixth film out of 23 Bond films that has not been scored by either Monty Norman, John Barry, or David Arnold. While many have reported that Arnold was unable to score the film due to his duties as musical director for the 2012 London Olympics, Arnold himself has stated Mendes hired Thomas Newman to compose the score because of his work on the director's previous movies.
Cast & Crew Oscar CountEdit
Academy Award results for the entire cast & crew of Skyfall: 35 nominations, and 5 wins.
- Sam Mendes - 1 win
- Dennis Gassner - 1 Win
- Chris Corbould (special effects) - 1 win
- Javier Bardem - 2 nominations, 1 win
- Judi Dench - 5 nominations, 1 win
- Adele-1 win Best Song
- Roger Deakins - 9 nominations
- Peter Morgan - 2 nominations
- John Logan - 2 nominations
- Thomas Newman - 8 nominations
- Ralph Fiennes - 2 nominations
- Albert Finney - 5 nominations
- Shooting began in and around London, with scenes shot in Southwark and Whitehall, the National Gallery, Smithfield meat markets and St Bartholomew's Hospital, Canary Wharf, the Department of Energy and Climate Change, Charing Cross station and the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich, with residents reporting further filming as taking place in Cadogan Square, Tower Hill, and Parliament Square. The Vauxhall Bridge was closed to traffic for filming the aftermath of an explosion at the MI6 headquarters at Vauxhall Cross. Unlike The World Is Not Enough, which also featured an explosion at the building - which was filmed at a large-scale replica. The explosion in Skyfall will be added digitally in post-production. Photos taken by residents in the city's Deptford district revealed the presence of an Aston Martin DB5 on location. Skyfall is the first James Bond film to be set extensively in the UK.
- The film's climax was originally going to be filmed at Duntrune Castle but was relocated when production began.
- Turkey was previously featured as a location in both From Russia with Love (set largely in Istanbul, where Skyfall opens) and The World Is Not Enough, making this film the third in the series to feature the country.
- Originally filming was scheduled to take place on the railway lines between Goa and Ahmedabad in India. The production team had great difficulty obtaining filming permits for the location from the Indian government; while they were eventually given permission to film on location, the scene (the opening train sequence) was ultimately moved to Turkey.
- Skyfall is the first Bond film that has filmed in China, although it is not the first to be set there.
- According to IMDb, South Africa was also used as a location.
Home Video ReleasesEdit
Skyfall was released on Digital HD on February 5th across all digital stores including Amazon, CinemaNow, iTunes, PlayStation, VUDU and Xbox Live. The Skyfall Blu-ray and DVD followed on February 12th in North America and February 18th in the United Kingdom with additional international markets to follow through March. There are more than three hours of in-depth special features on the Blu-ray.
Blu-ray Special Features:
- Shooting Bond
- Opening Sequence
- The Title Sequence
- End Sequence
- The Future
- Skyfall Premiere
- Director Sam Mendes
- Producers Michael G. Wilson & Barbara Broccoli; Production Designer Dennis Gassner
- Theatrical Trailer
DVD Special Features:
- Shooting Bond
- The Title Sequence
- Plot, Production, Cast, Crew, and Location notes from IMDb and Wikipedia.