Casting Screenplay & Production
The main cast was officially announced at a press conference held at the Corinthia Hotel in London on 3 November 2011, 50 years to the day since Sean Connery was announced to play James Bond in the film Dr. No (1962).
Daniel Craig returned as James Bond for the third time and has gone to comment that he felt lucky to have the chance to appear as 007. However, he had previously stated that he had been worried by the delays in the production of Skyfall and was eager to get back into the role because, at the age of 43, he feels he is already getting too old to cope with the extreme physical demands of playing James Bond.Craig started preparation about six months prior to filming and worked out for about two hours each day of principal photography after shooting had wrapped.
During the rehearsal period Daniel Craig was injured and had to rest up for two weeks causing delays in scheduling. This is the second time in the franchise’s history that a delay has been forced by an injury to the actor playing Bond. The first was on Die Another Day (2002) where Pierce Brosnan blew his knee out during filming of the opening hovercraft sequence, shutting down production for around 1-2 weeks.
Daniel Craig performed many of his own stunts including the roof-top fight on the top of a moving train traveling at 50 kph (31 mph) in the film’s opening sequence. Producer Barbara Broccoli stated: “Daniel contributes a great deal to designing the action and the fights in particular and he’s the one who really pulls it off, because he wants to do as much of it as he possibly can. We were in Turkey for the train sequence and I had my heart in my mouth the whole time; he and Ola were fighting on the roof of a moving train and the moves that they were doing were just heart stopping. Daniel’s the reason why the action works as well as it does because he sells it, he’s up there and I think audiences know that.”
Apparently Daniel Craig told ‘Rolling Stone’ magazine that he wanted Skyfall to be his third and final Bond movie, he stated, “I’ve been trying to get out of this from the very moment I got into it but they won’t let me go”. Craig has signed on for the next two James Bond films, both Bond 24 and Bond 25.”
Director Sam Mendes described the character of Bond in the film as experiencing a “combination of lassitude, boredom, depression and difficulty with what he’s chosen to do for a living”.
According to producer Michael G. Wilson the passport used by Craig in the movie was an authentic document issued by the British Home Office and not created by the props department. Everything from the paper, print, photograph and jacket are entirely genuine on James Bond’s ‘official passport’. However, as a security measure, the passport is encoded with information that would instantly flag its improper use in any official transaction. The actual details shown on Bond’s passport are as follows: Name = John Adam Bryce; Date of Birth = 16th December 1968; Sex = Male; Place of Birth = London; Date of Issue = 22nd June 2012; and Expiry Date = 22nd August 2029.
After receiving a personal invitation from Queen Elizabeth II, Daniel Craig appeared as James Bond in promotion of this movie at the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games in London entitled “Happy and Glorious”. The pretend entertainment segment features Bond who meets with the Queen (in her first ever acting role) to escort her safely to the stadium. They are seen going to a helicopter, which flies along the Thames River to the cauldron, whereby stunt-doubles then Skyfall jumped out of the helicopter down to the awaiting ceremony to the iconic James Bond theme.
This is Judi Dench’s seventh and final time playing M. Dench has played the role of M for seventeen years between 1995 until 2012, her first being in GoldenEye. This record ties with Bernard Lee who played the M character for the same amount of time except Lee appeared in eleven Bond movies. This is also Dench’s largest ever on-screen role playing the M character and also the most significant James Bond film ever to explore a relationship between the M and James Bond characters. Producer Barbara Broccoli explains that Skyfall explores this relationship perhaps more than in any of the 22 previous films, she stated, “We wanted to really mine the relationship between Bond and M, because it is the most significant relationship he has in his life. M is the only person who represents authority to him. You have two extraordinary actors, and we just thought, let’s go all the way. It’s worked extremely well. It’s a very emotional story.”
According to Judi Dench, the secrecy surrounding the details of the film’s plot was such that advance copies of the script were individually stamped so they can be specifically traced to each official recipient in the event of negligent disclosure of plot details.
A 2013 props exhibition revealed M’s full name “Olivia Mansfield” to be visible in an inscription on the box given to Bond containing M’s porcelain bulldog figurine. In 1995, the original script for GoldenEye had revealed M’s name as “Barbara Mawdsley”, but this was before the Bond series reboot with Casino Royale (2006), so Judi Dench’s interpretation of M is likely two different characters.
On The Graham Norton Show in October 2012, Judi Dench revealed that her mobile cell phone has a ringtone with the James Bond theme and how when it rang during filming on the set, it would often produce laughter, and after a while, her annoying 007 cell-phone ring-tone became an on-set running joke.
The film introduces three new actors to play three recurring roles in the series, and they are; Naomie Harris as Miss Moneypenny, Ben Whishaw as Q and Ralph Fiennes as M. In each case, each of the three actors is the fourth person to play their respective character in the official James Bond series.
During production, Fiennes stated that he could not say anything specific about his role other than that it was a “really interesting part which is really quite fun”.
When Ralph Fiennes confirmed that his character is a government agent it put an end to speculation that he would be playing Bond’s old nemesis, Ernst Stavro Blofeld. However, a new speculation began that his character would be the new M in the series and that Dench’s M would be retiring in Skyfall. In the end, the speculation proved true, as Fiennes’ character Gareth Mallory, is a former lieutenant colonel in the British Army and the Chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee, who becomes M at the end of the film. Fiennes’ M is the first time a male has played the part since Robert Brown in Licence to Kill (1989).
Ralph Fiennes is the fourth actor to play the M character in the official series as his character Gareth Mallory becomes M at the end of the film. Bernard Lee was the first actor to play M between 1962 and 1979 through the Connery, Lazenby and some Moore films. Robert Brown then played M for four films for the rest of Moore’s films and the two Dalton Bond movies. Judi Dench played M between 1995 and 2012 with her last appearance being in this film. The M characters in the unofficial Bond films where played by John Huston Casino Royale (1967) and Edward Fox in Never Say Never Again (1986) respectively.
First Bond movie where two actors playing the character M, in this case Judi Dench as M and her successor Ralph Fiennes, have shared the screen in the same scenes.
For the first time in the EON series both the first and last name of M, Gareth Mallory, is revealed (albeit before he becomes M).
It was rumored that Mendes originally offered the role of the villain, Silva, to Kevin Spacey, but Spacey declined due to scheduling conflicts.
In casting the role of Silva, director Sam Mendes admitted that he lobbied hard for Bardem to accept the part. Mendes saw the potential for the character to be recognized as one of the most memorable characters in the series and wanted to create “something the audience may consider to have been absent from the Bond movies for a long time”. He felt that Bardem was one of the few actors up to the task of becoming “colorless” and existing within the world of the film as something more than a function of the plot.
Bardem described his character as “An angel of death, a very clean-shaven person who happens to be rotten on the inside. He has a very personal objective, he’s not trying to destroy the world. And he is on a straight line to that objective: he is a man seeking revenge. It’s about being focused on the one person he wants to eliminate.” Bardem has also explained about finding the character inside the villain, “It’s always about who’s the person behind the character. It would be very difficult for me to play a role that I just saw as some kind of symbol. In this case, there is a man suffering, a man full of pain and frustration, who simply wants to fix the situation. Within that journey, there was room to be funny or aggressive, but I could perfectly understand who he was, and that helped me to portray him.”
In preparing for the role, Bardem had the script translated into his native Spanish in order to better understand his character, which Mendes cited as being a sign of the actor’s commitment to the film. Bardem dyed his hair blond for the role after brainstorming ideas with Mendes to come up with a distinct visual look for the character.
Javier Bardem apparently was once offered a role in an earlier Bond film. Bardem stated to CinemaBlend, “Years ago, I was offered Bond. I don’t remember what movie it was for. But yeah, it just was not that time. I didn’t feel that it was the time for me to do something like that. And also, I was doing something else, so I passed. This time, when I read it, I felt that it was very powerful material, and I wanted to join a Bond movie.”
Villains in the Bond movie series have often had some physiological dysfunction or trait that makes them distinguishable. For this movie, Bardem’s character, Raoul Silva has a false jaw which was caused by his attempted suicide when a hydrogen cyanide capsule implant in one his back left molar was broken open and left his mandible lower jawbone (aka the inferior maxillary jaw bone) physically scarred.
Ben Whishaw is the fourth actor to play Q (abbreviation for the word Quartermaster) in the official Bond series and this movie marks the first time that Q is younger than James Bond. On choosing a younger Q, the producers stated, “When it came to trying to reintroduce the character of Q, it made sense that he would now be a young technical genius and the character was written with that in mind.”
Whishaw’s character of Q has been compared to that of computer-genius types like Jack Dorsey and Mark Zuckerberg. Although the actor himself has stated the he doesn’t even own a computer.
Mendes had initially declined to confirm which part Ben Wishaw would play, and later said the idea of the re-introduction was his, saying “I offered ideas about Moneypenny, Q and a flamboyant villain and they said yes”.
The following actresses were considered to appear as Bond Women:
- Freida Pinto
- Olivia Wilde
- Rachel Weisz
- Esti Ginzburg
- Margarita Levieva
- Alice Eve
- Ana Ventura
- Emilia Fox
- Ebru Akel
In the end Naomie Harris was cast as Eve; Berenice Marlohe as Severine; Tonia Sotiropoulou as Bond’s Lover; and Elize du Toit as M’s Assistant Vanessa.
Despite ongoing speculation in the media that Harris had been cast as Miss Moneypenny, this was not confirmed by anyone involved in production of the film, with Harris herself even going so far as to state that “Eve is not remotely office-bound”. According to Harris, “Eve believes she is Bond’s equal, but she is really his junior”.
Harris prepared for her action role as Eve by working out with a personal trainer for about 2 months, two hours a day, five days a week. Her training included yoga, kick-boxing, running and circuit training. Also on one day of the week Harris did combat fighting training, another one day of the week she did stunt driving training and for three days a week she learned how to use machine guns and the Walther PPK.
Naomie Harris was 35 years old at the time of filming and is one of the oldest actresses to play a major Bond Girl. The eldest ever Bond Girls were Honor Blackman, who was 37 years old at time of filming Goldfinger (1964) and Maud Adams, who was also 37 years old at the time of filming Octopussy (1983).
Harris is the third actress of Jamaican descent to play a Bond Girl, Marguerite LeWars was the first in Dr. No (1962). LeWars was the reigning Miss Jamaica and was cast in the film when the production crew encountered her at Kingston Airport where she had been an employee there. Grace Jones was the second in A View to a Kill (1985), she was born in Spanish Town, Jamaica.
Harris’ Eve Moneypenny is the first time in the official series that the character has had a first name. Harris is also the first black actress to play the part. Lois Maxwell was the first actress to play Moneypenny and she did so in 14 Bond films between 1962 and 1985 through all of the Connery, Lazenby and Moore movies. Maxwell was then followed by Caroline Bliss for two Dalton Bond movies and then Samantha Bond for four Brosnan Bond films. This movie also represents the first time that Miss Moneypenny is a fully-fledged main Bond Girl and not a supporting character.
Rachel Weisz, who is married to actor Daniel Craig, used to be in a relationship with director Sam Mendez and she was also rumored to be considered for a role in this movie.
This is the first English-speaking role for French actress Berenice Marlohe. She’s stated that her characterization of Severine was inspired by ‘The Chimera’ from Greek mythology and actress Famke Janssen’s Xenia Onatopp Bond Girl character from GoldenEye (1995). Marlohe has said “I wanted to have that dangerousness spreading through her, but at the same time I wanted to create a real human being with a range of emotions and the inner struggles we go through as human beings.” Moreover, the name of the boat that Bond and Severine journey on in the film is called “The Chimera”. Reportedly, Marlohe got her part in the film on her own as at the time she didn’t have an agent.
Greek model-actress Tonia Sotiropoulou auditioned for the role of Severine but lost out to Berenice Marlohe. However, the casting director Debbie McWilliams suggested that the production might be able to find another role for her in the film, so her management company resubmitted Tonia for the film and she was finally cast as Bond’s lover, who appears in a minor role early on in the movie and has no lines, making her the first Bond girl to consummate a relationship with Bond on screen without saying a single word.
Reportedly, this is the first ever James Bond film in the official series where production notes and publicity materials generally refer to the leading actresses in the film as ‘Bond Women’ and not as ‘Bond Girls’.
Actor Rory Kinnear reprises his role MI6 chief of staff Bill Tanner for the second time. Kinnear has portrayed the character more than any other actor as he’s also played the role three times in video games.
Producer Barbara Broccoli has said that her father, pioneer Bond producer Albert R. Broccoli, had been keen to work with Albert Finney, who was cast as Kincaid in this movie, but the opportunity never arose.
Producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson originally wanted Sean Connery to come out of retirement and make a surprise cameo for the role of Kincade (played by Albert Finney) in a nod to the 50th anniversary of the film series, but elected not to. Director Sam Mendes told ‘The Huffington Post’, “There was a definite discussion about Connery playing Kincade, way, way early on. But I think that’s problematic. Because, to me, it becomes too… it would take you out of the movie. Connery is Bond and he’s not going to come back as another character. It’s like, he’s been there. So, it was a very brief flirtation with that thought, but it was never going to happen, because I thought it would distract.”
Ola Rapace, who plays Patrice, despite being onscreen for more than 15 minutes in the pre-titles chase and Shanghai scenes, doesn’t speak a single word of dialogue in the film. Ola is the ex-husband of Noomi Rapace who starred in the original The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009).
These are the previous projects the cast and crew have worked together on:
- Judi Dench and director Sam Mendes have previously worked together in theater on Anton Chekhov’s “The Cherry Orchard”
- Daniel Craig and Mendes previously worked together on Road to Perdition (2002)
- Sam Mendes and cinematographer Roger Deakins have also worked together previously on Revolutionary Road (2002) and Jarhead (2005)
- Daniel Craig and actor Ben Whishaw previously worked together on Layer Cake (2004)
- Javier Bardem and cinematographer Roger Deakins previously worked on No Country for Old Men (2007)
This is the first Daniel Craig Bond movie not to feature the character of American CIA agent Felix Leiter, played by Jeffrey Wright.
The number of individual Academy Awards and nominations for the cast and crew working on this movie are as follows:
- Director Sam Mendes (1 win)
- Cinematographer Roger Deakins (9 nominations)
- First draft of script by Peter Morgan (2 nominations)
- Final script by John Logan (3 nominations)
- Composer Thomas Newman (10 nominations)
- Designer Dennis Gassner (1 win & 3 more nominations)
- Chris Corbould on special effects (1 win)
- Javier Bardem (2 nominations, 1 win)
- Ralph Fiennes (2 nominations)
- Albert Finney (5 nominations)
- Judi Dench (5 nominations, 1 win)
Director Sam Mendes wanted actors rather than stuntmen to cast as Silva’s mercenaries, so in order to find actors that fit the physical bill, stunt coordinator Gary Powell set up a stunt training camp. They started with forty-two men and the group had to learn how to throw punches, react to punches, hold guns and react to being shot. The group was eventually narrowed down to seven men who looked the most natural.
The scene where the names of the leaked MI6 agents in the YouTube video are shown are actually names of members of the production crew, though the photos shown are of professional actors. The names used include art director Paul Inglis, assistant executive producer Andy Surry, and special effects technician Steve Benelisha. The other two MI6 agent names, Mansur Dimka and Ben Daheer, don’t appear to be based on anyone in particular. The handle of the YouTube poster posting the video in the film is ‘vials’ which is an anagram for Silva, the last name of the film’s villain. Also, the runtime on the YouTube video is 0:07, a reference to Bond’s code number of 007.
It was reported that some of the actors playing smaller parts never actually received a script to work with due to the production’s strict secrecy protocols. This was the case for actress Tonia Sotiropoulou who played Bond’s lover, she didn’t know what she would be doing on the film until the time her scenes were shot. She commented, “I was one of the people who never had a script. I just got told what I’d be doing on the set by the director. They have to be so careful. You have quite strict contracts that say you can’t say anything about the plot. And everyone respects that.”
Javier Bardem’s favorite Bond villain is Jaws from The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) and Moonraker (1979). Berenice Marlohe’s favorite Bond Girl is Famke Janssen from GoldenEye (1995) and for Naomi Harris it’s Grace Jones from A View to a Kill (1985).
The professional motorcycle racer Nicky Hayden has an uncredited appearance as a motor-bike rider during the film’s opening chase sequence.
The real-life CNN newscaster, Wolf Blitzer appears as a CNN News Anchor reporting the terrorist attack on the MI6 headquarters.
There was a cameo from producer, Michael G. Wilson, during a sequence in a funeral procession of hearses, Wilson’s cameo was as a pall bearer. However, this was cut out, although there is one shot of him still in the movie thereby keeping intact the series tradition of the Wilson cameo which he has been doing since Goldfinger (1964).
The real-life BBC news-reader Huw Edwards appears as a BBC News Anchor reading the BBC news about one of the exposed MI6 agents.
Screenplay & Production Casting
Due to bankruptcy and delayed sale of studio MGM, development and production was suspended on 19 April 2010 for almost nine months. Producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson confirmed in a press release, “Due to the continuing uncertainty surrounding the future of MGM and the failure to close a sale of the studio, we have suspended development on ‘Bond 23’ indefinitely. We do not know when development will resume and do not have a date for the release of ‘Bond 23’.” Despite its canceled financing, some pre-production work still continued on the movie during this period in order to ensure that the movie was in theaters for the 50th Anniversary. Production finally resumed in January 2011.
According to producer Michael G. Wilson, a documentary crew was scheduled to follow production of the film to celebrate the anniversary.
The film’s budget is estimated to be between $150 and $200 million.
For a long time in development and pre-production Skyfall was simply known as “Bond 23”. The other titles that were considered for the movie were: “A Killing Moon” and “Once Upon a Spy” and “Silver Bullet”. Then during 2011 the media falsely reported that the title of the movie would be either “Carte Blanche” or “Red Sky at Night”. Then around October 2011 it was rumored that the film would be titled Skyfall as the internet domain names JamesBond-Skyfall.com and Skyfallthefilm.com were registered prior to any official announcement. Then finally at a press conference, held on 3 November 2011, the title was confirmed with producer Michael G. Wilson calling it “the worst kept secret in London”, at the same event it was also announced that the story would not be based on any previously published James Bond novel or short-story. Co-producer Barbara Broccoli confirmed that the title “has some emotional context which will be revealed in the film”. The title refers to the name of Bond’s childhood home “Skyfall”, and the setting for the film’s finale.
The next Bond film (Bond 24) is expected to be released around 2014, which will make it the 50th Golden Anniversary Year of producer Michael G. Wilson’s association with the official Bond film series. Wilson has also done screen-writing on some of the Bond films, been a legal/administrative/technical consultant and made regular cameo appearances in the film series.
Skyfall’s release year of 2012 marks the 25th Anniversary Year for Broccoli as a producer on the series as her first credit as a producer was as an associate producer on The Living Daylights in 1987. Skyfall is also the 25th Year for executive producer and production manager Callum McDougall who started as an assistant director on the same Bond film. This movie also marks the 10th Anniversary of associate producer Gregg Wilson. Gregg is the son of Michael G. Wilson who is the step-son of co-founding producer Albert R. Broccoli.
Stuntman Gary Powell and other members of his family have worked on every production of the official series Bond movies since Dr. No (1962). His father and uncle Nosher Powell and Dinny Powell worked on all the early 60s and 70s Bonds with Sean Connery and George Lazenby, his brother Greg Powell worked on the 70s and 80s Bonds with Roger Moore and Timothy Dalton, whilst Gary has worked on all the 90s and 00s Bonds with Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig including Skyfall.
It was rumored that Danny Boyle was asked to direct this movie, however, Boyle ended up directing the James Bond short with Daniel Craig and Queen Elizabeth II which opened the 2012 London Olympics Opening Ceremony.
Reportedly, Sam Mendes was offered the director’s job at an after performance theater party by Daniel Craig, where Craig broached the subject of directing a Bond film for the first time. Mendes was at first hesitant to accept the job as directing a Bond film had no appeal to him, but he did not reject the offer immediately because of Craig’s involvement and enthusiasm for the project. He agreed to direct after meeting with producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli and seeing the early direction the film was going to take. During pre-production and the MGM bankruptcy period, Mendes was originally hired as a consultant so as to avoid a direct connection payment to Mendes from having been classified as a bona fide director to the production, and as such requiring an official director’s payment.
There was speculation in the media that Mendes had commissioned rewrites of the script to remove action scenes in favor of ‘characterful performances’ with the intention of bidding for an Academy Award. Mendes denied the reports, stating that the film’s planned action scenes were an important part of the overall film.
This is the first Bond movie to be directed by an Academy Award winning director. The first Bond film seen by Sam Mendes was Live and Let Die (1973) and his favorite is From Russia with Love (1963). As a boy, Mendes owned a die-cast Dinky Toys model car of James Bond’s Aston Martin DB5 car which inspired him to include the vehicle in the film.
Due to MGM’s bankruptcy Peter Morgan, the original script writer, left the production of Skyfall. However, Morgan later then stated that his ideas from the first draft were used by the screen writing team Neal Purvis, Robert Wade and John Logan. Director Mendes adamantly denied this, stating that it was “just not true” and that Morgan’s script treatment had been discarded once Mendes agreed to direct. Logan recounted being brought into the project by his long-time friend Sam Mendes, describing the process between Mendes and the writers as “very collaborative”, and that writing Skyfall was one of the best experiences he had had in scripting a film.
The script was heavily revised by John Logan, even throughout filming and when filming wrapped, the script had been revised thirteen times since the third draft. During principal photography character and plot details from the script were kept under tight wraps with the names and identities of several characters such as those played by Ralph Fiennes, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris and Albert Finney being kept a secret for several months.
This is the final consecutive Bond movie to be written by screen-writing team Neal Purvis and Robert Wade. Previously they have worked together on Die Another Day (2002), Casino Royale (2006) and Quantum of Solace (2008) and have decided to move on after Skyfall.
In an interview in the Bond documentary ‘Everything or Nothing: The Untold Story of 007’, producer Barbara Broccoli commented on how 9/11 made the producers think about doing something more serious and that it might be time to move on from the Pierce Brosnan style of Bond films. In another interview, she added: “In terms of 9/11, we thought Die Another Day had become too fantastical. That’s something that’s happened in previous Bond films along the way. There comes a time when you have to recalibrate the tone of the films to fit the times we live in”. Skyfall will be the third consecutive Bond film that deals with terrorism in the story and in particular cyberterrorism.
This movie does not follow on from the two previous Bond movies Casino Royale (2006) and Quantum of Solace (2008), producer Barbara Broccoli confirmed that the series will go on to other different stories from now on, but the reappearance of Quantum organization in later films could be a possibility. Broccoli explained; “I think in some way, he will go after the Quantum organization. So in that sense, it may become a trilogy, but we haven’t really structured it that way.”
Scriptwriter John Logan used Shanghai as a filming location because “What we were looking for was opposition to London. We wanted exotic locations that seem so unlike the world that he grew up in, the world that he functions in, in a way trying to find places for Bond to be uncomfortable.” This movie is also the first Bond movie to have filmed in China. Originally, Licence to Kill (1989) was to be filmed in China but when the Chinese Government made a number restrictive demands such as veto rights over the script, the viability of the location fell through.
This is the third Bond movie to have filmed in Istanbul, Turkey. The first was From Russia with Love (1963) and the second was The World Is Not Enough (1999). Producer Barbara Broccoli has stated that Istanbul was Bond creator, Ian Fleming’s favorite city.
The film’s screen-writers Purvis and Wade thought up the film’s title at two in the morning. They stated: “We needed a haunting place name. I just plucked it out of the air, and it turned out to be something that struck a chord with the filmmakers.” Skyfall is the only ever Bond film where the team provided the film’s title. This original title was used in favor of the four remaining unused Ian Fleming James Bond story titles, which are; “The Property of a Lady”, “The Hildebrand Rarity”, “Risico” and “007 in New York” (aka “Agent 007 in New York”).
Skyfall is the first original Bond movie title that has already pre-existed as the title of other fictional works, which are as follows:
- 1966 sci-fi novel by Harry Harrison
- 1987 novel by Thomas Block
- 2004 novel in the “Saga of the Skolian Empire” sci-fi series by Catherine Asaro
- 2007 novel by Anthony Eaton in the fantasy action “Darklands Trilogy”
- The name of a 2002 Norweigan film Falling Sky, its literal English translation being “Falling Sky” or “The Sky Is Falling Down”
Some of this film’s foreign language titles have the film known in their respective regions as “Operation Skyfall”.
In April 2011 Sam Mendes and Barbara Broccoli travelled to South Africa for location scouting. Then in August 2011 during pre-production it was reported that shooting would take place in India, with scenes to be shot in the Sarojini Nagar district of New Delhi and on railway lines between Goa and Ahmedabad. However, production crew faced complications in securing permission to close sections of the Konkan Railway and by the time permission was eventually granted the production crew had elected not to shoot in India.
Apparently this movie was to be shot in six countries but due to budget cutbacks in January 2012 filming only took place in in five countries: England, Scotland, China, Turkey and Japan. In Japan, just a small amount of filming was done on Hashima Island. Glencoe in the Scottish Highlands replaced Duntrune Castle in Argyll, Scotland as the location for the climatic action scenes at the end, with some of it also being filmed at Surrey’s Hankley Common in England. Scenes planned to be originally shot in India or South Africa were instead filmed in Turkey.
Turkish producer Ali Akdeniz who has worked on both The World Is Not Enough (1999) and Skyfall says that the location Istanbul, Turkey was particularly chosen as a homage to the James Bond character’s connections with Istanbul, once known as “The City of Spies”.
Principal photography was scheduled to take up 133 days, although the actual filming took 128. On 7 November 2011 filming began in and around London, with the cinematographer Roger Deakins using Arri Alexa cameras to shoot the entire film.
This film has used filming locations in the UK, and specifically London, more than any other Bond film. Several different locations in the city of London were used as interiors and exteriors for the film, some of which would not normally be accessible for filming. London locations included Vauxhall Bridge; Millbank; The Old Vic Tunnels underneath Waterloo Station in London served as the MI6 training grounds; an underground car park on Great Suffolk Street; Trinity Square; the entrance to Broadgate Tower; The Virgin Active Pool in Canary Wharf; Cadogan Square, The National Portrait Gallery; Parliament Square; Tower Hill; the building roof of the Department for Energy & Climate Change (DECC); Smithfield car park in West Smithfield; the Smithfield Meat Market; St Bartholomew’s Hospital was used as the filming location for the scene in which Bond enters MI6’s underground headquarters; Charing Cross Underground Station was used for shooting the Temple and Westminster Underground stations seen in the movie; Greenwich’s Old Royal Naval College; Southwark; Whitehall; and London’s landmark Trafalgar Square.
This is the first Bond film to be shot entirely using digital cinematography and also the first film to use the Arri Alexa Studio camera, which cinematographer Roger Deakins selected because, unlike the other Alexa models, it has an optical viewfinder.
On March 2012 production moved to Turkey, with filming reported to be continuing until 6 May. The opening sequence shot in Adana and Istanbul in Turkey took around two months to film, three months of rehearsals, four months of preparation, 200 crew members from England and another 200 local crew in order to produce around 12-14 minutes of screen time.
The chase scene in the Bazar was shot in Eminonu Square, which is a busy business district in Istanbul containing the ancient Spice Bazar and Yeni Moaque, and had to be closed for 3 weeks in order to do this. The Turkish bazaar scene featured over 250 dressed market stalls created by the film’s art and props department and was populated by around 500 extras and background artists. As trading was off-limits during this period, the shop-keepers in the area were reimbursed 750 Turkish Liras per day to cover their losses.
The opening vehicle chase was originally written and intended for the earlier also Istanbul based Bond film The World Is Not Enough (1999), but was scrapped as the film’s story had become too expansive. This film’s car chase includes a fleet of twelve Land Rover Defenders and sixteen Audi A5’s which were all modified and reinforced in different ways to the requirements of the stunt and camera departments. Two of the Defenders had driving ‘Pods’ fitted to the roof of Naomie Harris’ 8 ft. above the ground car allowing her to concentrate on delivering dialogue while being driven by former ‘Stig’ Ben Collins at 50 mph (80 kph) through the packed streets of Istanbul. Multiple British rally car champion Mark Higgins was Harris’ driving stunt double for wide-angle shots of the Land Rover weaving through traffic. Other modifications to the vehicles for the stunt sequence included spread wheels to give greater stability, conversion from manual to automatic, modified engines to enhance engine power and the addition of interior roll cages for protection and safety.
For the motorbike chase scene in Turkey, Coca-Cola was sprayed on the tarmac of the streets in Istanbul to keep the bikes from sliding. It was also rumored that during the rooftop motorcycle chase scene the rooftops of the building used were allegedly damaged and one of the incidents even made it into the local news headlines when a stunt-rider rode off a roof and smashed the window of the renowned Bobeyi jewelry store. However, producer Michael G. Wilson held a press conference and confirmed that the roofing of the buildings used were removed and replaced with replicas for the stunt riding and that they remained there until filming wrapped and the original tiling was placed back.
A total of twenty Honda CRF250R motorbikes were used for the opening chase scene. The Honda motorbikes were modified especially for the stunt sequence by the special effects team of Chris Corbould. The ‘Police’ and ‘Street Merchant’ bikes seen were ridden by stunt-riders and due to the high speed of the chase, the stunt crew teams filming it also rode the bikes too in order to carry the cameras.
The opening train action sequence was originally planned to be shot on in the Sabarmati railway yard of the Konkan Railway in India. However, it was decided not to film there due to delays in getting permission and other many complex problems. South Africa was also considered to film this sequence but in the end filmmakers decide to film it in Turkey.
During principal photography, in Adana, three Turkish youths bypassed tight security to infiltrate the closed film set where they slipped under train cars and rendezvoused at the repair depot and put on off-duty worker’s helmets and overalls then went on to film the train scene footage from the film on their mobile phones. They were later caught by security and removed from set after being interrogated.
The climax of the opening chase sequence takes place at the Varda Bridge which is about an hour’s travel out of Adana in southern Turkey. The stone arch structure is also known by a number of other names including Alman Köprüsü (German Viaduct), Koca Köprüthe (Big Viaduct), the Varda Viaduct and the Giaour Dere Viaduct. Bond stunt double, Andy Lister, dived backwards off the bridge, which is a 300 foot drop for the scene. A crane was set up on a train carriage to hold a safety line.
Apparently there were 85 versions of Tom Ford’s tailor-made suit worn by Bond in the opening chase sequence. 30 were made for Daniel Craig and 30 for his double and stunt-double. Also each version of the suit was made specifically for a particular scene of the opening sequence. For example, when Craig was riding the motorbike, a suit with longer sleeves was worn so that it wouldn’t rise up over his forearms. Moreover, Craig’s tie had to be weighted for the motorbike chase scene so as to keep the tie from flying around during high speeds. Costume Designer Jany Temime has stated: “Each suit had three fittings, like a real traditional Saville Row suit. It was very high class tailoring. The first suit was mohair, very lightweight, woolen silk. The tuxedo is woolen silk. They were all made of beautiful fabric. He would be jumping and fighting, and then he would stand up, and the suit would be perfect.”
Skyfall is only the second Bond movie in which James Bond gets a gunshot wound, the other movie he gets shot in is Thunderball (1965).
Stunt-man and Bond stunt-double Andy Lister performed the opening sequence’s fall from the bridge into the river. Riggers were set up a crane on a train carriage to hold a safety line, Andy then reacted to the gun shot by limply diving backwards off the 300 foot (92 m) drop.
This is the first Bond movie to have two separate train action sequences, and the second Bond movie to have a roof-top fight sequence.
Apparently the locations department and the production team had to negotiate with 613 part owners of the exotic Calis Beach, which is a remote beach in Fethiye, a coastal town on the in the south of Turkey, in order to allow them to film sequences featuring Bond.
With the cooperation and assistance of the London Mayor’s Office and Transportation For London, the production was able to shut down both Vauxhall Bridge and Millbank for a scene where M witnesses a terrorist attack on MI6 headquarters. The explosion of the MI6 HQ was represented by a few fireworks on the day, but then an MI6 model miniature was later rebuilt at third scale on the back-lot at Pinewood Studios where the film’s special effects and miniature effects supervisor, Chris Corbould, used twenty-eight explosives to replicate the attack and then was added to the film digitally in post-production.
In Casino Royale (2006), M tells Bond that if he breaks into her home again, she will have him killed. In this movie, Bond does break into her home a second time, but M does not make good on her threat.
M’s house in the film is the former home of the legendary Bond composer John Barry. The filmmakers thought it would be a lovely tribute to the late composer who composed many of the James Bond film scores and defined the signature theme music in the series, his work being a core inspiration for the modern Bond music composed by David Arnold. John Barry passed away in 2011 and Thomas Newman’s score for this film has been said to pay tribute to Barry.
The porcelain bulldog on M’s desk (which she later gives to Bond) is draped in the Union Jack. These bulldog figurines were created by Royal Doulton during World War II to represent Patriotism. In Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011), Control (John Hurt), the head of MI6, has two Royal Doulton bulldogs sitting on his desk.
For the meeting between Q and Bond, production worked during the National Gallery’s closing hours at night.
The Walther PPK/S 9mm short firearm that Q gives Bond to use in this movie is considered to be the most popular known gun used by Bond as it’s the one he used the most. The gun used in this movie uses hand recognition coded to Bond’s palm prints, this was also the same weapon that was used by Timothy Dalton’s Bond in License to Kill (1989).
Mendes confirmed that China would be featured in the film, with shooting scheduled to take place in Shanghai and “other parts” of the country. Screenwriter John Logan described that production deliberately sought out locations that were “in opposition” to London with an exotic quality that made them “places for Bond to be uncomfortable”. Second Unit Director Alexander Witt traveled with his second unit team to Shanghai in China to shoot establishing shots and driving sequences. The crew worked nights in the busy week leading up to the Chinese New Year to capture the metropolis. An aerial unit piloted by Marc Wolff was granted rare access to the skies above the city to shoot from a helicopter on loan from the Chinese Government. Production Designer Dennis Gassner and the art department then worked to create the rest of the Chinese environment on sound-stages at Pinewood Studios.
Many scenes were not filmed on location in Shanghai, such as the Virgin Active Pool in London’s Canary Wharf acted as Bond’s hotel pool in Shanghai, and the entrance to London’s fourth tallest building, Broadgate Tower, was also lit up to look like an office building there. The interior of the Golden Dragon Casino where Bond met Severine was constructed on a sound stage at Pinewood. Additional scenes were filmed at Ascot Racecourse, standing in for Shanghai Pudong International Airport.
The scene where Bond is tracking the assassin, Patrice, in the Shanghai office skyscraper, the glass set used in this scene was nicknamed “The Jellyfish” and was built at Pinewood Studios. It was likened to being like “a hall of mirrors”, cinematographer Roger Deakins stated; “Because it was all glass, the crew walking through it kept bashing into things.” For filming, Deakins lit the set with two gigantic LED (Light Emitting Diode) panels which were used to represent electronic billboards exterior to the skyscraper’s office’s windows. The production had originally location scouted for a Chinese skyscraper but this proved unsuccessful, and in the end the substitute set was better as it was multi-dimensionally made of glass.
Filming at Pinewood Studios utilized thirty-one different sets on eight different sound stages including the gigantic 007 Stage. Major sets included the Golden Dragon Casino on D Stage and the Paddock Lot, the exterior of the Dead City Island on the North Lot and the interior of MI6’s underground bunker headquarters on the 007 Stage, the latter taking 9 weeks and 250 crew to build the set. The Paddock Tank (aka the Exterior Tank) doubled as the exterior of the Shanghai Golden Dragon Casino. The set was lit by three-hundred floating lanterns and two thirty-foot high dragon heads. Twelve artisans were flown in from China to create the authentic structures. They were made from wound steel cables, silk fabric and lit from within by 400 light bulbs.
During the martini scene at the bar in the Golden Dragon Casino, the famous Bond drink catchphrase “Shaken, not stirred” isn’t actually spoken, but the martini is explicitly concocted on screen and the bartender is shown shaking the martini before pouring it. Also this is the first Bond film where Bond is seen drinking beer, specifically Heineken, who contributed a large amount of money for product placements.
The type of lizards seen in the pit at the Golden Dragon floating casino are Komodo Dragons or Komodo Monitors, their species genus is “Varanus komodoensis”, being part of the Varanidae monitor lizard species family. They are the both the largest species of reptilian dragons located in the Indonesian Islands and also the largest living species of lizard in the world, they can grow to a length of 10 ft. (3 m) and weigh up to around 150 lb. (70 kg). The name of the casino where the dragons are seen, “The Golden Dragon Casino”, references the lizards which are housed in it. Track 13 of Thomas Newman’s soundtrack is called Komodo Dragon.
Set reports dated April 2012 recorded that the scene involving Silva’s lair in the movie would be set on Hashima Island, an abandoned island off the coast of Nagasaki, Japan. In actuality, the scene was set on an unnamed island off the coast of Macau, though based on the real-life Hashima. Sam Mendes explained that the location was a hybrid of a set and computer-generated images. Production chose to include the Hashima model after Daniel Craig met with Swedish film-maker Thomas Nordanstad whilst shooting The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011) in Stockholm. Nordanstad, who produced a short documentary on Hashima Island in 2002 entitled Hashima, recalled Craig taking extensive notes on the island at the time of the meeting, but was unaware of his interest in it until Skyfall was released.
The computer main-frame room in which Silva gives his introductory speech was specially constructed so that it would be the right length for a one take shot in which Javier Bardem leisurely walks and ends up right at Bond when at the end of the speech. The other significant room that Silva is seen in during the film is a plexiglass enclosure which was nicknamed by Javier Bardem as a “Crystal Cage”.
The name of the song heard playing on Silva’s island lair is “Boum!” and is sung by the famous French singer/songwriter Charles Trenet. The song won the Grand Prix du Disque and was first released in 1938.
The bottle of alcohol that Silva offers Bond on his island says “1962” on its label, referencing the franchise’s 50th anniversary.
“Station H” as mentioned in the film refers to MI6’s Hong Kong office.
The London underground tube train crash that occurs when Bond chases Silva was filmed at Pinewood Studio’s large 007 Stage which has been the filming home to most of the large Bond set pieces of the past. The crash was filmed on “The Catacombs Set”, where the crew built two full size fabricated replica Tube train carriages, each weighing around 5-7 tons, the real ones weigh around 25-30 tons. The Tube carriages were raised onto a track about 20 feet above the base of the set. Near the ceiling of the set, broken Tube tracks curved downwards with a monorail supporting the carriages from above. The trains were then accelerated on the elevated track guided by the monorail as they veer off the tracks and crash through the catacombs ceiling which was composed of breakaway elements. When the train crashed, it dismantled the majority of the 007 Stage. Digital visual effects were later added in post-production to supplement the practical special effects. It was too dangerous to allow people to stay on the sound stage during the filming of the crash, so eleven remotely-operated cameras were placed around the 007 Stage to cover the crash from various angles.
For the exterior scenes shot in Whitehall, London, during the chase between Bond and Silva, there were 100 background vehicles, 300 film crew, 750 extras, and massive multiple government agency bureaucracy co-operation. Permissions, negotiations and authorizations for this chase sequence were permitted from the Westminster City Council, Transport For London (TFL) and TFL Buses, the Met and CHX Police, The London Underground, Network Rail, Herts Traffic Management Systems, the Ministry of Defence (MOD), The Royal Parks, and The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
The quotation that M recites is from Alfred Lord Tennyson’s poem “Ulysses”, e.g. “To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield”. First published in 1842, its recitation in the film’s 2012 release occurs on the poem’s 170th Anniversary.
Vehicles featured in the film include a Range Rover Vogue SE; a 3.0 L V6 Diesel Jaguar XJ L; a Range Rover Evoque; black 2007 Audi A5 B8 cars; a Mercedes; a Stornoway metallic grey Land Rover Defender 110 wheelbase double cab ute; a 320D L Cat Hydraulic Excavator; 1998 Volkswagen Typ 1C New VW Beetles; an Agusta Westland Merlin AW101 helicopter; various Honda CRF 250R motor-bikes and the classic James bond car, the silver birch Aston Martin DB5.
This film marks the return of Bond’s classic silver-birch Aston Martin DB5 car, which first appeared in Goldfinger (1964) and last appeared in Casino Royale (2006). The license plate number of the DB5 in this movie, BMT 216A, is the same one that was used Goldfinger (1964) and Thunderball (1965). Also the garage that was used to keep the car in this movie resembled the one shown in Goldfinger (1964).
The famous DB series of Aston Martin cars is named after Sir David Brown. Brown was an entrepreneur, adventurer, and chairman of Aston Martin from the late 1940s to the 1970s.
The Scottish Dalness Estate once belonged to the Fleming family and author Ian Fleming loved the Scottish region so much that he gave James Bond a Scottish genealogical lineage, the character’s father Andrew coming from Glencoe where Skyfall filmed alongside the Buachaille Etive Mor mountain.
There is an implication in this movie that Bond’s ancestors were Recusant Catholics. When Kincade shows M the secret escape passage in the chapel at the Bond ancestral estate, he explains that it was originally a hiding place for priests, which strongly refers to the very long period in British history during which Catholicism was illegal, and the families who continued to practice Catholicism, shelter priests, and refuse the authority of the official church (Church of Scotland in this case) were referred to as “Recusants”. One such prominent, real-life Recusant family from Dorset, the descendants of whom Ian Fleming had known as a schoolboy, were named “Bond.” Their Latin family motto was “Non sufficit orbis,” which translates to “Not even the world is enough” or, more colloquially, “The World is Not Enough,” a line from Ian Fleming’s novel On Her Majesty’s Secret Service and the title of 1999’s Bond movie. One member of this family, John Bond, was reportedly a spy for Sir Francis Drake during Elizabethan times (despite his family’s Catholicism).
Bond’s Scottish family history was created by Ian Fleming in his penultimate 11th Bond novel “You Only Live Twice”, first published in 1964. Fleming was inspired to add the back-story of Bond’s genealogy into the book after seeing the character played by Sean Connery in Dr. No (1962). The meaning and relevance of the film’s title is that it refers to ‘Skyfall Lodge’ (aka ‘Skyfall Glencoe’ or ‘Skyfall House’), the name of James Bond’s Scottish childhood ancestral home. In the Bond books, Fleming gave Bond a real life lineage to the Bonds of Peckham. Skyfall is the second time in the official Bond film series that Bond discusses the death of his parents, the first time was in GoldenEye (1995). The clan of Bond names created by the production team for the plaques and headstones at the chapel and graveyard are; Andrew Bond, Robert Bond, Monique Delacroix Bond, Celia Bond, Kathleen Bond, Elsa/Elsie Louise Bond, Ramsay William Bond, and Margaret Jean Davidson Bond.
Shooting of the finale was planned to take place at Duntrune Castle in Argyll, but was cancelled shortly after filming began. Glencoe was instead chosen for filming of these scenes. Skyfall Lodge is not an actual real-life building but a purpose-built exterior set construction made of just plywood and plaster stone. The custom-built artificial house in the film’s story is a countryside residence, its setting is in Glencoe, Scotland but the filming location for it was actually Hankley Common in south-west Surrey.
This first Bond movie where a character is audibly heard saying the F word. Although, in The Living Daylights (1987), Bond clearly says “For f***’s sake!”, it cannot be heard due to plane engine noise.
The helicopter seen in ending climax of the movie is an AgustaWestland Merlin AW101 helicopter.
Skyfall has been said to use around 500 CGI shots, the most since Die Another Day (2002). A large amount of the visual effects in the film were created by around 850 staff of Technicolor owned post-production house The Moving Picture Company (MPC), 250 in Bangalore and 600 in London. Animators, graphic artists, visual FX technicians and other VFX professionals worked for eight months creating literally thousands of frames, computer animations, graphic insertions and high-end visual effects integrating all the digital content for the movie.
The explosion sequence in the film’s climax was shot over two consecutive nights. Ironically, prior to the big bang, Javier Bardem was banned from smoking at the on-set location because of the fire-risk of the dry grass in the field where the set was located.
This is first Bond movie where M (or any top-ranking MI6 official) dies on-screen. And also the first Bond film in which the villain is successful in completing his primary objective (death of M).
The Department of Energy and Climate Change was used in the scene when Bond stood on the roof near the end of the film.
Weaponry used in this film included an Anderson Wheeler double-barreled chambered 500 NE (Nitro Express) hunting rifle belonging to Bond’s father; Silva’s reproduction Percussion Cap Ardesa 1871 Duelling Pistol; Kincade’s Colt Model 1878 shotgun; two Steyr M9-A1 pistols; various Heckler & Koch HK416 assault rifles belonging to Silva’s men; Heckler & Koch G36C rifles with G36V carry handles used by the Metropolitan Police Service’s CO19 officers; M4-style carbine assault rifles used by Mi6 security officers; Eve’s Olympic Arms K23B rifle; various standard Glock 17 pistols; a 100 round drum mag semi-automatic Glock 18 machine pistol-class pistol used by Patrice who also has a sniper rifle and a hand recognition Walther PPK/S 9mm short firearm with a palm-sensitive hammer coded to Bond’s palm prints. For the weapons training, the cast went through 200,000 rounds of ammunition.
Director Sam Mendes has commented that this film was influenced by The Dark Knight Batman film series directed by Christopher Nolan. Mendes has stated: “In terms of what Nolan achieved, specifically The Dark Knight, the second movie, what it achieved, which is something exceptional. It was a game changer for everybody…What Nolan proved was that you can make a huge movie that is thrilling and entertaining and has a lot to say about the world we live in, even if, in the case with The Dark Knight, it’s not even set in our world. That did help give me the confidence to take this movie in directions that, without The Dark Knight, might not have been possible.” One shot in the movie where Bond is standing on-top of a building looking-out over London with a flag of England evoke Batman perched on roof-tops looking-out over Gotham City. Christopher Nolan has also often stated that the James Bond movies had influenced his “Dark Knight” trilogy.
This is the third Daniel Craig Bond movie in which he has not appeared in a traditional series gun-barrel sequence shown at the start of the film. According to Sam Mendes they did try to put the gun-barrel sequence before the pre-titles sequence but that didn’t work out artistically. So instead it was put at the end of the film so as to be able mark the Golden Anniversary of the franchise with Bond’s 50th Anniversary logo. Also Craig is the first actor to have three different gun-barrel sequences, with Bond wearing different suits and having different stances as he shoots.
About ten minutes of footage were cut out of the film due to the film’s extensively long running time. The scenes that were cut included MI6 agents after the MI6 HQ explosion; a funeral procession for MI6 agents; Severine at Shanghai International Airport; scenes involving Severine’s activities; an M and Mallory scene; early scenes with M’s Assistant Vanessa; and Bond running through Regent’s Park.
The traditional end-of-movie James Bond official series “James Bond Will Return” is included during the film’s closing credits.
The film was later converted into the IMAX format for projection in IMAX cinemas, however, cinematographer Roger Deakins was unaware that the film was to be released on IMAX until after he had made the decision to shoot the film with the Arri Alexa cameras, and was unhappy with the IMAX tests made from his footage. After exploring the IMAX system further and discovering that the IMAX Corporation was using their proprietary re-mastering process, Deakins had further tests made without the process and found that in fact “the images looked spectacular on the big IMAX screen”.
Skyfall world premiered within a couple of weeks of the 50th anniversary of the launch of Dr. No on 10 May 1962. Also a new Bond documentary ‘Everything or Nothing: The Untold Story of 007’ was made to be released for the Golden Anniversary of the franchise.
The four-year gap between the release of Skyfall (2012) and Quantum of Solace (2008) is the second longest period between a Bond movie being released and also the longest time between movies without a casting change for Bond. The longest period between the release of Bond movies was between Licence to Kill (1989) and GoldenEye (1995), and then between Die Another Day (2002) and Casino Royale (2006), and in both cases there were casting changes to the actor playing Bond.
In October 2012 British singer-songwriter Adele confirmed that she had written and recorded the film’s theme song with her regular songwriter, Paul Epworth. It’s the first Bond Song to share the same name as the film’s title since Madonna’s Die Another Day a decade earlier. The song was recorded at London’s Abbey Road Studios with a full orchestra. A 90 second version of the song was leaked online not long after Adele officially announced on Twitter that she was the artist singing the film’s title song. The song is also the first ever James Bond theme to debut in the Top 10 on the US Billboard Hot 100 Chart, entering at No. #8, it’s also the 7th Bond song to reach the US Top 10 and the 13th to reach the US Top 100.
Adele’s Skyfall is the first Billboard Top 10 hit to win the Academy Award for Best Original Song since Eminem’s ‘Lose Yourself’ from 8 Mile (2002), ten years earlier.
The movie’s soundtrack is composed by Thomas Newman who worked with Sam Mendes as composer for American Beauty (1999), Road to Perdition (2002), Jarhead (2005) and Revolutionary Road (2008). Newman replaced David Arnold as composer and when asked about the circumstances surrounding his departure from the role, David Arnold commented that Newman had been selected by Mendes because of their work together, rather than because of Arnold’s commitment to working with director Danny Boyle as composer for the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics.
The Soundtrack features 30 tracks making it the most ever for a James Bond film score. The previous record holder in the official series had been Casino Royale (2006) with 25 tracks and next in line is Quantum of Solace (2008) with 24 tracks. Although all of the film’s score was composed by Thomas Newman, it contains interpolations of Monty Norman’s original “James Bond Theme”, and the only score that wasn’t composed by Newman was the “Komodo Dragon” track which is an instrumental interpolation of the film’s “Skyfall” theme song. Also the album does not featured title song sung by Adele, this is the second time that a title song hasn’t been included in a Bond soundtrack, the first time was Chris Cornell’s title song “You Know My Name” not appearing on the Casino Royale (2006) soundtrack.
This movie is title designer Daniel Kleinman’s sixth collaboration as title designer in the Bond series. Kleinman has done the opening titles and gun-barrel sequences from GoldenEye (1995) to Casino Royale (2006), but not Quantum of Solace (2008), where US special effects company MK12 was used.
This is the second longest Bond movie of all time with Casino Royale (2006) being the longest and On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969) taking the third longest running time slot.
In order to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Bond film series and as a promotional tie-in for this movie, Skyfall production created “Global James Bond Day” on the 5th October 2012. This day featured worldwide events, including global online and live charity auction event organized by Christie’s in London, a global survey to discover the favorite Bond film country by country, a film retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, a Music of Bond night in Los Angeles hosted by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and in Toronto Designing 007: 50 Years of James Bond Style.
The Royal World Premiere was held on Tuesday 23rd October 2012 at Royal Albert Hall in the presence of His Royal Highness Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall (Camilla Parker-Bowles). At the request of HRH Prince Charles, the Gala Charity Premiere Benefit aided the support of former and current serving members of Britain’s three intelligence agencies, GCHQ, the Security Service, and the Secret Intelligence Service. Also in attendance were director Sam Mendes, and actors Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem, Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, Berenice Marlohe, Albert Finney, Ben Whishaw and Judi Dench. The gala premiere raised UK £300,000+ in aid of the Prince’s chosen charities.
The London ‘Mirror’ newspaper reported that about £29 million or about a third of the film’s budget was raised from commercial deals. The following are some of the product placements and promotional tie-ins for Skyfall:
- Heineken Lager
- Coca Cola’s Coke Zero
- Bollinger Champagne
- Visit Britain Tourism’s ‘Live Like Bond’ campaign
- “The James Bond Archives” and “SKYFALL: Bond On Set” books
- Procter & Gamble fragrance
- Virgin Atlantic
- ‘Literary Review’ magazine
- Tom Ford clothing
- Cartamundi playing cards
- Omega Watches including a 50th Anniversary Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M “SKYFALL” Limited Edition watch
- Swarovski Jewelry
- Corgi die-cast James Bond Skyfall toy Aston Martin DB5 cars
- The London 2012 Olympics
- Honda Motorcycles
- Hornby Scalextric car sets
- Jaguar & Land Rover vehicles
- Activision’s 007 Legends video-game
- RT Marketing James Bond 007 merchandising
- Sky TV’s Sky Movies 007 HD Bond channel
- Sony Electronics products including Bravia TVs
- Vaio laptops and computers
- Xperia tablets & smart-phones
- The Sony Xperia TL phone and Heineken beer being two of the products making brand-cameos in the film
The product placement and promotional tie-in for Heineken Lager Beer caused a controversy in the media prior to release, the main criticism being the lack of integrity and blatant commercialization with Daniel Craig actually appearing in a Heineken ad and being disrespectful to Bond’s traditional drink, the shaken and stirred martini. Producer Michael G. Wilson and Daniel Craig both defended the money earned for this product placement by indicating that the Bond movies cost a lot of money to make and this particular film could not be completed without the finance provided and many of the products are based around supply of the products with technical support and Bond is still seen in this movie drinking Vodka Martini.
Reportedly online retailers of cut-throat razors had sales increases of 50% to 400% due to the exposure generated by this film.
This is the most successful ever James Bond movie at the international box-office and also had the biggest ever opening weekend at the box-office for a Bond film in Britain.
A number of new books on James Bond were released a few weeks before Skyfall was first released and around the time that the franchise celebrated its 50th Golden Anniversary on 5th October 2012. The books include:
This is director Sam Mendes’s first film not to be rated R.
This is the first Bond movie to get Oscar nominated in three decades. The last time was around 31 years ago when For Your Eyes Only (1981) was nominated for Best Song. Skyfall is also the first Bond movie to receive 5 Academy Award nominations, which were for Best Song, Score, Sound Mixing, Sound Effects Editing and Cinematography. This movie is also the first Bond movie to win two Oscars; a tied Oscar for Sound Editing and an Oscar for Best Song.
Take a look at the featurette here:
Interview with director Sam Mendes:
Interview with Daniel Craig:
Interview with Judi Dench:
Interview with Javier Bardem:
Interview with Ralph Fiennes:
Still want more trivia? Then visit the official movie website.
Total Trivia Entries: 103
You May Also Like: