Skyfall Trivia

(Total Trivia Entries: 103)

“Sometimes the old ways are the best.”

This is the first Bond movie to be directed by an Academy Award winning director. To find out more trivia keep on reading.

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 and 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.




Total Trivia Entries: 103



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