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James Bond 23 Is Skyfall
Javier Bardem will be the villain

03 November 2011  |  Written by Phil de Semlyen  

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Skyfall, the title for James Bond 23, has been formally announced at a West End press conference disappointingly free of armed goons or men stroking cats. The news – widely speculated about online since domain names bearing permutations of the title were purchased by MGM and Sony Pictures – is hardly a big surprise. If you're holding a betting slip with 'Quantum Of Solace 2: Quantums Will Be Solaced' rip it up now, then come and work for Empire.

Entering to Monty Norman’s iconic Bond Theme, producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson were joined by director Sam Mendes who introduced most of his major cast. Judi Dench, French newcomer (and newest Bond girl) Bérénice Marlohe, Naomie Harris, and, of course, Daniel Craig. Perhaps the biggest surprise was the appearance of Javier Bardem, described by Mendes as “the villain of the piece”.

So what can we tell you about the new Bond ladies? At this point, not too much. The glamorous Marlohe enigmatically revealed that she’ll play “a glamorous, enigmatic character”, and Harris dismissed those Moneypenny rumours by announcing that she’ll play “a field agent called Eve”.

The venue of the press call - London's Corinthia Hotel - a one-time Ministry of Defence property wasn’t just a fittingly espionage-y setting for the announcement but a location for the shoot. Mendes explained that part of the film will be shot in Whitehall, as well as taking 007 to China – Shanghai and elsewhere – Istanbul and “remote” parts of Scotland.

Mendes explained that other commitments (and a lack of chairs) meant that absentees included Ben Whishsaw (“playing a part I can tell you nothing about in a scenes I can tell you nothing about”), Ralph Fiennes (ditto) and Albert Finney (ditto).

And what of the plot? According to the press release: "Bond's loyalty to M is tested to the full as her past comes back to haunt her. As MI6 comes under attack, 007 must track down and destroy the threat, no matter how personal the cost."

Skyfall doesn’t relate to any other Fleming or Bond property to date, and there’s no whiff of the mysterious Quantum and its devious schemes. “It’s its own story,” stressed Mendes. “It doesn’t connect with the other films. Neal Purvis, Robert Wade and John Logan have written a fantastic script and I think it has all the ingredients to be a fantastic Bond movie, including – to quash any rumours – lots of action.”

What about gadgets? “I can’t give much away,” said Mendes, “except that there’ll be lots of surprises”. Jam trousers, here we go.

Principal photography starts on Monday. Skyfall will land on our screens on October 26, 2012. 

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Your Comments

might be a good last outing for craig
whilst my fingers are crossed this is craigs last and we get back to a more "lighter" bond with gadgets, gizmos and just more plane fun like in the good old days, I love bond films in general and this is shaping up to be a great end to the craig (ooh isnt it cool and gritty like bourne) trilogy. More

Posted by mclane1 at 18:10 on 09 November 2011 | Report This Post

RE: Frustrating
L: Lang They spend 2 films setting up a go in another direction...i wanted to see the fall of Quantum! Ya I to would like to see that, could have something to do with the fact that Quantum of Solace is not that well liked. I quite enjoy it myself. More

Posted by NCC1701A at 11:00 on 05 November 2011 | Report This Post

Glad to have my prediction validated. Naomie Harris wil NOT be playing Moneypenny, a pointless role IMO. Why an actress of her calibre would waste her time for a one minute screen appearance was always beyond me... More

Posted by jazzyjules63 at 23:32 on 03 November 2011 | Report This Post

Sounds good
I actually think that this will be the best of the Craig Bonds so far, I don't know why but I think that making it a stand alone story and now that Craig has settled into the role, will make this more enjoyable than the first two. I also think Bardem is sound casting too. I must admit I wasn't a huge Craig fan but I'm looking forward to this. I wonder if this will be his last outing as 007? More

Posted by archie119 at 21:47 on 03 November 2011 | Report This Post

RE: Spelling
I not crazy about the title, but anything that is more Casino than Quantum is fine by me. The premise makes me think Judy Dench may end up six feet under this time(it is her final outing apparently). And the secrecy surrounding Fiennes and Finney's parts makes me think one of them could succeed as M before the credits roll. Don't bet against it... More

Posted by film man aidy at 16:38 on 03 November 2011 | Report This Post

I notice someone's already picked you up on M16, but also: "At this point, not to much." Tsk tsk Empire. In more seriousness, it's a shame they're ditching Quantum, but otherwise sounds exciting. More

Posted by badblokebob at 16:19 on 03 November 2011 | Report This Post

And a great time will be had by all!!!!
What can I say, great director, fantastic cast so far...count me in. Oh, and Craig is absolutely brilliant as Bond! So glad they've really ramped this up after all that limbo caused by MGM's woes...Fantastic news to say the least. More

Posted by ronniem at 14:52 on 03 November 2011 | Report This Post

The M16...I didn't realise it was going to be shot on a motorway More

Posted by hdjones at 14:32 on 03 November 2011 | Report This Post

Quantum won't be fully dispensed with
Don't forget Spectre moved in and out of the early Bond films when the filmmakers wanted to tell a different story. Same thing here. I personally can't wait for the new Bond movie. Casino Royale (particularly on blu-ray) is a stunning Bond / action film and Quantum of Solace is a worthy follow up (don't really understand why so many people didn't like it). Also, Casino Royale and Quantum are essentially two parts of one film, a first in the Bond pantheon, so its always been the case that the thi More

Posted by MusicLovesYou at 14:04 on 03 November 2011 | Report This Post

What the f$%& is wrong with these people?
After all the wait, all the hype, they pick the most generic, boring title they could think of. Casin0 R0yale 7. Quantum 0f S0lace 7. I was really hoping they'd go for something along the same lines, to hold the new franchise together. But no. More

Posted by HornetPrime at 13:59 on 03 November 2011 | Report This Post

So is this going to be film penned by the storywriters behind eastenders? We have spent the last two movies getting to know the underground gang of quantum, only for it to disappear without a trace? And the rumoured return to the gadgets of yester-bond? Oh, this is not going to end well..... More

Posted by shitneck at 13:50 on 03 November 2011 | Report This Post

M16 I think it's called MI6 I didn't know that the secret service was on the M16 wherever that road is in the aside from my pedantic correctness....I AM SO PSYCHED for this :D that cast is better than the first two films with Craig as Bond..Bardem, Albert Finney & Ralph bleeding Fiennes hellooo Voldy joins the team.... More

Posted by megank13 at 12:53 on 03 November 2011 | Report This Post

They spend 2 films setting up a go in another direction...i wanted to see the fall of Quantum! More

Posted by Lang at 12:50 on 03 November 2011 | Report This Post

Very excited for this; great cast, great director, and, you know, it's a Bond movie! I also think the title's fine, despite what a lot of people are saying. More

Posted by Whistler at 12:30 on 03 November 2011 | Report This Post

Hmm, I can't say I'm excited about the title name but I'm far more concerned about the story. Interesting group of actors lined up too. I'll be waiting for more information with baited breath, in the meantime I'll try not to fall off cloud (double 'O') seven... More

Posted by Emyr Thy King at 12:16 on 03 November 2011 | Report This Post

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