As the mammoth, six-month production moves into its final few weeks, the producers of Skyfall decided it was time for some show and (to a much lesser extent) tell. For the past two days, the doors of Pinewood have been opened (well, moved slightly ajar) to the world’s press.
We toured sets — including a weirdly convincing fibreglass tube train, a partially flooded subterranean tunnel and a platform of Temple Station, all constructed on the gargantuan 007 Stage — then were also treated to a small but impressive explosion, during a scene in which Bond (Daniel Craig) desperately pursues this movie’s big bad, Silva (Javier Bardem).
The sense was of a movie as tough and gritty as you’d expect of the Craig-era Bonds, but also shot (digitally) with a pin-sharp elegance rarely before seen, by director Sam Mendes, and his celebrated cinematographer.
“Visually we’re in very safe hands because Roger Deakins is shooting this movie, which is just phenomenal,” said Daniel Craig this morning. “It has a classic feel to it. I won’t lie to you: we’ve tried to sort of bring some of the feelings of older Bond movies into this film — but this is a modern movie.”
Craig, like everyone we talk to, is unable to give much away. Indeed any requests for plot details are universally (but very politely) stonewalled. When asked, for example, how Bond has changed since Quantum Of Solace, Craig laughs and says, “Well, I’m a bit older”.
But it’s a particular treat to finally meet Bond 23’s villain, Javier Bardem, who speaks of the joy of working in the 007 genre. “It’s great ground on which to play a character like this,” he says. “And you have a frame. There are certain rules in Bond movies, no? It is very challenging to be part of the frame of the James Bond movie, and also being able to bring your own thing to it.”
But can he at least confirm one thing: Is the mysterious Silva Spanish, like Bardem himself?
“He is kind of from over there, yeah,” Bardem smiles. “He is not from Oklahoma, I can tell you!”
Skyfall is out in the UK on October 26. Watch the latest video blogs on our Skyfall page.