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FAQ for
Skyfall (2012) More at IMDbPro »

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FAQ Contents

A Note Regarding Spoilers

The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags have been used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.

For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for Skyfall can be found here.

What is 'Skyfall' about?

When a computer drive containing a list of every undercover NATO agent embedded in terrorist organizations around the globe is stolen and M's (Judi Dench) authority within and outside of MI-6 is challenged by Chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee Gareth Mallory (Ralph Fiennes), 007 agent James Bond (Daniel Craig) is charged with locating the list. His investigation leads him to a man within 'the shadow'...ex-MI-6 agent Raoul Silva (Javier Bardem), whose intent is to kill M for betraying him.

In the film, Skyfall is the name of the Bond family estate located in Scotland. The title is not that of a Fleming work and the story does not appear to be taken from any of Fleming's books. The screenplay for Skyfall was written by English screenwriters Neal Purvis and Robert Wade (veterans of previous Bond films), joined by American screenwriter John Logan. Fleming gets credit only for creation of the characters.

Who are the Bond girls?

Fellow MI-6 agent Eve (Naomie Harris) accompanies Bond on his mission and Svrine (Bérénice Marlohe) is an unwilling member of Silva's organization.

In the precredits scenario, Bond is in Instanbul, Turkey where he first discovers that the hard-drive of an assassinated MI-6 agent is missing. After several months of R&R on some tropical island, he returns to London and is subsequently sent to Shanghai to find and terminate the assassin who stole the hard-drive. Following a tip, Bond heads down the Chinese coast to a gambling casino in Macau, where he meets Svrine and is invited on her boat, the Chimera. After a run-in with Svrine's boss Silva, Bond returns to London. To protect M, Bond takes her to his family estate in rural Scotland. At the end of the movie, Bond winds up back in London.

No, this will be a stand alone film. Daniel Craig has stated "We've finished this story as far as I'm concerned. We've got a great set of bad guys. There is an organization that we can use whenever we want to. The relationship between Bond and M is secure and Felix is secure." He then added on where he would like to see the film series moving on, stating, "Let's try and find where Moneypenny came from and where Q comes from. Let's do all that and have some fun with it." [Source]

Who sings the title song?

'Skyfall' is performed by British singer/songwriter Adele (Adkins).

No, the traditional gun barrel appears at the end of the film - followed by the classic line "James Bond will return". In the DVD and blu-ray DVD edition commentary track, director Sam Mendes says that putting the gun barrel at the end was a deliberate decision since the opening shot of Bond approaching the room where he finds Agent Ronson evokes the imagery of the gun barrel from the series.

It's VERY unlikely. Considering that he's sustained two injuries from gunfire and how far he falls and the way he lands on the water -- his back hits the water flat -- he'd have died from massive internal injuries. Hitting the surface of water is only slightly less forceful than hitting solid ground. Water is a fluid but still very dense. The bridge used in the scene is called the Varda Viaduct. The height from the top of the span to the river below is 322 feet or 98.15 meters, with a few extra feet/meters for the height of the train car he fell from. A fall like that would kill any normal human being BUT this is James Bond, and one of the gimmicks of the character has always been his invincibility and his ability to survive deadly situations.

If a viewer is unaware that 'Skyfall' is the name of the Bond family estate in Scotland, they will probably assume that Bond ended the session because he was tired of the test. Once they learn about the Skyfall estate, they most often conclude that the feeling he had for the place was still strong and that he didn't want to be reminded of it.

It means he was in the Special Air Service (SAS) the famous British special forces unit whose headquarters is in the town of Hereford on the Welsh/English border.

Yes. Silva's goal was to confront M face-to-face and then to kill her personally. The opening attack on MI6 was intended to force security protocols, driving the operations underground into the WW2 cabinet bunkers and war tunnels. It is clear that Silva intended to be captured and held, as the laptop they seized from him was programmed with maps of London's subterranean tunnel systems, and was set to open all the doors when Q attached it to the MI6 network in order to decrypt it. In the scene where Silva is introduced, he brags about being a better agent than Bond, and speaks of his ability to "choose his own secret missions". Then, when leaving London to drive to Scotland, Bond concedes to M that Silva has been a step ahead the whole time. It is clear that his capture was part of his master plan.

The front of the train reads "Not in service" indicating that the train is inactive at the time. Silva was using the train to cover his escape from the chamber; he probably didn't intend for the train to kill Bond, it was probably meant to stay lodged in the chamber to thwart anyone who came after him. However, Bond was a bit faster in catching up to Silva, so he witnessed Silva setting off the explosion. If Bond had been crushed by the train, it would've been a bonus in his plan.

Granborough Road is a fictitious name, but Bond goes on to describe it as "a station on the Metropolitan Line that closed down years ago", which would match a number of abandoned stations on the London Underground train network. The station that matches this description most closely would be Marlborough Road, which was on the Metropolitan Line between Baker Street and Finchley Road. It was closed in 1939 and was replaced by a new station named St John's Wood which is on the deeper level tube line now known as the Jubilee Line (formerly this section of line was part of the Bakerloo Line). Daniel Craig has a house a few miles from this station, in Primrose Hill. The real name "Marlborough" would probably be associated with tobacco products for most audiences, and although it might still stand out from the other random letter combinations on the screen there wouldn't be an obvious connection with the London Underground.

M and Bond know that Silva only wants M and that while in London she is more vulnerable. More importantly, though, there is likely to be more destruction among the public and more civilians will be killed as a byproduct of that destruction as well as reputations ruined at MI6 -- or further ruined, given the story up to that point. M and Bond come up with the plan to make Silva chase them to a remote area to avoid anyone else being involved or hurt in what was essentially a personal confrontation between M and Silva. M and Bond's ultimate goal is to settle things with Silva regardless of outcome with as little notice or damage to anyone outside the conflict as possible. The Skyfall lodge provided a remote, uninhabited area for a final showdown as well as a place that Bond was familiar with which would give him the upper hand against Silva and his men. Plus, the lodge is in the middle of a very large, flat, open plain, making it easier to see anyone approaching. Another reason that they do not bring any backup from MI6 is simply that MI6 would never endorse or agree to their plan which is why they go rogue. M is already being investigated by the British government for failed missions, and the likelihood of their getting approval for MI6 assistance in a new mission to stop Silva is impossible. This is also why Q and Mallory indicate reluctance to help them even from afar as their careers would be jeopardized if their role in the plan were discovered. The lack of weapons is explained when Bond asks Kincade where all the guns that used to be at the house are after he finds the empty gun cases where Bond's father's gun collection used to be. Kincade reveals that upon the false news of Bond's death, nearly all of the guns were sold off to other collectors. Bond had been counting on there being more weapons at the house as he could not get any from MI6 as he was operating against their wishes. M even states, after she and Bond begin to drive away from the courthouse, that too many people have suffered because of Silva's vendetta, indicating she just wants it to be over by any means necessary and at as little expense as possible. From a production standpoint, the producers and writers probably wanted to see Bond return to a survival situation where he'd have to rely on his training, intelligence and ability to out-strategize his enemy instead of relying on fancy guns and gadgets. The only "gadget" he uses in the final battle are the machine guns housed in the Aston-Martin, and, even then, it required strategy to use them along with all the improvised weapons the three came up with. In the end the strategy works, though it happens at a great cost.

There is a scene as Bond and M are driving away from the city where Bond calls Q and asks him to leave a sort of digital trail of crumbs for Silva to find, so he will know to look for them there. Mallory catches Q doing it and approves despite the fact that it runs contrary to standard MI6 operating procedure.

No. He fires the flare to so that he can see the hole in the ice to escape. Being thick enough to hold a person's weight, it would be virtually impossible to break through by hand from beneath. The hole is there, though somewhat hard to spot. The trick divers and other people who might find themselves disoriented is for knowing which way it is to the surface is to watch bubbles from your exhalations. Whatever direction they travel in is where you find the surface. Bond would likely have gone through scuba training to be an agent & would definitely know that trick, so the flare was just to find the hole in the ice. If you look closely at the scene where the flare travels upward (or if you freeze-frame at that moment) you can see the hole in the ice -- it's slightly difficult to spot, but it's there.

How does the movie end?

Bond sends M and Kincaid (Albert Finney) through the tunnel to the chapel while he stays behind to hold off Silva and his lackeys. Heavy machine gun fire from Silva's helicopter and grenades thrown by Silva into the house serve to blow up most of the estate, but Bond manages to blow up two gas canisters with dynamite and take out the helicopter and all but Silva and two of his henchmen before escaping into the tunnel. Silva notices Kincade's flashlight in the distance and heads towards it. While crossing a frozen pond, Bond takes out Silva's remaining two henchmen and arrives at the chapel to find Silva head to head with M, pleading with her to shoot them both at the same time. Bond throws a knife into Silva's back, killing him. It's then that M reveals she has been shot in the abdomen. She dies in Bond's arms. Days later, Bond is back in London, contemplating the rooftops. He is joined by Eve, who hands him a small box that M left for him. He opens it to find the white china bulldog and smiles. Eve announces that she's taken a desk job and formally introduces herself, revealing that her last name is Moneypenny. In the final scene, Bond enters M's office, which is now the office of Gareth Mallory, the new M. He hands Bond an assignment folder and asks whether Bond is ready to go back to work. 'With pleasure,' Bond replies.

Did Bond fail at the end?

Depends on how you look at it, but for the most part he accomplished the plan he and M set out on. As far as his mission from MI6 goes, Bond did lead them to Silva's hideout and the retrieval of the missing hard drive and thus was successful in that respect. The ending at Skyfall is where things get a bit complicated. Silva's plan is essentially fulfilled: He publicly humiliates the MI6 and manages to kill M in what accounts for a kamikaze mission which fails at the first attempt at the inquiry, but ultimately succeeds at Skyfall. And while Silva dies at Bond's hands before M bleeds to death and he's denied the pleasure of seeing M fall, his plan is, nevertheless, successful. However Bond's goal was to protect M and defeat Silva in a place where no one else would notice or be injured or killed. A confrontation in the city would not only lead to MI6 having to have further involvement and even more fallout from the Silva mess, but also many innocent civilians would end up being caught in the crossfire. He succeeds in killing Silva, but M dies before they can call for help. So, at the end of the day, although Bond is the "last rat standing", we can consider that both sides cancelled each other out and the outcome is a tie.

Heineken reportedly paid $45 million for product placement and related promotions. A list of most products seen in the film can be seen here.

Production of Skyfall was at a standstill for over a year due to MGM's financial troubles and bankruptcy. MGM was close to $4 billion in debt and couldn't front any money for production. (MGM has a 50% stake in EON, meaning that EON couldn't make a move until MGM's affairs were settled.) In late 2010 MGM underwent bankruptcy proceedings, and in early 2011 deals were made for production and distribution of MGM's films. (While officially an MGM film, Skyfall was distributed by Sony.) The last film, Quantum of Solace, was released in 2008, making for a four-year gap between films, roughly the same length of time between Pierce Brosnan's last Bond film, Die Another Day and the first of the rebooted series, Casino Royale. The longest delay between films in the series was from 1989 to 1995, roughly 6 1/2 years, between Timothy Dalton's last appearance in Licence to Kill and Brosnan's 1st film in the series, GoldenEye.

Including Skyfall, Craig has made three movies so far in which he plays James Bond: Casino Royale (2006), Quantum of Solace (2008), and Skyfall (2012). Spectre is set for release in November 2015, and Bond 25 is on the books with no release date. Craig is scheduled to play Bond in both of these movies.

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