This is the 23rd James Bond movie in the EON Productions official series and the 25th theatrically released James Bond film including the spoof Casino Royale and the unofficial Never Say Never Again. It is also the 26th James Bond film if counting the TV episode tele-movie Climax!: Casino Royale. Moreover, Skyfall's associated video-game, 007 Legends, which has a 'Skyfall' mission, is also the 23rd title in its James Bond video-game series.
This movie is not a follow-on from the two previous films Quantum of Solace and Casino Royale. Producer Barbara Broccoli said that the series "will go on to other different stories from now on." However, the reappearance of the QUANTUM organization in later films is still a possibility. Broccoli has said: "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."
With the use of Quantum of Solace, an original Ian Fleming James Bond story title, there now remains only four unused original Fleming titles that could possibly have been used as a title for this film. These are "The Property of a Lady", "The Hildebrand Rarity", "Risico" and "007 in New York" (aka "Agent 007 in New York"). However, none of these were used in favor of the original title, 'Skyfall'
At one point it was rumored that this film would be shot in New York, leading to gossip that it would be based on the Fleming short story "007 in New York;" however, it turned out to be untrue and it appears that New York was never under consideration. Other rumors claimed that Israel would be used for several Bond films; that turned out to be false as well. A rumor that filming would take place in India was partially true; they were set to film a number of action scenes in India, but then plans were changed and all location shooting there was canceled.
Released in late 2012 in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the James Bond film series. Previous Bond films to be released in similar celebration include Die Another Day (2002) in the series' 40th anniversary year, Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) in the 35th anniversary year, The Living Daylights (1987) in the 25th anniversary year, and The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) in the 15th anniversary year. 'Skyfall' world premiered within a couple of weeks of the 50th anniversary of the launch of Dr. No on 10 5 1962. Moreover, a new Bond documentary was made and released to tie-in with and celebrate the Golden Anniversary of the franchise, Everything or Nothing: The Untold Story of 007, it premiering also on 5 October.
The four-year gap between the release of 'Skyfall', (2012) and Quantum of Solace (2008) ties for the second longest period between James Bond films. This gap between films also represents the longest time between films without a casting change to the actor playing James Bond. Previous hiatuses between Licence to Kill and GoldenEye (the longest period between films in the franchise) and then between Die Another Day and Casino Royale were both accompanied by casting changes to the actor playing James Bond.
Development and production was delayed for almost nine months during 2010-11 due to the bankruptcy and delayed sale of studio MGM, with the production being officially suspended on 19 April 2010. The press release from producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson, for the film, then known as 'Bond 23', stated: "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'". During this period, some development and pre-production work continued on the film despite the canceled financing, with the goal to have this Bond film in theaters for the 50th Anniversary of the franchise. Production resumed in January 2011.
The title was touted in the media during 2011 as either 'Carte Blanche' or 'Red Sky at Night'. Previously, in 2010, it was reported that a competition would run to pick a title for this film from the remaining Ian Fleming story titles - the two most popular being 'Risico' and 'The Property of a Lady'. In addition, 'The Hildebrand Rarity' had also been touted as a possible title. Around October 2011, the new rumored title became 'Skyfall' as the internet domain names JamesBond-Skyfall.com and Skyfallthefilm.com were registered prior to any official announcement by the movies' producers, financiers of the film, MGM and Sony pictures. The 'Skyfall' title proved to be correct, with producer Michael G. Wilson calling it "the worst kept secret in London" at the 03/11/2011 press conference. At that event, it was announced that 'Skyfall' would not be related to any previously published 'Ian Fleming' James Bond novel or short-story.
Kevin Spacey was considered for a role, but declined due to scheduling conflicts. It is believed that director Sam Mendes originally offered the role of the villain to Spacey, the part in the film played by Javier Bardem. Spacey worked with this Mendes on American Beauty, in which Kevin Spacey's character complains to his wife about missing a James Bond marathon on television.
Third consecutive official James Bond movie to be distributed by Sony Pictures after Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace. It is also expected that Sony will co-distribute the next James Bond film, Bond 24, after 'Skyfall'. The official 13th April 2011 press release stated: "Sony Pictures and MGM look forward to Sony Pictures co-financing and distributing Bond 24 on a similar basis". 'Skyfall' is Sony Pictures' widest ever theatrical release in the UK and Ireland with the film launching on 1500 screens.
The shooting location of Shanghai makes this the first Bond movie to have filmed in China. Originally, Licence to Kill 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. 'Skyfall' was once rumored to feature a motorcycle chase along the Great Wall of China, a chase sequence originally intended for 'Licence to Kill', but instead there is a roof-top motorbike chase filmed in Istanbul, Turkey. Another sequence, a fight sequence in the then recently discovered museum of ancient terracotta statues at Xian was also scheduled for 'Licence to Kill' but this sequence wasn't used for 'Skyfall' either. Scriptwriter John Logan wanted to use 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."
James Bond actor Daniel Craig said that he was 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 starts preparation for a Bond movie about six months prior to filming and works-out for about two hours each day of principal photography after shooting has wrapped.
It was initially speculated that James Bond veteran composer David Arnold would be providing the score for this film despite a long-running collaboration between director Sam Mendes and composer Thomas Newman. However, in January 2012, it was finally announced that Newman would, in fact, be composing the score. This marks only the sixth time (out of twenty-three films) that a James Bond film has not been scored by either Monty Norman, John Barry, or David Arnold. It is a myth that Arnold was unable to score the film due to his duties as musical director for the 2012 London Olympics - in numerous interviews he has stated that Newman was simply chosen due to his ongoing work with Mendes. In October 2012, David Arnold revealed on Twitter that the producers had licensed some of his film score from Casino Royale for 'Skyfall'.
Third James Bond movie to film in Istanbul, Turkey. The first was From Russia with Love and the second was The World Is Not Enough. 'Skyfall' shares two of the same filming locations that the classic James Bond film 'From Russia with Love' utilized: Turkey and Scotland (although the Scottish scenes in 'From Russia with Love' were not set in the country). 'Skyfall' was also once rumored to be titled 'Red Sky at Night', the word 'red' evoking Russia. Turkish locations that 'Skyfall' shares with 'From Russia with Love' include Istanbul's Sultanahmet Square and the Hagia Sophia Mosque, now a museum. Producer Barbara Broccoli maintains that Istanbul was James Bond creator Ian Fleming's favorite city.
Second time in the official James Bond series that James Bond is seen with a beard, the first time was Pierce Brosnan in Die Another Day. In both pictures the character only has the stubble for a portion of the film.
This is the third Bond film with an Asian shooting location and an actress of Asian descent playing one of the main Bond Girls. The first two were You Only Live Twice and Tomorrow Never Dies. 'Skyfall' Bond Girl Bérénice Marlohe was born to a Cambodian/Chinese father and a French mother. A few Bond films which shot in Asia did not feature a main Bond Girl who was from Asia, these were Die Another Day, Octopussy and The Man with the Golden Gun. However, these three films did have cast Asian women in minor Bond Girl roles.
First one-word Bond movie title in seventeen years, the last was GoldenEye. 'Skyfall' is also the shortest ever one word James Bond movie title. It is the only ever one with two syllables, most of them in the past having three (_Goldfinger_, Moonraker, GoldenEye and Thunderball (which rhymes with 'Skyfall') whilst Octopussy had four. Dr. No remains the shortest ever Bond movie title with the least number of letters, having 5, whereas 'Skyfall' has 007. 'Skyfall' is the shortest Bond film title of all when 'Doctor No' is spelled in its unabbreviated form.
While some Bond films have original titles that do not come from the work of author Ian Fleming, 'Skyfall' is the first original title that has already pre-existed as the title of other fictional works. 'Skyfall' is also the title of a 1966 sci-fi novel by Harry Harrison, a 1987 novel by Thomas Block, a 2004 novel in the "Saga of the Skolian Empire" sci-fi series by Catherine Asaro, a 2007 novel by Anthony Eaton in the fantasy action "Darklands Trilogy", and also the name of a 2002 Norweigan film Falling Sky, its literal English translation being "Falling Sky" or "The Sky Is Falling Down".
Ben Whishaw is the fourth actor to play Q in the official James Bond series. 'Skyfall' marks the first time that Q is younger than James Bond. The producers have said that "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 likened to that of computer-genius types like Jack Dorsey and Mark Zuckerberg. Coincidentally, Whishaw has said that he doesn't even own a computer. Peter Burton first played Q under the character's real name of Major Boothroyd and nick-named the Armourer in Dr. No then Desmond Llewelyn played Q in 17 Bond films between 1963-1999 followed by John Cleese (as Q's assistant R) in The World Is Not Enough then as Q in Die Another Day, the latter being the last time the character appeared in the official series before 'Skyfall', a gap of around a decade. Whishaw is the sixth actor to play Q if one counts the unofficial Bond films Casino Royale and Never Say Never Again where Q was played by Geoffrey Bayldon and Alec McCowen respectively. Q is an abbreviation for the word Quartermaster.
The first James Bond film to be released in the IMAX format. Unlike most films blown up for an IMAX release, the film did not go through their DMR (Digital Media Remastering) process, as cinematographer Roger Deakins thought that the film's image quality was high enough to make it unnecessary. Deakins has said they "...shot 2.35:1 [aspect ratio] but because of the size of the chip, you've got so much space top and bottom that basically I shot it for both formats...the IMAX was clean and the image quality is fantastic because you're using the full size of the chip. So I had seen a lot of tests and was blown away by the IMAX. We did a 4K finish and it's down rez'd to 2K after that. It quite surprised me, the fantastic quality." Films shot in IMAX have an aspect ratio of 1.44.1 which takes up the entire IMAX screen. Skyfall wasn't shot in IMAX, but the aspect ratio of the IMAX 'Skyfall' prints is 1.90.1 compared to standard theater 'Skyfall' prints which have an aspect ratio of 2.40.1. The IMAX image is 26% larger at the top and bottom of the frame than the screen image in conventional theaters thereby giving audiences a taller depth of field to view.
The passport used by Daniel Craig was not created by the props department, but an authentic document as issued by the British Home Office, according to producer Michael G. Wilson. 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 in the film 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 film at the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games in London in the games' introductory video originally entitled "The Arrival" but later known as "Happy and Glorious". The Daniel Craig and Queen Elizabeth II pretend entertainment segment features Craig as James Bond who meets with the Queen 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 copters down to the awaiting ceremony to familiar James Bond music. The segment has been said to be the Queen's first ever acting role.
In the film, James Bond (Daniel Craig) is given a Walther PPK/S 9mm short firearm by Q. The Walther PPK is considered the most popular and widely known Bond gun, since it is the one he has used the most. Originally, Bond used a Beretta, but that was later replaced with the Walther PPK. The hand-gun he has in 'Skyfall' is uses hand recognition coded to his palm prints. Timothy Dalton's Bond used a weapon with the same feature in 'License to Kill'.
The film's theme song sung by Adele is the first Bond Song to share the same name as the film's title since Madonna's Die Another Day a decade earlier and the first Daniel Craig Bond film to do so. The 'Skyfall' song was released at 0.07am on Friday October 5th 2012 at 0:07 am BST/LONDON time (7:07pm EST on 4th October), the exact 50th Anniversary of the launch of Dr. No. 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 was recorded at London's Abbey Road Studios with a full orchestra.
This film marks the return of title designer Daniel Kleinman who did the opening titles and gun-barrel sequences from GoldenEye to Casino Royale. In the previous film, Quantum of Solace, Kleinman was replaced by US special effects company MK12. 'Skyfall' is Kleinman's sixth collaboration as title designer in the series and his second one in a Bond film starring Daniel Craig.
Adele's title song "Skyfall" is 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 the 7th Bond song to reach the US Top 10 and the 13th to reach the US Top 100. It's the first to chart in the US Top 10 in a decade, the last time being Madonna's Die Another Day song in 2002. Adele's song sold 261,000 copies in the USA in its first three days. The song debuted in the UK Singles Chart at No. #4 within just 48 hours of release and then went to No. #2 within a week, tying with the previous record holder, Duran Duran's "A View to a Kill (Dance into the Fire)" as the highest ever charting Bond song in UK singles history. The song sold 84,000 copies in the UK in its first two days and had sold 92,000 copies within a week. The song went to No. #1 on the UK iTunes chart within 10 hours. On its first day of release worldwide, the song hit the Top 10 on the iTunes Charts in 21 countries. Of those, it also went to Number #1 in Belgium, Finland, Germany, Greece, Ireland, The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden.
Second time in a James Bond movie that Rory Kinnear plays MI6 chief of staff Bill Tanner. His first time was in Quantum of Solace. With this film, Rory Kinnear has played Tanner twice on film and three times in video games, meaning he has portrayed the character more than any other actor.
First James Bond movie to have two separate train action sequences involving different trains. From Russia with Love, Live and Let Die, The Spy Who Loved Me, Octopussy and GoldenEye all had just the one locomotive. 'Skyfall' is also the second James Bond movie to have a roof-top fight on a train, the first was Octopussy. Moreover, the Charing Cross Underground Station was used for location shooting for the Underground stations seen in the movie: Temple and Westminster.
The film was originally going to be shot in six countries but budget cutbacks in January 2012 resulted in filming primarily taking place in England, on location and in studio. Additional shooting was set in Scotland, Turkey and China. Glencoe in the Scottish Highlands replaced Duntrune Castle in Argyll, Scotland as the location for the film's climatic action scenes though some of that was actually filmed at Surrey's Hankley Common in England. Scenes planned to be originally shot in India or South Africa were instead filmed in Turkey. In the end, the picture was filmed in five countries: England, Scotland, China, Turkey and Japan. In Japan, just a small amount of filming was done on Hashima Island.
At two seconds shy of 143 minutes, this is the second longest Bond movie of all time, the longest being Casino Royale at 144 minutes. The third longest running time for a Bond movie is On Her Majesty's Secret Service which runs 142 minutes.
'Skyfall' started shooting in 2011 which was the 30th year that casting director Debbie McWilliams had being working on the series. McWilliams first Bond movie was For Your Eyes Only in 1981. For 'Skyfall', McWilliams coordinated casting sessions that took place in various locations all around the world which included, amongst others, Athens, Greece; Beijing and Shanghai in China; Istanbul, Turkey; London, England; Madrid, Spain; Stockholm, Sweden and Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
During principal photography, three Turkish youths bypassed tight security in Adana, Southern Turkey to infiltrate a closed film set where they filmed with their mobile phones footage of a train scene being shot. Fitting of the intrigue from the earlier Turkey set Bond movie From Russia with Love, the three sneaked through alleyways and jumped a wire fence into a train station where 'Skyfall' was being filmed. The trio slipped under train cars and rendezvoused at the repair depot where they went into spy disguise and put on off-duty worker's helmets and overalls. They were later caught by security, interrogated and removed from set.
Eminönü Square [aka Eminonu Square], a busy business district in Istanbul, was used for filming the movie's opening sequence and had to be closed for three weeks in order to do this. The place is one of Istanbul's oldest and most magnificent squares and is surrounded by the ancient Spice Bazaar and the fabulous Yeni Mosque. In a curious requirement for the bazaars, the shops could open but could not trade due to the area being off-limits to the public, traffic and pedestrians. Shop-keepers were reimbursed 750 Turkish Liras per day to cover their losses. The Turkish bazaar sequence in the film 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.
The production was criticized during principal photography in Turkey for allegedly damaging the rooftops of buildings in Istanbul where a rooftop motorcycle chase was being filmed. One such incident that made local headlines was when a stunt-rider rode off a roof and smashed the window of the renowned Bobeyi jewelery store. Producer Michael G. Wilson held a press conference and the claims were quashed as the roofing had been removed for the stunt riding and replaced with replicas until filming wrapped, whereupon the original tiling was returned. 'Skyfall' is not the first Bond movie to feature a rooftop motor-cycle chase, it's the second, as one appeared in Tomorrow Never Dies.
Fourth James Bond movie to film in Scotland after From Russia with Love (various locations in the Argyll and Bute region), The Spy Who Loved Me (the Faslane naval base) and The World Is Not Enough (Eilean Donan Castle at Kyle of Lochalsh in the Highlands). 'Skyfall' is actually the fifth Bond film to shoot in Scotland if including the unofficial Casino Royale which shoot in Killin, Stirling. The first actor to play James Bond on the big screen was a Scot, Sean Connery. 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. In On Her Majesty's Secret Service, James Bond was seen wearing a kilt.
Bond Girl Naomie Harris's mother is from Jamaica where author Ian Fleming wrote the James Bond stories at his GoldenEye estate. At 35 years of age at the start of filming, Harris is one of the oldest actresses to play a major Bond Girl. Honor Blackman is tied for eldest to ever play one, being 37 years of age at the time of filming Goldfinger, and Maud Adams was also 37 years old at time of filming for Octopussy. Harris attended the Royal World Premiere of 'Skyfall' with twenty-six members of her family.
Greek model-actress Tonia Sotiropoulou who appears as a minor Bond Girl early in the movie had auditioned for the leading Bond Girl role of Sévérine but lost out to Bérénice Marlohe. After Casting Director Debbie McWilliams suggested that the production might be able to find another part for her, her management company Back Door Management resubmitted her for the film and she was successful. Tonia's Bond Girl character in the film has no name and is billed in the credits only as "Bond's Lover". Moreover, Sotiropoulou's brief role in the film is entirely mute making her the first Bond Girl to visibly consummate a relationship with Bond on screen (as opposed to one that is only implied) without actually saying even one word on screen.
For a long time in development and pre-production "Skyfall" was simply known as "Bond 23". Reportedly, other titles that were considered for the movie were "A Killing Moon" and "Once Upon a Spy" and "Silver Bullet." False rumored titles that were touted in the media during 2011 were 'Carte Blanche' and 'Red Sky at Night'. Previously, in 2010, it was reported that a competition would run to pick a title for this film from the remaining Ian Fleming story titles, the two most popular being 'Risico' and 'The Property of a Lady'. In addition, 'The Hildebrand Rarity' had also been touted as a possible title.
Product placements, brand integrations and promotional tie-ins for 'Skyfall' include Heineken Lager Beer; 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 Jewelery; 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 and Sony Electronics products including Bravia TVs, Vaio laptops & computers, and Xperia tablets & smart-phones, the Sony Xperia TL phone and Heineken beer being two of the products making brand-cameos in the film. The London 'Mirror' newspaper has reported that about £29 million or about a third of the film's budget was raised from commercial deals.
The movie's soundtrack composed by Thomas Newman features the most tracks (30) ever for a James Bond film score. The previous record holder in the official series had been Casino Royale with 25 whilst next is Quantum of Solace with 24. The previous record holder for any Bond movie and now second is the unofficial Never Say Never Again which has 26 tracks. The 'Skyfall' album is the second time that a James Bond soundtrack has not featured the title song (which is "Skyfall" sung by Adele). The first time was Chris Cornell's title song "You Know My Name" not appearing on the Casino Royale soundtrack. Skyfall's end titles utilize composer David Arnold's arrangement ("The Name's Bond... James Bond") of Monty Norman's "James Bond Theme" but this also does not feature on the soundtrack. Skyfall's film's score also contains interpolations of Monty Norman's original "James Bond Theme". The whole score on the soundtrack is composed and conducted by Thomas Newman except for the "Komodo Dragon" track which is an instrumental interpolation of the film's "Skyfall" theme song.
5th October 2012 was "Global James Bond Day". It was created by the 'Skyfall' production to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the James Bond film series and as a promotional tie-in for the release of 'Skyfall'. According to the official website 'Global James Bond Day' featured "Worldwide events celebrating Bond's golden anniversary [and] include[d] a 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 (MoMA) in New York, a Music of Bond night in Los Angeles hosted by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and Designing 007: 50 Years of James Bond Style [in Toronto]".
First James Bond film to feature MGM's new 2012 logo. The first James Bond movie to be released with the MGM Lion logo at the beginning was Octopussy. MGM merged with United Artists in 1982, the year before the release of that movie which was the first Bond movie distributed by the then new company, MGM/UA Distribution Co.
The film was influenced by The Dark Knight Batman film series of director Christopher Nolan according to the film's director Sam Mendes. A number of the early reviews of 'Skyfall' likened the mood of the film to that of The Dark Knight Rises. Interestingly, a recurring line of dialogue in The Dark Knight Rises was "Permission To Die" - this is also the title of a 1989 James Bond comic book released. A shot in 'Skyfall' of Bond ('Daniel Craig') 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. Mendes has said: "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." Nolan has often stated that the classic James Bond films have been an influence on his "Dark Knight" trilogy. As such, one can say that Bond has inspired Batman and that Batman has inspired Bond.
The promotional tie-in with Heineken Lager Beer for this movie has been valued at being (UK) £28 million (= US $45 million). The product placement caused a controversy in the media prior to release, criticism being made for lacking integrity, 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 actor Daniel Craig defended the financing by indicating that the Bond films cost a lot of money to make and 'Skyfall' could not be completed without this support; that many of the product placements are based around supply of the products with technical support and the fact that James Bond is still seen drinking a Vodka Martini in 'Skyfall'.
First time that an Academy Award winning director (Sam Mendes (American Beauty)) has directed a James Bond movie. The first Bond film seen by Mendes was Live and Let Die whilst his favorite is From Russia with Love. With a rating of PG-13 this is director Sam Mendes's first film not to be rated R. During pre-production, Mendes was originally hired as a consultant during the MGM bankruptcy period 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. Reportedly, Sam Mendes was offered the director's job at party by Daniel Craig. A meeting was then arranged for Mendes with the producers and things rolled on from there. As a boy, director Sam 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. Around the time of Casino Royale, Mendes originally thought Daniel Craig was miscast as James Bond. Mendes told 'Metro': "I was one of the people who said I didn't think he was the right casting. At the time, I was asked in an interview and i said, "I'm not sure, I would advise him not to do it".
Third consecutive James Bond film dealing with terrorism. The central type of terrorism depicted in 'Skyfall' is cyberterrorism. In an interview in the 'Skyfall' tie-in 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, Broccoli 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".
The names of the leaked MI6 agents in the YouTube video are names of members of the production crew, though the corresponding faces 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, appear not 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 Raoul Silva. Moreover, the runtime on the YouTube video is 0:07, a reference to James Bond's code number of 007.
Script-writer Peter Morgan left the production of 'Skyfall' when development was suspended due to MGM's bankruptcy. Morgan later declared that ideas from his first draft were still retained by the Logan, Purvis & Wade screen-writing team including the film's "big hook". Character and plot details from the script were kept under tight wraps during principal photography with the names and identities of several characters such as those played by Ralph Fiennes, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris and veteran Albert Finney being kept a secret for several months. The script was heavily revised by John Logan, even throughout filming. When filming wrapped, it had been revised thirteen times since the third draft.
The gun-barrel sequence was re-shot specially for this movie as it was in the previous film. With this third Daniel Craig Bond movie, Craig has still never appeared in a traditional series gun-barrel sequence shown at the start of the film (the last film to use the sequence at the beginning was Die Another Day). According to Sam Mendes, there was an attempt to put the gun-barrel walk before the pre-titles sequence but it did not work out artistically. It was also 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. Daniel Craig is also the first actor to film three different gun-barrel sequences, which depict Bond wearing different suits and having different stances as he shoots. For the first time in the famous gun-barrel sequence, Bond is seen wearing a grey suit rather than a black one. Roger Moore is the other Bond actor to shot more than one gun-barrel sequence as he had filmed one for Live and Let Die, which was reused in The Man with the Golden Gun, and eventually would film a second one for The Spy Who Loved Me that would be reused for the rest of the Bond films starring Moore.
The opening train action sequence was originally planned to be shot on in the Sabarmati railway yard of the Konkan Railway in India. However, delays in getting permission to film there with the many complex problems meant the sequence was not filmed there. South Africa was considered to film this sequence but in the end it shot in Turkey.
Tenth James Bond film produced by Michael G. Wilson as a fully-fledged producer (excluding executive producer credits). The next James Bond film ( Bond 24) is expected to be released around 2014, that year will mark producer Wilson's 50th Golden Anniversary Year of his association with the James Bond official series, Wilson first appearing as an uncredited extra as a Soldier at Fort Knox in Goldfinger. Similarly, 'Skyfall' is released in the Golden 50th Anniversary Year of the series in 2012. Wilson has also acted on the films as a screen-writer and as a legal/administrative/technical consultant and is also known for making regular cameo appearances in the franchise.
Released late 2012, 'Skyfall' will be playing in theaters in early 2013 which will mark the 30th Anniversary Year that producer Barbara Broccoli has officially been associated with the series, first officially credited as an executive assistant on Octopussy. Broccoli's first start on the series however was as an uncredited second assistant director on Moonraker, a 30th Anniversary milestone for this was in 2009 after the release of the previous Bond film Quantum of Solace. Skyfall's release year of 2012 also 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.
'Skyfall' marks the 10th Anniversary of Gregg Wilson on the James Bond film series. The movie marks the milestone of Gregg being the first 3rd generation member of the Broccoli/Wilson family to achieve a senior producer credit on the series, that of an associate producer. Gregg is the son of Michael G. Wilson who is the step-son of co-founding producer Albert R. Broccoli. Gregg's first credit on the series was a decade earlier as development executive on Die Another Day. Gregg was also an assistant producer on Quantum of Solace.
When it came time to casting Silva's mercenaries, director Sam Mendes wanted actors rather than stuntmen. In order to find actors that could fit the physical bill, stunt coordinator Gary Powell set up a stunt training camp. Starting with forty-two men, 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 the seven men who looked most natural.
Patrice (Ola Rapace)'s gun in the film is a 100 round drum mag semi-automatic "Glock 18" machine pistol-class firearm which holds 100 rounds of ammunition and fires 20 rounds a second. The firearm has an effective range of 50 m (55 yd) and a muzzle velocity of 1,230 ft/s (375 m/s). It's an Austrian gun that was developed at the request EKO Cobra, the Austrian counter-terrorist unit.
For the motorbike chase in Turkey, Coca-Cola was sprayed on the tarmac of the streets in Istanbul to keep the bikes from sliding. While Coca-Cola is not an official product placement in the movie there was a Coke Zero marketing campaign that tied in with the movie.
For exterior scenes shot in Whitehall, halfway through the chase between James Bond and Raoul Silva, there were 100 background vehicles, 300 film crew, 750 extras, and massive multiple government agency bureaucracy co-operation. Permissions, negotiations and authorizations for the London chase sequence were permitted from such offices of English officialdom as 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 The Ministry of Defence (MOD), The Royal Parks, and The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
The film's 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.
Seventh James Bond film where the villain resides on an island lair. Raoul Silva's home is Hashima Island, an abandoned island near Nagasaki, Japan. The others were Dr. No's Crab Key island; Largo's Palmyra Estate on the Bahamas Islands in Thunderball; Blofeld's Japanese island volcano lair in You Only Live Twice; Mr Big / Dr Kananga's fictitious Carribean island of San Monique in Live and Let Die; Elektra King and Renards' Kizkulesi Island (aka The Maiden's Tower) in Turkey's Bosphorus Sea in The World Is Not Enough; and perhaps the most famous of all, Scaramanga's island in The Man with the Golden Gun.
Second consecutive James Bond film to have a car chase in the opening sequence. This vehicle chase was originally written and intended for the earlier also Istanbul-lensed Bond film The World Is Not Enough but was scrapped as the film's story had become too expansive. The 'Skyfall' 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 Eve (Naomie Harris)'s (eight feet 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.
The climax of the opening chase sequence takes place at the breathtaking Varda Bridge 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. Construction was started in 1905 and was completed in 1916, the bridge being around 570 feet (174 m) long and 322 feet (98 m) high. The viaduct was originally designed and built by Imperial German engineers for the former Ottoman Empire as part of the Istanbul-Baghdad Railway Project.
The exotic Calis Beach, a remote beach in Fethiye, a coastal town on the in the south of Turkey, was a great challenge for the locations department to secure for filming a sequence featuring James Bond. EON Productions had to negotiate with the six hundred and thirteen part owners of the beach to allow filming to take place there.
It has been claimed that 'Skyfall' has used Great Britain and specifically London for filming locations more than any other Bond film in the franchise's history. 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; 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); the Smithfield Meat Market; St Bartholomew's Hospital; Charing Cross Underground Station; Greenwich's Old Royal Naval College; Southwark; Whitehall; and London's landmark Trafalgar Square.
Daniel Craig performed many of his own stunts including the signature roof-top fight on the top of a moving train traveling at 50 kph (31 mph) during the film's opening sequence. Producer Barbara Broccoli has said: "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."
The Paddock Tank (aka the Exterior Tank) at Pinewood Studios 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.
Second Unit Director Alexander Witt and the second unit traveled 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 exhilarating, ever-changing metropolis that is one of the most dynamic cities in the world. 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.
When Q delivers the Walther PPK & passport to Bond in the National Gallery in London, the painting behind him is Joseph Wright of Derby's 'An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump (1768)', featuring a natural philosopher - a forerunner to a modern scientist - demonstrating an experiment to curious onlookers. This fits Q's role as scientific research/development for SIS/MI6 and 007.
M (Judi Dench)'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. Thomas Newman's score for 'Skyfall' has been said to pay tribute to Barry.
On an October 2012 episode of The Graham Norton Show, Judi Dench revealed how 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.
'Skyfall' represents the 10th Anniversary of the now regular "Bond On Set" book, a photo record of the filming of a Bond movie, with pictures that are shot by Bond regular stills photographer Greg Williams. The 'Skyfall' "Bond On Set" book is the fourth to be published, the first was in 2002 with the Die Another Day "Bond On Set" book. Prior to this, there had been "Making of" books for Bond films such as for GoldenEye and Tomorrow Never Dies.
'Skyfall' has been said to use a large amount of computer-generated imagery, around 500 CGI shots, the most since Die Another Day. 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.
Javier Bardem's casting marks the first time that a Spanish actor has played the lead villain in a James Bond movie, whilst Bardem is the third Spaniard to play any villain, after henchmen Simón Andreu in Die Another Day and Fernando Guillén Cuervo in Quantum of Solace. Bardem's villain name of Raoul Silva in the film is actually an alias, the character's real name being Tiago Rodriguez. The film's writers wrote the script with Bardem in mind whilst Bardem had the film's script translated into his native language of Spanish so as to achieve a better understanding of the story and his character. The first Bond movie Bardem ever saw was Moonraker, its henchman Jaws being his favorite Bond villain.
Hashima Island, the site of Silva's lair, is a tiny deserted industrialized island situated off the south west coast of Japan, 15 km from Nagasaki, and running just 480 meters long and 160 meters wide. The small isle is one of 505 uninhabited islands in the Nagasaki Prefecture. The isle is also known as "Ghost Island" as well as "Gunkanjima" which translates as "Battleship Island". The island was last significantly inhabited in 1974 and was once a thriving coal mining community. The island is notable for its character due to its sea wall and its untouched abandoned and derelict concrete buildings.
The most successful ever James Bond movie at the international box-office in the official franchise's film history. Previously, 'Skyfall' grossed $100 million at the international box-office in its first week. 'Skyfall' also had the biggest ever opening weekend at the box-office for a Bond film in Britain.
A few days after the film debuted in Britain, the real MI6, the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), took out a full page advertisement in "The Times" and "The Sunday Times" running with the headline, "If the qualities that make a good spy were obvious, they wouldn't make a very good spy". The aim of the ad was to debunk the legend and mythology associated with film fiction spies like James Bond in Skyfall saying that real life spy work is not "high-speed chases and shoot-outs", an average spy is not a "globe-trotting secret agent" and that psychological profiles of real life agents show that they are actually "far more ordinary". The ad also dismisses the white male spy stereotype saying that "the truth is we don't care what sex you are or where you're from, as long as you're a British national". The humorous advertising campaign is considered one of MI6's most open ever recruitment drives. But in true espionage fashion, the ad still warns of utmost secrecy and strict confidentiality advising potential candidates that they cannot disclose that they are making an application to anyone.
Judi Dench played the role of M in this film at the age of 77. The performance is also Dench's 7th time playing M. This is Dench's largest ever on-screen role playing the M character, the most significant James Bond film ever to explore a relationship between the M and James Bond characters. Producer Barbara Broccoli says that 'Skyfall' explores this relationship perhaps more than in any of the 22 previous films. She has said, "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."
Third James Bond movie to film in Japan. 'Skyfall' used Hashima Island for shooting villain Raoul Silva's island lair. The first Bond Bond film to lens in Japan where the largest amount of filming was done was for You Only Live Twice. The second was for The Spy Who Loved Me where filming was done there to get shots of exotic fish in Okinawa.
Actor Javier Bardem has described his Raoul Silva villain character as "An angel of death - a very cleanshaven 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."
According to the UK Sun newspaper (a tabloid known for its indiscretion and inaccuracy), leading Bond Girl Bérénice Marlohe, said that James Bond actor Daniel Craig was coy and hesitant before filming their love scene in the shower. Marlohe said: "He was very shy and when he saw me entering the shower, he was like, 'Oh my god'. He tried to keep his underpants on for the shower scenes but I said, 'No, come on, don't be shy. I will do anything to make you feel comfortable".
A number of the actors playing smaller parts in the movie never received a script to work with due to the production's strict secrecy protocols, so stringent and tight, that they reflect real life intelligence espionage. Greek actress Tonia Sotiropoulou did not 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."
The film deals with James Bond's Scottish ancestry. Bond's family history was created by Ian Fleming in his penultimate Bond novel "You Only Live Twice", first published in 1964, his 11th Bond novel. Fleming was inspired to add the back-story of Bond's genealogy into the book after seeing the character played by Sean Connery in 1962's Dr. No. 'Skyfall' is the second time in the official James Bond film series that James Bond discusses the death of his parents, the first time was in GoldenEye. Clan of Bond names created by the production for the plaques and headstones at the chapel and graveyard include Andrew Bond, Robert Bond, Monique Delacroix Bond, Celia Bond, Kathleen Bond, Elsa/Elsie Louise Bond, Ramsay William Bond, and Margaret Jean Davidson Bond.
There were 85 versions of James Bond's Tom Ford suit tailor-made for the opening chase sequence. Thirty were made for actor Daniel Craig and thirty for his double and stunt-double. Each version of the suit was made specifically for a particular scene of the opening sequence. For example, when Craig was riding the motor-bike, a suit with longer sleeves was worn so that it wouldn't raise up over his forearms. Costume Designer Jany Temime has said: "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." Moreover, Craig's tie had to be weighted for the motorbike section of the chase. The weight kept the tie from flying around when he rode at high speeds.
English Naomie Harris is the second actress of Jamaican descent to play a leading Bond Girl in a Bond movie. American Grace Jones was the first in A View to a Kill. Jones was born in Spanish Town, Jamaica whereas Harris' mother is from Jamaica, Naomie spending some time there as a child. James Bond creator Ian Fleming wrote the James Bond stories at Goldeneye in Jamaica. The first ever Bond Girl in the official series was Swiss actress Ursula Andress who was first seen in a white bikini emerging from the tranquil sea waters of Jamaica in Dr. No. Harris is the third actress of Jamaican descent to play a Bond Girl, Marguerite LeWars was the first in Dr. No. 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.
The word Sévérine (the name of the Bond Girl played by Bérénice Marlohe) is a French name of Latin origin from the French language and translates into English as meaning "stern". It is a French feminine variation of the Latin male name "Severus" which is a Saint's name. Sévérine is made up of eight letters, has three syllables and is pronounced "Sey-Vah-RIY-N". Sévérine is variant of the name "Severina" used in the Italian, German, Portugese, Romanian and Slavic languages. Other variant forms of the name are Severino, Severinus, Severo, Sevrin and Seweryn.
At the film's Spanish Premiere at Madrid's Espanol Theatre on 29th October 2012, a number of the big red carpet stars of the film including Javier Bardem held posters in protest against the dismissal of theater workers during the film's premiere.
The first James Bond film to be shot entirely using digital cinematography. Previously only part of one scene in Quantum of Solace was shot digitally. It is 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. It is also Deakins' second digitally-shot film, after In Time, on which he also used the Alexa.
A total of twenty Honda CRF250R motor-cycles were used for the opening motorcycle chase. The sequence is notable for being performed on narrow roof-top tracks and without any helmets or heavy-duty protective gear. 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. For the film, the Honda motor-bikes were modified especially for the stunt sequence by the special effects team of Chris Corbould.
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 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.
During the martini scene at the bar, 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. Moreover, the bottle of alcohol that Silva offers Bond on his island says "1962" on its label, referencing the franchise's 50th anniversary. 'Skyfall' is also the first James Bond film in the official series where James Bond is seen drinking beer (although in GoldenEye Pierce Brosnan's Bond remarks to 006 'Buy me a pint'). The ale is Heineken who contributed a rather large amount of money for the product placements. The Bill Tanner character is also seen drinking the beverage in 'Skyfall'.
Weaponry and guns in the film include an Anderson Wheeler double-barreled chambered 500 NE (Nitro Express) hunting rifle belonging to James 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 James Bond's palm prints. For the weapons training, the cast went through 200,000 rounds of ammunition.
The glass set depicting the inside of the Shanghai office skyscraper was nick-named "The Jellyfish." It was built at Pinewood Studios and was likened to being like "a hall of mirrors". 'Skyfall' cinematographer Roger Deakins has said: "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, the substitute set providing improvements by being multi-dimensionally made of glass. The sequence in 'Skyfall' that "The Jellyfish" is seen is when James Bond (Daniel Craig) is on the track of an assassin on the way to a Shanghai office complex. In the earlier James Bond film The Man with the Golden Gun, a hall of mirrors was seen during the opening sequence and at the film's denouement.
A number of new books on James Bond were released in 2012, many around the time of early October 2012 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 "Bond on Bond" by Sir Roger Moore; "The James Bond Archives" by Paul Duncan; "Bond On Set: Filming Skyfall" by Greg Williams; "LIFE: 50 Years of James Bond" by the Editors of LIFE Books; "James Bond 50 Years of Movie Posters" by DK Publishing; "The Music of James Bond" by Jon Burlingame; "James Bond Unmasked" by Bill Desowitz; "All About Bond" by Terry O'Neill; "Amazing & Extraordinary Facts - James Bond" by Michael Paterson; ; "The World of James Bond: From Dr No to Skyfall" by Luke Quantrill; "Ken Adam Designs the Movies: James Bond and Beyond" by Christopher Frayling and Sir Ken Adam; and "The Many Lives and Deaths of James Bond: From Casino Royale to Skyfall" by Nader Elhefnawy; "James Bond: The Unofficial Reference to the Man, the Books, the Movies, and the Man Who Invented It All" by Jennifer Warner and LifeCaps; "How to Live the James Bond Lifestyle: The Complete Seminar" by Paul Kyriazi; the 2nd 2012 edition of "James Bond 007: The Definitive Guide" by Paul Fleming; the 2nd edition of "James Bond Drinks: The Complete Guide to the Drinks of James Bond" by David Leigh and "Essential James Bond Quotes" by William Rogers and "A Brief Guide to James Bond" by Nigel Cawthorne;
To prepare for the grueling physical demands of her action role as Eve, actress Naomie Harris was given a personal trainer and worked-out for around two months for two hours a day, five days a week. For this, Harris did yoga, kick-boxing, running and circuit training. Moreover, for one day of the week, Harris did combat fighting training; for one-two days of the week, Harris did stunt driving training and for three days a week, Harris fired guns on a shooting range learning to shoot machine guns and Walther PPKs.
When Bond and Q meet in the National Gallery in London, Q jokes about giving Bond an exploding pen when Bond moans about the tools received to fulfill the mission. Two previous film actually had Q giving Bond such a pen: Never Say Never Again, in which Sean Connery uses it to kill Barbara Carrera and GoldenEye, in which the pen is taken from Pierce Brosnan by Alan Cumming, who accidentally kills himself with it.
The role of Kincade played by Albert Finney was originally written with Sean Connery in mind. Producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson originally wanted Connery to come out of retirement and make a surprise cameo. 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."
During this film's development and early stages of pre-production, 'Variety' columnist Liz Smith once wrote about 'Skyfall', then known as 'Bond 23', being filmed in New York using its Primola Restaurant as one of its locations. Published on Wednesday 10th September 2008, the piece read: "WHO WAS that blond stunner who froze forks mid-air at the posh Primola eatery in N.Y.? Oh yes indeed, it was Daniel Craig, 007 himself. The studly Daniel was accompanied by his producer Barbara Broccoli. (She is the daughter of Albert "Cubby" Broccoli [Albert R. Broccoli], who co-produced all the James Bond films until his death in 1996 [sic, until Licence to Kill]. Barbara took over and now has a "license to film.") Daniel and Barbara talked about the next Bond epic, part of which will be filmed - for the very first time! - in New York [sic, Live and Let Die was filmed in New York]. Primola itself will have a little cameo. Maybe Daniel just wanted to see if the restaurant could handle those shoulders of his." It turned out that New York apparently was never actually under consideration as a filming location for 'Skyfall'.
The painting that Q and Bond view at the National Gallery is "The Fighting Temeraire" (1839) by J.M.W Turner. The painting depicts H.M.S Temeraire, being a part of the British armada that participated in the Battle of Trafalgar 1805 decommissioned and towed from Sheerness to Rotherhithe to be broken up in 1838. Turner's main motive of painting that was to evoke a sense of loss rather than giving a recording of the event. In a metaphorical way, the painting's depiction provides a hint to the fate of one of the characters in the film. Other paintings and art-works seen include "Woman with a Fan (Luna Czechowska)" (1919) by Amedeo Modigliani and Joseph Wright of Derby's "An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump" (1768).
The first time a character is audibly heard saying the "F word" in a Bond movie. In the 25th anniversary Bond film The Living Daylights, Bond clearly says "For f***'s sake!" but it cannot be heard due to plane engine noise. 'Skyfall' is the first Bond film to ever use an audible variation of the "F word", said by M at Skyfall Lodge.
James Bond actor Daniel Craig told 'Rolling Stone' magazine that he wanted 'Skyfall' to be his third and final Bond movie, saying, "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
Javier Bardem apparently was once offered a role in an earlier James Bond film prior to 'Skyfall', perhaps even the role of James Bond himself (though this is unlikely). Bardem told 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]."
'Skyfall' is partly set in Istanbul, Turkey. Turkish producer Ali Akdeniz who has worked on both The World Is Not Enough and 'Skyfall' says that the location of this part of the film was particularly chosen as a homage to the James Bond character's connections with Istanbul, once known as "The City of Spies". James Bond creator Ian Fleming once visited Istanbul in June 1955 for an Interpol Conference which he was covering on behalf of "The Sunday Times". The event provided both a setting and much background information for his Bond novel of From Russia with Love. For example, Fleming met Nazim Kalkavan, an Oxford educated man who inspired the Darko Kerim character. Moreover, whilst there, Fleming covered the "Istanbul Pogroms" aka "The Great Riot of Istanbul" which was published in "The Sunday Times" on 11th September 1955. When Fleming left the conference, he traveled by train, commenting that the experience was drab because there had been no dining car. Interestingly, both 'Skyfall' and From Russia with Love involve trains, both the London subway tube and a Turkish train in Adana in 'Skyfall' and The Orient Express in From Russia with Love.
Actress Bérénice Marlohe has said that she has based her inspiration on her Sévérine character on "The Chimera" which is from the Greek Mythology. Also known as "The Chimaera" or "The Chimæra", Wikipedia defines The Chimera as a "she-goat... a monstrous fire-breathing female creature of Lycia in Asia Minor, composed of the parts of three animals: a lion, a serpent and a goat. Usually depicted as a lion, with the head of a goat arising from its back, and a tail that ended in a snake's head, the Chimera was one of the offspring of Typhon and Echidna and a sibling of such monsters as Cerberus and the Lernaean Hydra. The term chimera has also come to describe any mythical or fictional animal with parts taken from various animals." 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 Sévérine journey on in the film is called "The Chimera".
First James Bond film in 23 years where a "traditional" series M's office is seen, the last time was in Licence to Kill. It's also the first time in the series that the old "traditional" and new "modern" types of M offices have been seen in the same Bond movie. In fact, there are actually three M's offices in 'Skyfall', the old "traditional' type, the new "modern" MI6 type as seen in the series ever since GoldenEye and M's temporary office in the underground bunker.
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 reptillian 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). Track 13 of Thomas Newman's 'Skyfall' score soundtrack is called "Komodo Dragon". The name of the casino where the dragons are seen, "The Golden Dragon Casino", references the lizards which are housed in it.
Second time in the official James Bond series that James Bond has broken into M's home as he did in Casino Royale. That time, M said, "Don't ever break into my apartment again" though she fails to reference this in 'Skyfall'.
Daniel Craig was injured during the rehearsal period for this movie whereupon rescheduling took place requiring two weeks rest for his injuries. Craig was not injured during principal photography on 'Skyfall'. This is the second time in the franchise's history that a delay has been forced by an injury to the actor playing James Bond. The first was on Die Another Day where Pierce Brosnan blew his knee out during filming of the opening hovercraft sequence, shutting down production for around 1-2 weeks.
The name of the World War II era French 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, its use in the film occurring around 74 years after it first debuted.
The name of the boat that Bond and Sévérine journey on in the film is called "The Chimera" which is from the Greek Mythology and is what co-inspired the Sévérine character. The vessel is in real life called the "SY Regina" and is also known as the "Medyat Regina".
'Skyfall' is only the fourth James Bond movie in the official series which doesn't allow for marketing purposes the formation of the OO7 symbol within the film's title wording by way of forming one or two of the 'O's. The others include Thunderball, Live and Let Die, and The Living Daylights. And it's the fifth if one includes the unofficial Never Say Never Again.
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.
When James Bond meets Q for the first time in the National Gallery, they both stare at J.M.W. Turner's "The Fighting Temeraire," and as they stare at the painting, Q's first remark to Bond is "What do you see?" This line was also the opening of "Red," screenwriter John Logan's Tony Award-winning play, which is about modern artist Mark Rothko.
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).
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.
Reportedly, sales of cut-throat razors increased by around 400% in the week following the film's launch. Online retailers of cut-throat razors reported sales increases of 50% to 400% due to the exposure generated by this film. The spike in sales has been attributed to the love scene in 'Skyfall' where Bond Girl Eve (Naomie Harris) gives James Bond (Daniel Craig) an erotic close-shave with an old style straight razor commenting with a classic line, "Sometimes the old ways are the best".
Most number of Academy Award nominations ever received by a James Bond movie totaling five. They are for Best Song, Score, Sound Mixing, Sound Effects Editing and Cinematography. It's also the first Bond movie to get Oscar nominated in three decades. The last time was around 31 years ago when For Your Eyes Only was nommed for Best Song. That year of 1982 also saw producer Albert R. Broccoli receive the Honorary Thalberg Award.
MGM announced plans to release Bond 23 in November 2012. Producer Barbara Broccoli has said that the series "will go on to other different stories from now on". This movie is not be a direct follow-on from Quantum of Solace and Casino Royale. Director Sam Mendes said that 'Skyfall' will "not connect" with those two previous Bond movies. Mendes has also stated that the secret criminal organization Quantum from those two films would not feature in 'Skyfall'.
The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul is featured prominently during the film's opening chase sequence. The Grand Bazaar is one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world, with 61 covered streets and over three thousand shops attracting up to 400,000 visitors daily. Due to the hazardous nature of the sequence, access to the location for the film unit could only to be granted on Sunday, when the bazaar is closed. Through a combination of efforts from the locations department, set decoration, art and props teams, the bazaar was dressed overnight on preceding Saturday nights to look like the hive of activity that the one would expect from the location. 500 Turkish extras and stunt background were brought into the Grand Bazaar to provide the location with its usual crowded and buzzing atmosphere. The rooftops of the Bazaar served as a spectacular platform to view Istanbul's ancient and dynamic skyline. The production went to great lengths to protect and preserve the Grand Bazaar's historic architecture, which included floating reinforced steel roof panels over the existing tiles to protect the original structure. The age of the Grand Bazaar shop where a motorbike crashes through its window was around 330 years.
Glencoe in Scotland is a filming location that portrays its own setting: Glencoe. In the penultimate James Bond novel, "You Only Live Twice", author Ian Fleming gave Bond a sense of family background, writing that Bond's father Andrew Bond was from Glencoe. The Glencoe region has one of the most iconic landscapes in Scotland, the mountains contain some of the oldest sedimentary and volcanic strata in the world. In 'Skyfall', these mountains served as a beautiful backdrop for Bond and M's drive through Glencoe's scenic roads in the iconic silver-birch Aston Martin DB5.
'Skyfall's marketing has been said to have gone to a new level with the actual actor who plays James Bond (Daniel Craig) appearing in a number of commercial television advertisements for product placements seen in the film such as Heineken, Omega Watches and Sony Electronics. However, this has been justified, Daniel Craig has said, "The simple fact is that, without them, we couldn't do it. It's unfortunate but that's how it is. This movie costs a lot of money to make, it costs nearly as much again if not more to promote, so we go where we can."
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, Control (John Hurt), the head of MI6, has two Royal Doulton bulldogs sitting on his desk.
M's name is "Olivia Mansfield." A 2013 props exhibition revealed her full name to be visible in an inscription on the box given to Bond from Eve 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 James Bond series "reboot" with Casino Royale, so Judi Dench's interpretation of M is likely two different characters. Curiously, "Olivia" is Dench's middle name, and the first head of the British Secret Service was (George) Mansfield Smith-Cummings (known by the first letter of his last name "C"). According to John Le Carre, Ian Fleming (ever tongue in cheek), designated the head of SIS as "M", using instead Cummings' first name. Keeping the Mansfield here as a surname is a twist but not intended in any of Fleming's original works.
At the 2013 Academy Awards ceremony, Skyfall became the first James Bond film to achieve a number of records in the franchise's history. The movie was the first Bond film to win two Oscars (Goldfinger and Thunderball won just the one each), the third Bond film to win an Academy Award and the first in forty-seven years, the last being for the above-mentioned Thunderball. Skyfall's tied Oscar for Sound Editing was not actually the first in that category, as Goldfinger had won for Best Effects, Sound Effects whilst Diamonds Are Forever had been nominated for Best Sound. After a number of Bond Songs having being nominated for the Best Song Oscar (Live and Let Die, For Your Eyes Only, The Spy Who Loved Me and the unofficial Casino Royale), Adele's "Skyfall" song became the first ever Bond Song to win the Best Song Oscar.
In terms of running time, of the top three longest Bond movies, this ranks second. However, with the removal of the end credits from this, Casino Royale and On Her Majesty's Secret Service, OHMSS is still the Bond film with the longest running time as far as actual live screen action is concerned.
The secret Intelligence career of original James Bond producer Harry Saltzman was first revealed by fellow Canadian David Giammarco in his acclaimed 2002 book "For Your Eyes Only: Behind the Scenes of the James Bond Films" on the 40th anniversary of the James Bond Films. For the 50th anniversary film Skyfall, Hilary Saltzman, Steven Saltzman and David Giammarco disclosed the full extent of Saltzman's Intelligence work with previously-classified documents, photos and analysis in an exclusive feature for Vanity Fair Magazine titled "50 Years of 007: The Secret Spy Life of James Bond Producer Harry Saltzman" for the release of Skyfall.
The Royal World Premiere of Skyfall marked a rare reunion for the families of James Bond producers Harry Saltzman, Albert R. Broccoli and author Ian Fleming on the 50th anniversary. Since Saltzman was able to secure the film right's for the 007 novels in 1962 from Fleming given both men's shared experience as Intelligence operatives, the unique seating arrangement at Royal Albert Hall reflected that relationship. In the Royal Box adjacent to His Royal Highness Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall (Camilla Parker-Bowles, the surviving family of Ian Fleming, including niece Lucy Fleming and cousin Sir Christopher Lee, who also served in British Intelligence, were seated alongside Saltzman's daughter Hilary Saltzman, son Steven Saltzman, and Canadian print and broadcast journalist David Giammarco, a longtime associate of the James Bond films and author of the book "For Your Eyes Only: Behind the Scenes of the James Bond Films". The Gala Charity Premiere of Skyfall benefited retired members of Britain's Intelligence agencies, for which HRH Prince Charles is England's Royal Patron.
The villain's helicopter was an AgustaWestland AW101. Even though this was one of the most newest and advanced helicopters in the sky when the film was made, the sound effects editor did the common practice of dubbing in the sound of a two-bladed Bell Huey Vietnam-era helicopter developed in the late 1950s.
During the opening titles there is a scene where a number of daggers plunge into a graveyard. One of the daggers is a Fairbairn-Sykes fighting knife, issued to British special forces from WWII until the present day.
In early drafts of the script, when M enters her house to find James Bond waiting for her, the line "007 reporting for duty" was followed by, "You're supposed to be dead." Bond's response was "I came back" and M said, "You only live twice, Mr. Bond" This is a reference to the 5th film of the series, ''You Only Live Twice'' starring Sean Connery.
Michael G. Wilson:
Producer Wilson has been doing regular cameos in the official James Bond series since The Spy Who Loved Me, with his first being in Goldfinger. Wilson's cameo in this film mostly got cut out of the picture but there is one shot of him still in the movie thereby keeping intact the series tradition of the Wilson cameo. The sequence that got cut was a funeral procession of hearses, Wilson's cameo was as a pall bearer.
Judi Dench's seventh and final time playing the M character. 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 whilst Dench appeared in seven. Additionally this puts Dench at the same number of Bond films as Roger Moore, as well as Sean Connery (if one counts the unofficial Bond film Never Say Never Again).
When Ralph Fiennes confirmed that his character is a government agent, it led to rampant speculation that his character would be the new "M" in the series and that Dench's "M" would be depicted as retiring in 'Skyfall'. None of that was ever confirmed, but Fiennes' confirmation of his role's nature put an end to speculation that he would be playing Bond's old nemesis, Ernst Stavro Blofeld. In the end, the speculation proved true, as Fiennes' character Gareth Mallory, a former lieutenant colonel in the British Army and the Chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee, 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, a gap of around twenty-three years.
In October 2012 controversy broke out in the media and the web about the film's homo-erotic overtones from villain character Raoul Silva (Javier Bardem) directed towards James Bond (Daniel Craig), Bond traditionally being a devout heterosexual ladies' man. The furor suggests that Silva may be the first ever male Bond Girl and that James Bond may actually be bisexual. However, it's not the first time that a male Bond villain has been suggested to be gay as the Mr Wint and Mr Kidd characters in Diamonds Are Forever were camp henchmen. 'Skyfall' is the second time in three Daniel Craig films that his James Bond has been tied to a chair and tormented by the main villain. In Casino Royale, Bond had his testicles beaten by Le Chiffre with a knotted rope. In 'Skyfall', Bond's chest is caressed by Raoul Silva, then both his legs are then groped with two hands by Silva. There is an out-of-shot inference that Bond's testicles were fondled between shots, making the scene controversial in a similar way to the scene in Casino Royale.
The meaning and relevance of the film's 'Skyfall' 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, author Ian Fleming gave his James Bond character a real life lineage to the Bonds of Peckham. The real life Bond family motto "Orbis non sufficit" ("The World is not enough") was used in the novel of On Her Majesty's Secret Service and as a title for the Bond film The World Is Not Enough. The Bond Family Arms were once displayed prominently in St. Giles Church in Camberwell but were destroyed in a fire in the 1800s. Similarly, an explosion of fire is the fate of 'Skyfall' in the film. 'Skyfall' forms the third part of an unofficial trilogy in the James Bond franchise dealing with Bond's ancestry, the first and second parts being On Her Majesty's Secret Service and The World Is Not Enough. Producer Barbara Broccoli has said that the film's 'Skyfall' title "has some emotional context which will be revealed in the film". This was also the case with the previous Bond film Quantum of Solace.
The film's villain Raoul Silva (Javier Bardem) is an ex-MI6 agent. It's not the first time that a rogue ex-agent has been the main villain in a Bond movie. Alec Trevelyan (Sean Bean in GoldenEye was a former fellow agent of 007, his code number being 006. In Die Another Day, Bond's fellow British agent Miranda Frost (Rosamund Pike) turned out to be a double-agent.
The London underground tube train crash that occurs when James Bond chases Raoul Silva was filmed at Pinewood Studio's mammoth 007 Stage which has been the filming home to most of the super-scale Bond set pieces of the past. For the crash, filmed on "The Catacombs Set", 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.
Just prior to post-production lock-off, about ten minutes of footage were cut out of the film due to the picture's extensively long running time. These scenes and sequences include MI6 agents after the MI6 HQ explosion; a funeral procession for MI6 agents; Sévérine at Shanghai International Airport; an M and Mallory scene; early scenes with M's Assistant Vanessa; Bond running through Regent's Park; and scenes involving Sévérine's activities.
A sizable amount of the film's story takes place below London's street surface, an underground environment that is based on what was historically known as "The Churchill Bunker System". During World War II, many government offices were relocated underground for protection from German bombing during "The Blitz". In 'Skyfall', after the headquarters at MI6 are the subject of a terrorist attack, M makes the decision to relocate underground, just like Winston Churchill did during the Second World War.
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 long-time Bond FXpert Chris Corbould, the film's special effects and miniature effects supervisor, used twenty-eight explosives to replicate the attack.
Ralph Fiennes is the fourth actor to play the M character in the official series. Fiennes' 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-film Dalton era. Judi Dench played M between 1995 and 2012 with her last appearance being in 'Skyfall'. Fiennes' M is the sixth actor to play the character if one counts the unofficial Bond films where John Huston and Edward Fox played M in Casino Royale and Never Say Never Again respectively.
Villains in the Bond movie series have often had some physiological dysfunction or trait that makes them distinguishable. For this movie, the Raoul Silva villain played by Javier Bardem has a false jaw. This 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. Interestingly, Jaws from Moonraker and The Spy Who Loved Me, another villain with a false jaw, is actually Bardem's favorite Bond villain.
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".
Naomie Harris is the fourth actress in the official series to play Miss Moneypenny. Harris is the fifth if one counts Pamela Salem from the unofficial Never Say Never Again and the sixth if one counts Barbara Bouchet from the unofficial Bond spoof Casino Royale where the character was technically Miss Moneypenny's daughter. Harris' Moneypenny is called Eve making her characterization the first time in the official series that the character has had a first name. 'Skyfall' is the first time the character has appeared in the series since Die Another Day, a gap of around a decade. Harris is also the first black actress to play the part. Lois Maxwell first played Moneypenny 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 films during the Dalton era and then Samantha Bond for four films during the Brosnan era. 'Skyfall' represents the first time that Miss Moneypenny is a fully-fledged main Bond Girl and not a supporting character.
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.
Gadgets featured in the film include a tiny radio tracking device; a NFC (Near field communication) enabled Sony Xperia T smart-phone (aka "The Bond Phone"); an Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra Mid-Sized Chronometer watch; an Agusta Westland Merlin AW101 helicopter with a Public Address (PA) system fitted on its undercarriage to play music; an original silver-birch Aston Martin DB5 car with various gadgets including an ejector seat (unused) and two 20mm Browning Machine Gun headlights; a Sony VAIO laptop computer; a Sony Xperia Tablet; and a hand recognition Walther PPK/S 9mm short firearm with a palm-sensitive hammer coded to James Bond's palm prints.
The influence of three of Ian Fleming's novels can be seen in the movie: the early sequences of Bond "missing/presumed dead" are reminiscent of the end of "You Only Live Twice" wherein Bond is suffering from amnesia and is "missing/presumed dead" and M writes the obit for the London Times. When he returns to London, the evaluation her goes through is similar to the tests he goes through at the start of "The Man With The Golden Gun" upon returning from Japan and Russian. And the emotional ending is reminiscent of the end of "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" where Bond mourns the loss of his wife in his arms.
The explosion sequence in the film's climax was shot over two consecutive nights. It's the second consecutive Bond film where the film's climax and denouement results in the blowing-up and explosion of a landmark building. In Quantum of Solace it was a facility in the desert, in 'Skyfall' it's a mansion in the Scottish countryside. 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.
The film introduces three new actors to play three recurring roles in the series. 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.
When Bond tracks Patrice to Shanghai, Patrice assassinates a man (identified in the credits as "Shanghai Art Collector") while he is viewing a painting. The painting is "Woman with a Fan (Luna Czechowska)", painted by Amedeo Modigliani in 1919. In reality, on May 20, 2010 this painting was stolen from the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, along with works by Matisse, Braque, Picasso and Leger. The paintings are still missing, and their collective worth has been estimated at $200 million.
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). Bernard Lee 's M's first name, Miles, was spoken aloud in The Spy Who Loved Me and his successor, 'Robert Brown''s last name, Hargreaves, was revealed in that same film, although he would not become M until Octopussy (assuming Brown is playing the same character - but this is unlikely due to the franchise's having different major characters played by the same actors in different films e.g. Maud Adams, Charles Gray and Joe Don Baker). Neither Judi Dench 's M's first or last names were ever revealed, although in Casino Royale, Bond says that one of her names does begin with the letter M before being cut off by her (and some drafts of the screenplay for GoldenEye give her name as Barbara Mawdsley, but it was never spoken aloud in the final film).
Skyfall' is the 11th time in the official James Bond series that Bond is seen playing a game or entering in some kind of sport with the main villain. In 'Skyfall', Bond is forced to partake in a shooting contest with Raoul Silva using reproduction Percussion Cap Ardesa 1871 Duelling Pistols. Bond's previous rounds with villains included playing golf with Goldfinger, Texas Hold 'Em Poker with Le Chiffre in Casino Royale, Baccarat and skeet shooting with Emilio Largo in Thunderball, playing backgammon with Kamal Khan in Octopussy, tarot cards with Mr Big / Dr Kananga in Live and Let Die, pheasant shooting with Drax in Moonraker, horse-riding with Max Zorin in A View to a Kill, toy board war-games with Brad Whitaker in The Living Daylights, fencing with Gustave Graves in Die Another Day and pistols dueling and fun-house games with Scaramanga in The Man with the Golden Gun. It's the 12th time if one counts the World Domination video-game with Maximillian Largo in the unofficial Never Say Never Again.
Silva's helicopter attacking the Skyfall estate bears an orange-red logo that looks just like the logo of the Austrian Air Force, though the movie leaves it open whether this is a hint at any of Silva's connections or not.
In this film and the two preceding it, every featured girl Bond sleeps with or fools around with wind up dying. This includes: Solange, Vesper Lynd, Strawberry Fields and Sévérine. He doesn't sleep with Camille or Eve (though a liaison with the latter was strongly suggested, happening off-screen if so) and they both live.