Michael G. Wilson: Producer Michael G. Wilson has been doing regular cameos in the official James Bond franchise since The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), with his first being in Goldfinger (1964). Wilson's cameo appearance in this film was mostly cut out, but there is one shot of him still in the movie. The sequence that got cut, was a funeral procession of hearses, Wilson's cameo was as a pall bearer. Wilson is still seen in the film at a distance through a doorway, during the sequence where Dame Judi Dench is standing next to the MI6 coffins covered with Union Jack flags.
Daniel Craig performed many of his own stunts, including the signature rooftop fight on the top of a moving train travelling at fifty kilometers per hour (thirty-one miles per hour) 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."
After receiving a personal invitation from Her Majesty 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 titled, "The Arrival", but later known as "Happy and Glorious". The Daniel Craig and Queen Elizabeth II pretend entertainment segment featured 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 helicopters down to the awaiting ceremony to familiar James Bond music. The segment has been said to be the Queen's first ever acting role.
Hashima Island, the site of Silva's lair, is a tiny deserted industrialized island situated off the south west coast of Japan, fifteen kilometers (nine and a half miles) from Nagasaki, and running just four hundred eighty meters (three tenths of a mile) long and one hundred sixty meters (one tenth of a mile) wide. The small isle is one of five hundred five 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.
There is an implication in this movie that Bond's ancestors were Recusant Catholics. When Kincade (Albert Finney) shows M (Dame Judi Dench) 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, sheltered priests, and refused the authority of the official church (Church of Scotland, a.k.a. Presbyterianism in this case) were referred to as "Recusants". One such prominent, real-life Recusant family from Dorset, 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 (1999)", as used in Fleming's novel On Her Majesty's Secret Service, and the title of a later 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).
A few days after the film debuted in Britain, the real MI6, the Secret Intelligence Service (S.I.S.), 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 this movie, 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.
The first time a character is audibly heard saying the "f" word in a Bond movie. In The Living Daylights (1987), Bond clearly says "For f***'s sake!", but it cannot be heard, due to plane engine noise. This movie is the first Bond film to use an audible variation of the "f" word, said by M at Skyfall Lodge.
The role of Kincade (Albert Finney) was originally written with Sir 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."
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.
Dame Judi Dench played the role of M in this film at the age of seventy-seven. The performance is also Dench's seventh time playing M. This is Dench's largest on-screen role playing M, the most significant James Bond film ever to explore a relationship between M and James Bond. Producer Barbara Broccoli says that the film explores this relationship perhaps more than in any of the twenty-two 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."
Daniel Craig told "Rolling Stone" Magazine, that he wanted this 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, Spectre (2015) and Bond 25 (2019).
There were eighty-five versions of James Bond's Tom Ford suit tailor-made for the opening chase sequence. Thirty were made for 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 motorcycle, 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." Also, Craig's tie had to be weighted for the motorcycle section of the chase. The weight kept the tie from flying around when he rode at high speeds.
Daniel Craig bonded with Javier Bardem on the set over their shared love of rugby. In his youth, Craig played for Hoylake Rugby Football Club in Wirral, Merseyside. Bardem played for Club de Rugby Liceo Francés in Madrid, and even made the Spanish national team at underage level.
Daniel Craig said that he was worried by the delays in the production, and was eager to get back into the role because, at the age of forty-three, 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.
The film's opening sequence shot in Adana and Istanbul, Turkey, took around two months to film, three months of rehearsals, four months of preparation, two hundred crew members from England, and another two hundred local crew, in order to produce around twelve to fourteen minutes of screentime.
For the motorcycle 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. Coke Zero would have been less effective, as the sugar in Coca-Cola makes it sticky.
On an October 2012 episode of The Graham Norton Show (2007), Dame 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 ringtone became an on-set running joke.
The film was influenced by Batman Begins (2005) and The Dark Knight (2008) by Director Christopher Nolan according to Director Sam Mendes. Several early reviews of this movie likened the mood of the film to that of The Dark Knight Rises (2012). Interestingly, a recurring line of dialogue in The Dark Knight Rises (2012) was "Permission To Die", this is also the title of a 1989 James Bond comic book released. A shot of Bond standing on top of a building looking out over London with a flag of England, evoked Batman perched on rooftops looking out over Gotham City. Mendes has said: "In terms of what (Nolan) achieved, specifically The Dark Knight (2008), 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 (2008), 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 (2008), might not have been possible." Nolan has often stated that the classic James Bond films were an influence on his Dark Knight trilogy. As such, one can say that Bond has inspired Batman and that Batman has inspired Bond.
Numerous cast members, playing smaller parts in the movie, never received a script, with which to work, due to the production's strict secrecy protocols, so stringent and tight, that they reflect real-life intelligence espionage. Tonia Sotiropoulou did not know what she would be doing in 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."
M's (Dame 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 scored many of the James Bond films, and defined the signature theme music in the franchise, 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 this movie has been said to pay tribute to Barry.
Kevin Spacey was considered for a role, but declined due to scheduling conflicts. It is believed that Sam Mendes originally offered Spacey the role of the villain, the part in the film played by Javier Bardem. Spacey worked with Mendes on American Beauty (1999), in which Kevin Spacey's character complains to his wife about missing a James Bond marathon on television.
At the 2013 Academy Awards ceremony, Skyfall (2012) became the first James Bond film to achieve several records in the franchise's history: The highest number of Academy Award nominations ever received by a Bond film (five: Best Song, Score, Sound Mixing, Sound Effects Editing and Cinematography). The first Bond film in three decades to receive Oscar nominations. The last time was in 1982, when For Your Eyes Only (1981) was nominated for Best Song. 1982 also saw Producer Albert R. Broccoli receive the Honorary Thalberg Award. First Bond film to win two Oscars (Goldfinger (1964) and Thunderball (1965) won just the one each). The third Bond film to win an Academy Award, and the first in forty-seven years, the last being Thunderball (1965). Skyfall's tied Oscar for Sound Editing was not actually the first in that category, as Goldfinger (1964) had won for Best Effects, Sound Effects, and Diamonds Are Forever (1971) had been nominated for Best Sound. Although many Bond songs have been nominated for the Best Song Oscar (Live and Let Die (1973), For Your Eyes Only (1981), The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), and the unofficial Casino Royale (1967)), Adele's "Skyfall" became the first James Bond theme to win the Academy Award for Best Original Song.
The film deals with James Bond's Scottish ancestry. Bond's family history was created by Ian Fleming in the Bond novel "On Her Majesty's Secret Service". Fleming was inspired to add the backstory of Bond's genealogy into the book, after seeing the character played by Sir Sean Connery (a Scotsman) in Dr. No (1962). This is the second time in the official James Bond film franchise, that Bond discusses the death of his parents, the first time was in GoldenEye (1995). The 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.
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. This is not the first Bond movie to feature a rooftop motorcycle chase, it's the second, as one appeared in Tomorrow Never Dies (1997).
At two hours and twenty-three minutes, this is the second-longest Bond movie of all time, the longest being Casino Royale (2006), at two hours and twenty-four minutes. The third-longest running time for a Bond movie is two hours and twenty-two minutes for On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969).
The quotation that M recites, is from Alfred Lord Tennyson's poem "Ulysses", "To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield". First published in 1842, its recitation in the film's 2012 release, occurred on the poem's 170th Anniversary.
Reportedly, sales of cutthroat razors increased by around four hundred percent, in the week following the film's launch. Online retailers of cutthroat razors reported sales increases of fifty percent to four hundred percent, due to the exposure generated by this film. The spike in sales has been attributed to the love scene in this movie, where 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."
The shooting location of Shanghai, makes this the first Bond movie to have filmed in China. Originally, Licence to Kill (1989) was to be filmed in China, but when the Chinese Government made several restrictive demands, such as veto rights over the script, the viability of the location fell through. This was once rumored to feature a motorcycle chase along the Great Wall of China, a chase sequence originally intended for Licence to Kill (1989), but instead there is a rooftop motorcycle 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 (1989), but this sequence wasn't used for this film either. Screenwriter 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."
Final of twenty-three James Bond films for trumpet player Derek Watkins, who had worked in the Music Department, as a trumpeter, on every James Bond film, since he was seventeen-years-old, when he worked on the first movie in the official franchise, Dr. No (1962). Watkins passed away in 2013, around five months after the release of this movie.
The villain's helicopter was an AgustaWestland AW101. Even though this was one of the newest, and most advanced helicopters when the film was made, Sound Effects Editor William R. Dean 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 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. Also, the bottle of alcohol that Silva offers Bond on his island says "1962" on its label, referencing the franchise's 50th anniversary. The beer is Heineken, who contributed a rather large amount of money for the product placements. Bill Tanner is also seen drinking the beverage.
During principal photography, three Turkish youths bypassed tight security in Adana, Turkey, to infiltrate a closed film set, where they filmed footage of a train scene being shot with their mobile phones.. Fitting of the intrigue from the earlier Turkey-set Bond movie From Russia with Love (1963), the three snuck through alleyways and jumped a wire fence into a train station where this movie 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 the set.
The top-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", published for the 40th anniversary of the James Bond films. For the 50th anniversary 007 film, Skyfall (2012), longtime Bond franchise collaborator David Giammarco, along with contributions from Hilary Saltzman and Steven Saltzman, disclosed the full extent of their father's Intelligence work, including 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". As part of the James Bond worldwide publicity for the golden milestone of cinema's longest-running franchise begun in 1962 by Albert R. Broccoli and Saltzman, this remarkable package of revelations, kept under extremely tight wraps by Giammarco and Vanity Fair for nearly a year, immediately sparked thrilling media headlines around the globe in the countdown to the highly-anticipated theatrical release of this movie.
Eminönü Square, a busy business district in Istanbul, Turkey 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. Shopkeepers were reimbursed seven hundred fifty Turkish Liras per day, to cover their losses. The Turkish bazaar sequence in the film featured over two hundred fifty dressed market stalls, created by the film's Art and Props Departments, and was populated by around five hundred extras.
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 Miss Eve Moneypenny containing M's porcelain bulldog figurine. In 1995, the original script for GoldenEye (1995) had revealed M's name as "Barbara Mawdsley", but early drafts of scripts aren't considered canon, only what ends up on-screen, and this was before the reboot with Casino Royale (2006), so Dame Judi Dench's interpretation of M could be two different characters (however unlikely). 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 fellow spy novelist John le Carré, Ian Fleming (ever tongue in cheek), designated the head of S.I.S. as "M", using Cummings' first name. Keeping the Mansfield as a surname is a twist, but not intended in any of Fleming's original works. Fleming's "Man With the Golden Gun" gave M's name as "Myles Messervy".
Adele was pregnant when she recorded the theme song to the film. In an interview with the BBC, she said her pregnancy hormones caused her voice to go deeper, hense why her singing tone in this song is so low. She also said she is not able to re-create this low tone now.
This movie is not a follow-up from the two previous films. Producer Barbara Broccoli said that the franchise "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."
The title is not a word taken from any Ian Fleming James Bond story. Screenwriters Neal Purvis and Robert Wade thought up the film's title, "Skyfall", at two in the morning. Neal and Robert have said: "We needed a haunting place name. I just plucked it out of the air, and it turned out to be something that struck a chord with the filmmakers." This is the only Bond film where the team provided the film's title. The World Is Not Enough (1999)'s title was taken from a real-life Bond family motto, and was mentioned by Ian Fleming in the novel of On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969), while the title of Die Another Day (2002) was taken from a phrase in A.E. Housman's poem "A Shropshire Lad". Casino Royale (2006) and Quantum of Solace (2008) were titles taken from original Ian Fleming stories.
In early drafts of the script, when M enters her house to find 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 would have been a reference to You Only Live Twice (1967), starring Sir Sean Connery.
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."
When Bond (Daniel Craig) and Q (Ben Whishaw) 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 films had Q giving Bond such a pen: Never Say Never Again (1983) and GoldenEye (1995).
Sixth appearance in the official James Bond franchise of the classic silver birch Aston Martin DB5 car. The film marks the return of the vehicle, which first appeared in Goldfinger (1964), and last appeared in Casino Royale (2006). The DB5 has also appeared in Thunderball (1965), GoldenEye (1995), and Tomorrow Never Dies (1997). The car also features in the James Bond video games James Bond in Agent Under Fire (2001), 007 Racing (2000), James Bond 007: Blood Stone (2010), and From Russia with Love (2005), but not in the tie-in video game 007 Legends (2012), which has instead the Aston Martin DBS. The license plate number of the DB5 in this film is BMT 216A, the same as it was in Goldfinger (1964) and Thunderball (1965), the complex, out of which the car drives, resembling that from Goldfinger (1964). The famous DB series of Aston Martin cars is named after Sir David Brown. Brown was an entrepreneur, adventurer, and chairman of Aston Martin from the late 1940s to the 1970s.
The promotional tie-in with Heineken Lager Beer for this movie has been valued at being (UK) twenty-eight million pounds (forty-five million U.S. dollars). The product placement caused a controversy in the media prior to release, criticism being made for lacking integrity, blatant commercialization with Daniel Craig appearing in a Heineken ad, and being disrespectful to Bond's traditional drink, the shaken, not stirred martini. Producer Michael G. Wilson and Daniel Craig defended the financing, by indicating that the Bond films cost a lot of money to make, and the film 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.
Second time in the official James Bond franchise that James Bond has broken into M's house, as he did in Casino Royale (2006). That time, M said, "Don't ever break into my house again", though she fails to mention that in this film.
Ben Whishaw is the fourth actor to play Q in the official James Bond franchise. This 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 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 nicknamed "the Armorer" in Dr. No (1962), then Desmond Llewelyn played Q in seventeen Bond films between 1963 and 1999, followed by John Cleese (as Q's assistant "R") in The World Is Not Enough (1999), then as Q in Die Another Day (2002), the latter being the last time the character appeared in the official franchise before this movie. Whishaw is the sixth actor to play Q when one counts the unofficial Bond films Casino Royale (1967) and Never Say Never Again (1983), where Q was played by Geoffrey Bayldon and Alec McCowen, respectively. Q is an abbreviation for the word "Quartermaster".
The name of the World War II-era French song heard playing on Silva's island lair is "Boum!", and is sung by French singer and songwriter Charles Trenet. The song won the Grand Prix du Disque, and was released in 1938.
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. In 1805, it was decommissioned and towed from Sheerness to Rotherhithe, to be broken up in 1838. Turner's main motive of painting 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 artworks 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 four-year gap between the release of Quantum of Solace (2008) and this film 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 (1989) and GoldenEye (1995) (the longest period between films in the franchise) and then between Die Another Day (2002) and Casino Royale (2006) were both accompanied by casting changes to the actor playing James Bond.
The film's marketing has been said to have gone to a new level with (Daniel Craig) appearing in several 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."
If you watch the scene in the Komodo dragon pit closely, you will notice Daniel Craig has strange-looking, pudgy hands. This is because during filming, Craig had gone to the shops and purchased a pair of gloves that he thought were fitting for 007. Sam Mendes let him wear them in the scene, but later during editing, they realized the gloves didn't work with the logic of the scene: Bond's gun is picked up by a henchman, who is unable to fire it, because the gun has been coded to Bond's palm print, only allowing Bond to fire it. Therefore, Bond wearing gloves makes no sense, as he wouldn't be able to fire his gun. After some frantic calculations on how much re-shooting the scene would cost, it was deemed too expensive, and Craig's hands were CGI'd in.
The first James Bond film to be shot entirely on digital. Previously, only part of one scene in Quantum of Solace (2008) 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 (2011), on which he also used the Alexa.
Second time in the official James Bond franchise, that Bond is seen with a beard, the first time was Pierce Brosnan in Die Another Day (2002). In both movies, the character only has the beard for a portion of the film. In both instances, we see the beard being shaved.
The Royal World Premiere of Skyfall (2012) 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 (2012) benefited retired members of Britain's Intelligence agencies, for which H.R.H. Prince Charles is England's Royal Patron.
The exotic Calis Beach, a remote beach in Fethiye, 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 thirteen part-owners of the beach to allow filming to take place there.
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 sixty-one covered streets, and over three thousand shops attracting up to four hundred thousand 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, Production Design, Art Department, and Props Department, the bazaar was dressed overnight on preceding Saturday nights to look like the hive of activity that the one would expect from the location. Five hundred Turkish extras 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 motorcycle crashes through its window, was around three hundred thirty-years-old.
First time that an Academy Award winning Director (Sam Mendes (American Beauty (1999))) has directed a James Bond movie. The first Bond film seen by Mendes was Live and Let Die (1973), and his favorite is From Russia with Love (1963). 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, Mendes was offered the director's job at a party by Daniel Craig. A meeting was then arranged for Mendes with the producers and things rolled on from there. As a boy, Mendes owned a die-cast Corgi Toys model car of Bond's Aston Martin DB5 car, which inspired him to include the vehicle in the film. Around the time of Casino Royale (2006), Mendes originally thought Craig was miscast as 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.'" With a rating of PG-13, this is also Mendes' first non-R-rated film.
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 stated that Newman was simply chosen, due to his on-going work with Mendes. In October 2012, David Arnold revealed on Twitter that the producers had licensed some of his film score from Casino Royale (2006) for this movie.
The glass set, depicting the inside of the Shanghai office skyscraper, was nicknamed "The Jellyfish". It was built at Pinewood Studios, and was likened to being like "a hall of mirrors". Cinematographer Roger Deakins 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 panels, which were used to represent electronic billboards exterior to the skyscraper's office windows. The production had originally location scouted for a Chinese skyscraper, but this proved to be unsuccessful, the substitute set providing improvements by being multi-dimensionally made of glass. The sequence in this movie, that "The Jellyfish" is seen, is when Bond is on the track of an assassin on the way to a Shanghai office complex. In The Man with the Golden Gun (1974), a hall of mirrors was seen during the opening sequence, and at the film's finale.
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. 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 (2002), where Pierce Brosnan blew his knee out during filming of the opening hovercraft sequence, shutting down production for around one to two weeks.
Second Unit Director Alexander Witt and the second unit travelled to Shanghai, 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 sky above the city to shoot from a helicopter on loan from the Chinese government. Production Designer Dennis Gassner and the Art Department worked to create the rest of the Chinese environment on soundstages at Pinewood Studios.
Glencoe, Scotland is a filming location that portrays its own setting: Glencoe. In the James Bond novel "On Her Majesty's Secret Service", Ian Fleming gave Bond a sense of family background, writing that Bond's father Andrew 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 this movie, 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.
According to the UK Sun newspaper, Bond Girl Bérénice Marlohe said that 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 scene, but I said, 'No, come on, don't be shy. I will do anything to make you feel comfortable.'"
The most successful James Bond movie at the international box-office in the official film franchise's history. Previously, it grossed one hundred million dollars at the international box-office in its first week. It also had the biggest opening weekend at the box-office for a Bond film in Britain.
Javier Bardem was once offered a role in an earlier James Bond film, perhaps even the role of Bond (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."
With the use of Quantum of Solace (2008), 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", "007 in New York" (aka "Agent 007 in New York"). However, none of these were used in favor of the original title, "Skyfall".
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 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. Also, the runtime on the YouTube video is 0:07, a reference to James Bond's code number of 007.
Development and production was delayed for almost nine months during 2010 to 2011, due to the bankruptcy and delayed sale of MGM, with the production being officially suspended on April 19, 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 cancelled financing, with the goal to have this Bond film in theaters for the 50th Anniversary of the franchise. Production resumed in January 2011.
Naomie Harris' mother is from Jamaica, where Ian Fleming wrote the James Bond stories at his Goldeneye estate. At thirty-five, 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 thirty-seven at the time of filming Goldfinger (1964), and Maud Adams was also thirty-seven at the time of filming Octopussy (1983). Harris attended the film's Royal World Premiere with twenty-six members of her family.
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 have 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 2.35:1. The IMAX image is twenty-six percent 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 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 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 ten feet (three meters), and weigh up to around one hundred fifty pounds (sixty-eight kilograms). 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.
The train fight scene was supposed to shoot in India, with lot of people traveling on the roof of the train. However Indian government would not give permission saying that it will give a bad impression about India and its culture.
Ralph Fiennes (male M), Rory Kinnear (Tanner), and Ben Whishaw (Q), all now MI6 regular characters in the James Bond film franchise , have all portrayed "Hamlet" on the stage, on Broadway, The National Theatre, and The Old Vic, respectively.
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 franchise gun barrel sequence shown at the start of the film (the last film to use the sequence at the beginning was Die Another Day (2002)). According to Sam Mendes, there was an attempt to put the gun barrel walk before the pre-title sequence, but it did not work out artistically. It was also put at the end of the film, so as to be able to 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. Sir Roger Moore is the other Bond actor to have shot more than one gun barrel sequence, as he had filmed one for Live and Let Die (1973), which was re-used in The Man with the Golden Gun (1974), and eventually would film a second one for The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), that would be re-used for the rest of the Bond films starring Moore.
Seventh James Bond film where the villain resides in an island lair. Raoul Silva's home is Hashima Island, an abandoned island near Nagasaki, Japan. The others were Dr. No (1962)'s Crab Key island; Largo's Palmyra Estate in the Bahamas, in Thunderball (1965); Blofeld's Japanese island volcano lair in You Only Live Twice (1967); Mr. Big's (Dr. Kananga's) fictitious Carribean island of San Monique, in Live and Let Die (1973); Elektra King and Renards' Kizkulesi Island (The Maiden's Tower) in Turkey's Bosphorus Sea, in The World Is Not Enough (1999); and Scaramanga's island in The Man with the Golden Gun (1974).
According to Dame Judi Dench, the secrecy surrounding the details of the film's plot were 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.
Bond's father's hunting rifle is a .500 caliber Nitro Express, an extremely powerful elephant gun. During the final shoot-out, Bond is shown firing it from the hip. Its recoil would make this a very foolish thing to do, and a human being struck by one of the bullets would not merely fall down. A shot placed at center-mass would explode the entire chest cavity, and likely blow the target's arms out of the shoulders.
The film has a lot in common with The World Is Not Enough (1999). Both involve abduction victims left to their fate by M, who they view as a quasi-maternal figure, and M is forced to deal with the consequences of her decisions when said victims want revenge. They are also the only Bond movies where M is actually part of the story, rather than just giving Bond his briefing and sending him on his way. Both feature scenes in Istanbul, Turkey, as well as a chase scene in London (a rarity for the franchise, despite London being in nearly every film), an explosion at the MI6 building, MI6 being temporarily relocated, Bond recovering from a shoulder injury sustained in the teaser, the introduction of a new Q, a female lackey, who is terrified of her male terrorist employer, Bond being held captive in a chair by the Big Bad, the Big Bad using Bond to get to M, Bond pursuing a villain underground, a helicopter destroying Bond's car, Bond using gas to blow up a helicopter, and the bad guy being impaled by a metallic object.
The film has been said to use a large amount of computer graphics imagery, around five hundred CGI shots, the most since Die Another Day (2002). A large amount of the visual effects in the film were created by around eight hundred fifty staff of Technicolor owned post-production house The Moving Picture Company, two hundred fifty in Bangalore, and six hundred in London. Animators, Graphic Artists, Visual Effects Technicians, and other visual effects professionals worked for eight months creating thousands of frames, computer animations, graphic insertions, and high-end visual effects integrating all of the digital content for the movie.
Second consecutive Bond film to have a vehicle chase in the opening sequence. This vehicle chase was originally written and intended for The World Is Not Enough (1999), but was scrapped, as the film's story had become too expansive. This film's vehicle chase included a fleet of twelve Land Rover Defenders, and sixteen Audi A5s, 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 Miss Eve Moneypenny's (eight feet above the ground) vehicle, allowing her to concentrate on delivering dialogue, while being driven by former "Stig" Ben Collins at fifty miles per hour (eighty kilometers per hour) through the packed streets of Istanbul. Multiple British rally car champion Mark Higgins was Harris' driving double for wide-angle shots of the Land Rover weaving through traffic. Other modifications, to the vehicles for the stunt sequence, include: spread wheels to give greater stability, conversion from manual to automatic, modified engines to enhance power, and the addition of interior roll cages for protection and safety.
The Paddock Tank (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 four hundred light bulbs.
This is only the fourth James Bond movie, in the official franchise, which doesn't allow for marketing purposes the formation of the 007 symbol within the film's title wording by way of forming one or two of the "0"'s. The others include Thunderball (1965), Live and Let Die (1973), and The Living Daylights (1987). It's the fifth, when one includes the unofficial Never Say Never Again (1983).
John Cleese was reportedly not asked to reprise his role as Q. He later gave an interview to the Radio times, hinting that he was dropped from his role partly because film bosses wanted to please audiences in Asia.
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 (2002), and the first Daniel Craig Bond film to do so. The "Skyfall" song was released on Friday, October 5, 2012, at 0:07 a.m. BST/London time (7:07 p.m. EDT on October 4), the exact 50th Anniversary of the launch of Dr. No (1962). A ninety-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.
Third consecutive James Bond film dealing with terrorism. The central type of terrorism depicted in this movie is cyberterrorism. In an interview in the tie-in documentary Everything or Nothing (2012), 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 (2002) 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."
Javier Bardem's casting marks the first time that a Spanish actor has played the lead villain in a James Bond movie, while Bardem is the third Spaniard to play any villain, after henchmen Simón Andreu in Die Another Day (2002), and Fernando Guillén Cuervo in Quantum of Solace (2008). Bardem's villain name of "Raoul Silva" is actually an alias, the character's real name being Tiago Rodriguez. "Silva" or "Da Silva", is the most common surname in Portuguese-speaking countries, such as Portugal and Brazil. Its meaning is derived from the Latin word "silva", meaning "forest", or "woodland". It is also widespread in regions of the former Portuguese Empire in America (from Galicia (Spain)), Africa and Asia, including India and Sri Lanka. Movement of people has led to the name being used in many places. The film's writers wrote the script with Bardem in mind, and 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 saw was Moonraker (1979), its henchman Jaws being his favorite Bond villain.
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 movie's producers, and 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 November 3, 2011 press conference. At that event, it was announced that this movie would not be related to any previously published Ian Fleming James Bond novel or short story.
Released in late 2012 in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the James Bond film franchise. Previous Bond films released in similar celebrations include: Die Another Day (2002) in the franchise's 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. This film world premiered within a couple of weeks of the 50th Anniversary of the launch of Dr. No (1962) on May 10, 1962. Also, a new Bond documentary was made and released to tie in and celebrate the Golden Anniversary of the franchise, Everything or Nothing (2012). It premiered on October 5..
This is the twenty-third James Bond movie in the EON Productions official franchise, and the twenty-fifth theatrically released James Bond film, including the unofficial films Casino Royale (1967) and Never Say Never Again (1983). It is also the twenty-sixth James Bond film, if counting the television episode Climax!: Casino Royale (1954). Also, Skyfall's associated video game, 007 Legends (2012), which has a "Skyfall" mission, is also the twenty-third title in its James Bond video game series.
A total of twenty Honda CRF250R motorcycles were used for the opening motorcycle chase. The sequence is notable for being performed on narrow rooftop tracks, and without any helmets or heavy-duty protective gear. The "Police" and "Street Merchant" bikes were ridden by stunt riders, and due to the high speed of the chase, the stunt crew teams filming it, also rode the bikes carrying the cameras. For the film, the Honda motorcycles were modified especially for the stunt sequence by the special effects team of Chris Corbould.
Although this movie had the largest amount of product placement of any Bond film compared to any before it, it was the first in twenty-three years (since Licence to Kill (1989)) that did not either introduce a brand-new car model, or highlight one in a major action sequence. Every Bond film since Die Another Day (2002) had featured a wide variety of vehicles produced by Ford's Premier Automotive Group, which at the time included Aston Martin, Land Rover, Jaguar, and Volvo. After Quantum of Solace (2008) was filmed, however, Ford entirely disbanded its portfolio of foreign makes, and along with it the company's product-placement arrangement. As such, no Fords are seen in this movie, and existing Land Rover and Jaguar-produced vehicles are featured only in brief shots. The only car shown at length in this movie is Bond's famous 1964 Aston Martin DB5, first seen in Goldfinger (1964), and featured in a total of six Bond films. As an icon of the franchise, as well as an automotive classic, the DB5's presence, in the films, has never been part of a product placement deal (although the company did pay to place its modern Vanquish and DBS models in earlier films). This is the last modern Bond film, as of 2015, to have this distinction, as Aston Martin is introducing its new DB10 model as part of its promotion deal for Spectre (2015).
Third James Bond movie to film in Istanbul, Turkey. The first was From Russia with Love (1963), and the second was The World Is Not Enough (1999). This shares two of the same filming locations that the classic James Bond film From Russia with Love (1963) utilized: Turkey and Scotland (although the Scottish scenes in From Russia with Love (1963) were not set in the country). The film was also once rumored to be titled "Red Sky at Night", the word "red" evoking Russia, or the old sailors' warning referring to a red sky being a natural sign to stay in port. Turkish locations that the film shares with From Russia with Love (1963), include: Istanbul's Sultanahmet Square and the Hagia Sophia Mosque, now a museum. Producer Barbara Broccoli maintains that Istanbul was Ian Fleming's favorite city.
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 handgun he has, uses hand recognition coded to his palm prints. Timothy Dalton's Bond used a weapon with the same feature in Licence to Kill (1989).
This film marks the return of Title Designer Daniel Kleinman, who did the opening titles and gun barrel sequences from GoldenEye (1995) to Casino Royale (2006). In the previous film, Kleinman was replaced by U.S. special effects company MK12. This is Kleinman's sixth collaboration as Title Designer in the franchise, and his second one in a Bond film starring Daniel Craig.
The film was originally going to be shot in six countries, but budget cutbacks in January 2012 resulted in filming primarily taking place in the UK, on-location and in studio. Additional shooting was done in 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 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.
Fourth James Bond movie to film in Scotland after From Russia with Love (1963) (various locations in the Argyll and Bute region), The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) (the Faslane Naval base) and The World Is Not Enough (1999) (Eilean Donan Castle at Kyle of Lochalsh in the Highlands). This is the fifth Bond film to shoot in Scotland, if including the unofficial Casino Royale (1967), which shot in Killin, Stirling. The first actor to play James Bond on the big screen was a Scot, Sir Sean Connery. The Scottish Dalness Estate once belonged to the Fleming family, and 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 this movie filmed, alongside the Buachaille Etive Mor mountain. In On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969), James Bond was seen wearing a kilt.
For a long time in development and pre-production, the film was simply known as "Bond 23". Reportedly, other titles that were considered for the movie were "A Killing Moon", "Once Upon a Spy", and "Silver Bullet". Falsely 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.
Screenwriter Peter Morgan left the production 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, and Wade screenwriting 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 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.
When it came time to casting Silva's mercenaries, 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.
At the film's Spanish Premiere at Madrid's Español Theatre on October 29, 2012, many 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.
First Bond film in twenty-three years, where a "traditional" franchise M's office is seen, the last time was in Licence to Kill (1989). It's also the first time in the franchise, that the old "traditional" and new "modern" types of M offices have been seen in the same movie. In fact, there are actually three M's offices in this movie, the old "traditional' type, the new "modern" MI6 type, as seen in the franchise ever since GoldenEye (1995), and M's temporary office in the underground bunker.
When Q delivers the Walther PPK and 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 on-lookers. This fits Q's role as scientific research and development for S.I.S., MI6, and 007.
In preparing for his role, Javier Bardem had the script translated into his native Spanish to better understand his character, which Sam Mendes cited as being a sign of the actor's commitment to the film.
While speaking via microphones in "The Golden Dragon Casino", James Bond warns Miss Eve Moneypenny to stop touching her ear. This is a reference to Casino Royale (2006), where Bond warns Agent Carter to stop touching his ear, while speaking to him.
The opening few seconds are an homage to the traditional gun barrel openings of previous Bond films. The long, dark corridor with a bright light at its end, is similar to the shape of a gun barrel. Bond walks into frame from offstage holding a gun, and is shillouetted at the end of the corridor. Just the first three notes of the Bond theme are then played.
The provocative scene where Bond meets Silva in what appears to be some kind of homosexual seduction often provoked giggles between Daniel Craig and Javier Bardem to alleviate the tension between the two.
M (Dame Judi Dench) mentions that she oversaw MI6's Hong Kong operations until 1997, even though Dench's first appearance as M was in GoldenEye (1995). The reason for this apparent contradiction, is that the James Bond franchise was reset, or rebooted, beginning with Casino Royale (2006), and Dench has actually portrayed two separate versions of the same character.
First James Bond movie to have two separate train action sequences involving different trains. From Russia with Love (1963), Live and Let Die (1973), The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), Octopussy (1983), and GoldenEye (1995) all had just the one locomotive. This movie is also the second Bond film to have a rooftop fight on a train, the first was Octopussy (1983). Also, the Charing Cross Underground Station was used for location shooting for the underground stations seen in the movie: Temple and Westminster.
The movie's soundtrack, composed by Thomas Newman, features the most tracks (thirty) for a James Bond film score. The previous record holder in the official franchise had been Casino Royale (2006) with twenty-five, and next is Quantum of Solace (2008) with twenty-four. The previous record holder for any Bond movie, and now second, is the unofficial Never Say Never Again (1983), which has twenty-six 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 (2006) soundtrack. This movie'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. This 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. This is also the first Daniel Craig Bond film to make use of Norman's original "James Bond Theme" throughout the entire film (in Casino Royale (2006), the fully orchestrated version was played during the end credits, and in Quantum of Solace (2008), during the gun barrel sequence, and at the start of the end credits).
October 5, 2012 was "Global James Bond Day". It was created by the production to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the James Bond film franchise, and as a promotional tie-in for the film's release. According to the official website, "Global James Bond Day" featured "Worldwide events celebrating Bond's golden anniversary and included 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 City, a Music of Bond night in Los Angeles, California, hosted by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and Designing 007: 50 Years of James Bond Style (in Toronto)."
For exterior scenes shot in Whitehall, halfway through the chase between Bond and Silva, there were one hundred background vehicles, three hundred film crew, seven hundred fifty 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 climax of the opening chase sequence takes place at the breathtaking Varda Bridge, about an hour's travel (give or take, depending on travelling speed) out of Adana, in southern Turkey. The stone arch structure is also known by several 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 five hundred seventy feet (one hundred seventy-four meters) long and three hundred twenty-two feet (ninety-eight meters) 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 film 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 (2002) "Bond On Set" book. Prior to this, there had been "Making of" books for Bond films such as for GoldenEye (1995) and Tomorrow Never Dies (1997).
Several new books on James Bond were released in 2012, many around the time of early October 2012, a few weeks before the film was released, and around the time that the franchise celebrated its 50th Golden Anniversary on October 5, 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 Miss Eve Moneypenny, 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. Also, for one day of the week, Harris did combat fighting training; for one to 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.
Weaponry and guns in the film include: an Anderson Wheeler double-barreled chambered .500 caliber 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; Miss Eve Moneypenny's Olympic Arms K23B rifle; various standard Glock 17 pistols; a one hundred 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 two hundred thousand rounds of ammunition.
When Gareth Mallory is discussing a potential retirement plan with M, he says that she would be awarded "D.C.M.G. with honours". "D.C.M.G." stands for Dame Commander of the Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George, a British order of chivalry founded on April 28, 1818, by George, Prince Regent, later King George IV, while he was acting as regent for his father, King George III. It is awarded to men and women who hold high office, or who render extraordinary or important non-military service in a foreign country, and can also be conferred for important or loyal service in relation to foreign and Commonwealth affairs. Judi Dench herself holds a DBE, Dame of the Order of the British Empire.
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 nine weeks, and two hundred fifty crew to build the set.
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 (2008). 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.
Product placements, brand integrations, and promotional tie-ins 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 Jewellery; Corgi die-cast James Bond Skyfall toy Aston Martin DB5 cars; the London 2012 Olympics; Honda motorcycles; Hornby Scalextric car sets; Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles; Activision's 007 Legends (2012) video game; RT Marketing James Bond 007 merchandising; Sky TV's Sky Movies 007 HD Bond channel and Sony Electronics products, including Bravia televisions, Vaio laptops and computers, and Xperia tablets and 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 twenty-nine million pounds, or about a third of the film's budget was raised from commercial deals.
Third consecutive official James Bond movie to be distributed by Sony Pictures, after Casino Royale (2006) and Quantum of Solace (2008). It is also expected that Sony will co-distribute the next James Bond film, Spectre (2015). The official April 13, 2011 press release stated: "Sony Pictures and MGM look forward to Sony Pictures co-financing and distributing Spectre (2015) on a similar basis." This is Sony Pictures' widest ever theatrical release in the UK and Ireland, with the film launching on fifteen hundred screens.
The film is partly set in Istanbul, Turkey. Turkish Producer Ali Akdeniz, who has worked on The World Is Not Enough (1999) and this movie, says that the location of this part of the film was particularly chosen as an homage to Bond's connections with Istanbul, once known as "The City of Spies". 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 a setting, and much background information for his Bond novel of From Russia with Love (1963). For example, Fleming met Nazim Kalkavan, an Oxford educated man who inspired the Darko Kerim character. Also, while there, Fleming covered the "Istanbul Pogroms" (The Great Riot of Istanbul), which was published in "The Sunday Times" on September 11, 1955. When Fleming left the conference, he travelled by train, commenting that the experience was drab, because there had been no dining car. Interestingly, this movie and From Russia with Love (1963) involve trains, the London subway tube, and a Turkish train in Adana in this movie, and the Orient Express in From Russia with Love (1963).
At one point it was rumored that this film would be shot in New York City, 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 City 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 several action scenes in India, but then plans were changed, and all location shooting there was cancelled.
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-Benz; a Stornoway metallic grey Land Rover Defender 110 wheelbase double cab ute; a 320D L Cat Hydraulic Excavator; 1998 Volkswagen Typ 1C Beetles; an Agusta Westland Merlin AW101 helicopter; various Honda CRF 250R motorcycles, and the classic James bond car, the silver birch Aston Martin DB5.
The film started shooting in 2011, which was the thirtieth year that Casting Director Debbie McWilliams had being working on the franchise. McWilliams first Bond movie was For Your Eyes Only (1981). For this movie, McWilliams coordinated casting sessions that took place in various locations all around the world, which included, amongst others, Athens, Greece; Beijing and Shanghai, China; Istanbul, Turkey; London, England; Madrid, Spain; Stockholm, Sweden; and Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
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 (1983). 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 Company.
Third James Bond movie to film in Japan. Hashima Island was for shooting Silva's island lair. The first Bond film to lens in Japan, where the largest amount of filming was done, was for You Only Live Twice (1967). The second was for The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), where filming was done there, to get shots of exotic fish in Okinawa.
The name of the boat, on which Bond and Sévérine journey, is called "The Chimera", which is from 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".
The DLC in the videogame 007 Legends (2012) is based on the Istanbul chase, and killing Patrice from Skyfall. Both of the cut scenes are (save for playing as Bond, as it is a first person shooter) exactly as in the movie, except for the graphics in the game. This was to promote the movie, as the DLC trailer was released alongside the movie.
Sam Mendes has stated that he originally planned to open the film with the Bond gun barrel sequence, but realized it would have conflicted with the shot of Bond walking into focus in the first scene. (In a case of making lemonade from lemons. Placing it at the end, allowed the film to pay tribute to the 50th Anniversary of the franchise).
Adele's title song "Skyfall" is the first James Bond theme to debut in the Top 10 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 Chart, entering at number eight. It's the seventh Bond song to reach the U.S. Top 10, and the thirteenth to reach the U.S. Top 100. It's the first to chart in the U.S. Top 10 in a decade, the last time being Madonna's Die Another Day (2002) song in 2002. Adele's song sold two hundred sixty-one thousand copies in the U.S. in its first three days. The song debuted in the UK Singles Chart at number four within just forty-eight hours of release, and then went to number two within a week, tying with the previous record holder, Duran Duran's "A View to a Kill (1985) (Dance into the Fire)" as the highest ever charting Bond song in UK singles history. The song sold eighty-four thousand copies in the UK in its first two days, and had sold ninety-two thousand copies within a week. The song went to number one on the UK iTunes chart within ten hours. On its first day of release worldwide, the song hit the Top 10 on the iTunes charts in twenty-one countries. Of those, it also went to number one in Belgium, Finland, Germany, Greece, Ireland, The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden.
The Royal World Premiere was held on Tuesday, October 23, 2012, at Royal Albert Hall, in the presence of His Royal Highness Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall (Camilla Parker-Bowles). At the request of H.R.H. Prince Charles, the Gala Charity Premiere Benefit aided the support of former and current serving members of Britain's three intelligence agencies, GCHQ, the Security Service, and the Secret Intelligence Service. Prince Charles is England's Royal Patron of the Intelligence Services. Also in attendance, were Director Sam Mendes, and cast members Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem, Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, Bérénice Marlohe, Albert Finney, Ben Whishaw, and Dame Judi Dench. The only ever previous Bond World Premiere to be held at the Royal Albert Hall, was for the franchise's 40th Anniversary, where Die Another Day (2002) debuted. The gala premiere raised over three hundred thousand British pounds, in aid of the Prince's chosen charities.
The chopper seen at the end of the movie is an AgustaWestland Merlin AW101 helicopter. An AgustaWestland Merlin AW139 helicopter was seen in the opening "Happy and Glorious" sequence of the 2012 London Olympics where stuntmen Mark Sutton and Gary Connery took a skyfall jump in the guise of being James Bond and Queen Elizabeth II, respectively.
Bond's line to Miss Moneypenny, "Don't touch your ear", is the second time he has instructed a fellow operative to not give away their mission, the first time being in Casino Royale (2006), in the opening chase sequence that went awry, when the operative did just that, alerting their prey to their presence.
The opening train action sequence was originally planned to be shot 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 was shot in Turkey.
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 (1967) and Tomorrow Never Dies (1997). "Skyfall" Bond Girl Bérénice Marlohe was born to a Cambodian/Chinese father and a French mother (making her half-white and half-Asian). A few Bond films which shot in Asia did not feature a main Bond Girl who was from Asia, these were Die Another Day (2002), Octopussy (1983), and The Man with the Golden Gun (1974). However, these three films did have cast Asian women in minor Bond Girl roles.
Tenth Bond film produced by Michael G. Wilson as a regular (non-Executive) Producer. The next James Bond film (Spectre (2015)) was expected to be released around 2014, that year marked Wilson's 50th Golden Anniversary Year of his association with the James Bond official franchise, Wilson first appeared as an uncredited extra as a soldier at Fort Knox in Goldfinger (1964). Similarly, this film was released in the Golden 50th Anniversary Year of the franchise in 2012. Wilson has also acted on the films as a screenwriter, and as a legal, administrative, and technical consultant, and is also known for making regular cameo appearances in the franchise.
Patrice's (Ola Rapace's) gun in the film, is a one hundred-round drum mag semi-automatic Glock 18 machine pistol-class firearm, which fires twenty rounds per second. The firearm has an effective range of fifty meters (fifty-five yards) and a muzzle velocity of twelve hundred thirty feet per second (three hundred seventy-five meters per second). It's an Austrian gun that was developed at the request of EKO Cobra, the Austrian counterterrorist unit.
First one-word Bond movie title in seventeen years, the last was GoldenEye (1995). It is also the shortest one-word Bond movie title. It is the only one with two syllables, most of them in the past having three (Goldfinger (1964), Moonraker (1979), GoldenEye (1995), and Thunderball (1965) (which rhymes with "Skyfall'), and Octopussy (1983) had four. Dr. No (1962) remains the shortest Bond movie title with the least number of letters, having five, whereas "Skyfall" has seven. This is the shortest Bond film title of all, when "Doctor No" is spelled in its unabbreviated form.
Released late 2012, the film played in theaters in early 2013, which marked the 30th Anniversary that Producer Barbara Broccoli has officially been associated with the franchise, first officially credited as an Executive Assistant on Octopussy (1983). Broccoli's first start on the franchise, however, was as an uncredited Second Assistant Director on Moonraker (1979), a 30th Anniversary milestone for this, was in 2009, after the release of Quantum of Solace (2008). 2012 also marks the 25th Anniversary year for Broccoli as a Producer on the franchise, as her first credit as a Producer was as an Associate Producer on The Living Daylights (1987). It is also the 25th Anniversary year for Executive Producer and Production Manager Callum McDougall, who started as an Assistant Director on the same Bond film.
It has been claimed that the film 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 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.
The movie's features the expression "For Her Eyes Only" which is a variation on the earlier James Bond short story, compilation novel title, and movie title of For Your Eyes Only (1981). These were a variation on the real-life espionage term "Eyes Only", meaning restricted viewing to certain personnel. "The Free Dictionary" website defines "Eyes Only" as meaning "meant to be seen only by the addressee; confidential" and "official classification for documents; meant to be seen by only the person to whom it is directed."
Being that this was the 50th anniversary of the franchise, there were several homages and references to the old films, for example, when Bond gave the scrap metal pieces to an Agent, he said "for her eyes only". This was a reference to For Your Eyes Only (1981). The Aston Martin DB5, and the location that M asks Bond how old was he when his parents died, was a reference to Goldfinger (1964). The hand print recognition gun grips were a reference to Licence to Kill (1989). The scene where Bond breaks into M's house, is a reference to Casino Royale (2006). The explosion attack on MI6 was a reference to The World Is Not Enough (1999). The mention of Bond's parents was a reference to GoldenEye (1995), and of course, Bond giving his iconic "Bond, James Bond" introduction to lady while in a casino wearing a tuxedo, and Q giving Bond a Walther PPK was a reference to those iconic moments in the first James Bond film, Dr. No (1962).
On Hashima Island, Silva's lair, "Boum!" by Charles Trenet can be heard. In the final battle in Scotland when Silva's helicopter arrives, it plays through a loudspeaker a cover of John Lee Hooker's "Boom Boom Boom Boom".
The komodo dragons in the floating casino scenes were completely computer generated. The difficulties in filming with components that weren't actually there were sufficient to convince Sam Mendes never to use CGI-created characters ever again.
Early into his casting, Javier Bardem told Sam Mendes that he wanted to make some particular changes to his own appearance, notably in his hair and eye color. When Bardem showed up on set on his first day of filming in his Silva make-up and effects, he wasn't recognized.
The scene where Bond takes M to his secret garage and his Aston Martin was shot in early December 2011 on a freezing cold night that just also happened to be Judi Dench's 77th birthday. She was presented with a birthday cake in a parking lot at 4 in the morning.
The word Sévérine is a French name of Latin origin from French, 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 Italian, German, Portugese, Romanian, and Slavic. Other variant forms of the name are Severino, Severinus, Severo, Sevrin, and Seweryn.
When Bond meets Q for the first time in the National Gallery, they 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.
During the opening titles, several daggers plunge into a graveyard. One of the daggers is a Fairbairn-Sykes fighting knife, issued to British Special Forces from World War II to the present day, as of 2013.
While some Bond films have original titles that do not come from the work of Ian Fleming, "Skyfall" is the first original title that has already existed as the title of other fictional works. "Skyfall" is also the title of a 1966 science fiction novel by Harry Harrison, a 1987 novel by Thomas Block, a 2004 novel in the "Saga of the Skolian Empire" science fiction series by Catherine Asaro, a 2007 novel by Anthony Eaton in the fantasy action "Darklands Trilogy", and also the name of a Norweigan film, Himmelfall (2002), its literal English translation being, "Falling Sky", or "The Sky Is Falling Down".
This marks the tenth anniversary of Gregg Wilson on the James Bond film franchise. The movie marks the milestone of Gregg being the first third-generation member of the Broccoli and 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 stepson of co-founding Producer Albert R. Broccoli. Gregg's first credit on the franchise was as Development Executive on Die Another Day (2002). Gregg was also an Assistant Producer on Quantum of Solace (2008).
Javier Bardem wore a blond wig for the role, after brainstorming ideas with Sam Mendes to come up with a distinctive visual look for the character, which led some commentators to observe a similarity between the character and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
Albert Finney has said he remembers seeing the first Bond movie, Dr. No (1962). Other cast members were working actors and actresses in film and television when Dr. No (1962) was in theaters. Dame Judi Dench, who plays M, was appearing as Anya in Anton Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard (1962), while Finney's closest film role to the release date of Dr. No (1962), was as another great lover, Tom Jones (1963), in which he starred with Diane Cilento, who was once married to cinema's first James Bond, Sir Sean Connery, who was actually the original choice to play the Kincaid character. Producer Barbara Broccoli has said that her father, pioneer Bond Producer Albert R. Broccoli, had been keen to work with Finney, but the opportunity never arose.
During this film's development and early stages of pre-production, "Variety" columnist Liz Smith once wrote about the film, then known as "Bond 23", being filmed in New York City, using its Primola Restaurant as one of its locations. Published on Wednesday, September 10, 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 R. Broccoli, a.k.a. "Cubby", who co-produced the James Bond films from Dr. No (1962) until Licence to Kill (1989). 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 City (sic, Live and Let Die (1973) was filmed in New York City). 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 City was never actually under consideration as a filming location.
The second James Bond film to have the gun barrel sequence at the beginning of the end credits. This is Daniel Craig's third different gun barrel sequence, making him the first James Bond actor to do more than two different ones, like Sir Sean Connery and Sir Roger Moore.
Miss Eve Moneypenny says there is more to Gareth Mallory "than meets the eye". This is the tagline of the "Transformers" franchise, about a group of shape-shifting robots. Many of the Transformers' names bear the name of "Skyfall".
Javier Bardem, who won an Oscar for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, for No Country for Old Men (2007) is the second Oscar-winning actor to play a Bond villain. The first being Christopher Walken in A View to a Kill (1985), for his roll in The Deer Hunter (1978).
The Aston Martin in the film, while having many of the gadgets of the original, is not identical. Specifically, the original had a noticeable panel in the roof for the ejection seat. The one in this film has a smooth roof without the panel.
While clearly associated with Hashima Island, virtually none of what is shown corresponds to videos or to the many available photos of the actual place, nor with the Google satellite image. This indicates a combination of CGI and studio work, in addition to on-site filming.
In this film, Bond's ancestors are hinted at being Recusant Catholics; Catholics who hid their faith when it was illegal in England. In Elizabeth (1998), Daniel Craig played a Catholic priest sent by Rome to England to either kill or do harm to Queen Elizabeth (Cate Blanchett) or undermine her attempt to form the Church of England. He is ultimately discovered hiding in the secret room of a house (similar purpose to the priest's hole in this movie) by Walsingham (Geoffrey Rush), arrested, and tortured.
Filming of one of Javier Bardem's first scenes - the interrogation of Silva by M and Bond at the new MI6 headquarters - had to be stopped in one of the early takes when Bardem interrupted the scene by excitedly proclaiming that he couldn't believe that he was making a film with Judi Dench and Daniel Craig.
Nicholas Woodeson, who portrays Doctor Hall (the man who gives Bond the word association test), also appeared in The Avengers (1998) (1998) as Dr. Darling, who tests Ralph Fiennes's character - British Agent John Steed - near the beginning of the movie. In that movie, John Steed faces off against the villainous Sir August de Wynter, played by none other than Sean Connery.
M's office at the end of the movie is a recreation of the original office from the earlier Bond movies. However, the ship painting that had been above the fireplace behind the desk was now between the windows, and a picture of the new MI6 building hangs in its place.
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 (2011), Control (John Hurt), the head of MI6, has two Royal Doulton bulldogs sitting on his desk.
The film introduces one new actress and two new actors to play three recurring roles in the franchise. They are Naomie Harris as Miss Eve Moneypenny, Ben Whishaw as Q, and Ralph Fiennes as M. In each case, each of the three, is the fourth person to play their respective character in the official James Bond franchise.
In three consecutive Bond movies, Casino Royale (2006), Quantum of Solace (2008), and this movie, every featured girl Bond sleeps with, or fools around with, winds up dying. This includes: Solange, Vesper Lynd, Agent Strawberry Fields, and Sévérine. He doesn't sleep with Camille Montes or Miss Eve Moneypenny (though a liaison with the latter was strongly suggested, happening off-screen if so) and they both live.
In October 2012 controversy broke out in the media and the web about the film's homoerotic overtones from Raoul Silva directed towards James Bond, 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 (1971) were camp henchmen. This 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 (2006), Bond had his testicles beaten by Le Chiffre with a knotted rope. Here, 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 (2006).
For the destruction of the Aston Martin DB5, the production crew did not rely on the real car. Instead, the model shop turned to a German company that created parts of the car utilizing vintage 3-D printer technology. The built model was at a 1:3 scale, and then destroyed in front of the cameras.
Dame Judi Dench's seventh and final major appearance playing M. Dench has played the role of M for seventeen years from 1995 until 2012, her first being in GoldenEye (1995). This record ties with Bernard Lee, who played M for the same amount of time, except Lee appeared in eleven Bond movies, while Dench appeared in seven. Additionally, this puts Dench at the same number of Bond films as Sir Roger Moore, as well as Sir Sean Connery (if one counts the unofficial Bond film Never Say Never Again (1983)) and Walter Gotell (who played the roles of Morzeny in From Russia with Love (1963), and then General Gogol for six films consecutively from The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) to The Living Daylights (1987)). However, Dench played a cameo role in Spectre (2015) in a special video appearance.
The computer mainframe 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, in which Silva is seen, is a plexiglass enclosure, which was nicknamed by Javier Bardem, as a "Crystal Cage".
The London underground tube train crash, that occurs when Bond chases 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 five to seven tons, the real ones weigh around twenty-five to thirty tons. The Tube carriages were raised onto a track about twenty 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 soundstage during the filming of the crash, so eleven remotely-operated cameras were placed around the 007 Stage to cover the crash from various angles.
Skyfall Lodge is not a real-life building, but a purpose-built exterior set, made of 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 Hankley Common in southwest Surrey, England.
For the first time in the EON Productions official film franchise, 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 (1977), and his successor Robert Brown has been confirmed by producers to be the same Miles, and not Admiral Hargreaves (played by Brown in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)) as some fans believe. Neither Dame Judi Dench's M's first nor last names were ever revealed, although in Casino Royale (2006), 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 (1995) give her name as "Barbara Mawdsley", but it was never spoken aloud in the final film, and thus is not considered canon).
This is the eleventh time in the official James Bond franchise, that Bond is seen playing a game, or entering in some kind of sport or activity with the main villain. Here, 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 (1964), Texas Hold 'Em poker with Le Chiffre in Casino Royale (2006), Baccarat and skeet shooting with Emilio Largo in Thunderball (1965), playing backgammon with Kamal Khan in Octopussy (1983), tarot cards with Mr. Big (Dr. Kananga) in Live and Let Die (1973), pheasant shooting with Drax in Moonraker (1979), horse riding with Max Zorin in A View to a Kill (1985), toy board war games with Brad Whitaker in The Living Daylights (1987), fencing with Gustave Graves in Die Another Day (2002), and pistols duelling and funhouse games with Scaramanga in The Man with the Golden Gun (1974). It's the twelfth time if one counts the World Domination video game with Maximillian Largo in the unofficial Never Say Never Again (1983).
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 franchise, and that Dench's "M" would be depicted as retiring. None of that was 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 to be 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 (1989).
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 results in the blowing-up of a landmark building. In Quantum of Solace (2008), it was a facility in the desert, here, 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.
With the cooperation and assistance of the London Mayor's Office and Transportation For London, the production was able to shut down Vauxhall Bridge and Millbank for a scene where M witnesses a terrorist attack on MI6 Headquarters. The explosion of the MI6 Headquarters was represented by a few fireworks on the day, but then an MI6 model miniature was built at one-third scale on the backlot at Pinewood Studios, where long-time Bond Special Effects Expert Chris Corbould, this film's Special Effects and Miniature Effects Supervisor, used twenty-eight explosives to replicate the attack.
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 Headquarters 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.
Gadgets featured in the film include: a tiny radio tracking device; an N.F.C. (Near field communication) enabled Sony Xperia T smart phone ("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.
Naomie Harris is the fourth actress of Jamaican descent to play a Bond Girl. American Grace Jones was the third in A View to a Kill (1985). Jones was born in Spanish Town, Jamaica, whereas Harris' mother is from Jamaica, Naomie spent some time there as a child. Ian Fleming wrote the James Bond stories at Goldeneye in Jamaica. The first Bond Girl in the official franchise, was Swiss actress Ursula Andress, who was first seen in a white bikini emerging from the tranquil sea waters of Jamaica in Dr. No (1962). Marguerite LeWars was the first in Dr. No (1962). LeWars was the reigning Miss Jamaica, and was cast in the film when the production crew encountered her at Kingston Airport, where she had been an employee there. Martine Beswick is the second Jamaican actress, and the only Jamaican who was cast twice: as the gypsy Zora in From Russia with Love (1963), and as the doomed Paula in Thunderball (1965).
The meaning and relevance of the film's title, is that it refers to "Skyfall Lodge" ("Skyfall Glencoe", or "Skyfall House*), the name of James Bond's Scottish childhood ancestral home. In the books, Ian Fleming gave Bond 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 (1969), and as a title for The World Is Not Enough (1999). 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 this film. This movie 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 (1969) and The World Is Not Enough (1999). Producer Barbara Broccoli has said that the film's title "has some emotional context which will be revealed in the film." This was also the case with Quantum of Solace (2008).
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". Here, after MI6 Headquarters is the subject of a terrorist attack, M makes the decision to relocate underground, just like Winston Churchill did during World War II.
Ralph Fiennes is the fourth actor or actress to play "M" in the official franchise. Fiennes' character Gareth Mallory, becomes M at the end of the film. Bernard Lee was the first actor to play M from 1962 to 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 Dalton films. Dame Judi Dench played M from 1995 to 2012, with her last appearance being in this movie. Fiennes' M is the sixth actor or actress to play the character, if one counts the unofficial Bond films, where John Huston and Edward Fox played M in Casino Royale (1967) and Never Say Never Again (1983) respectively.
Naomie Harris is the fourth actress in the official franchise to play Miss Moneypenny. Harris is the sixth, if one counts Pamela Salem from the unofficial Never Say Never Again (1983) and Casino Royale (1967), where, in the latter, the character was technically Miss Moneypenny's daughter. Harris' Moneypenny is called Eve, making her characterization the first time in the official franchise, that the character has a first name. This movie is the first time the character has appeared in the franchise, since Die Another Day (2002). Harris is also the first black actress to play the part. Lois Maxwell first played Miss Moneypenny in fourteen Bond films from 1962 to 1985 through all of the Connery, Lazenby, and Moore movies. Maxwell was followed by Caroline Bliss for two films, during the Dalton era, and then Samantha Bond for four films during the Brosnan era. This movie represents the first time that Miss Moneypenny is a fully-fledged main Bond Girl, and not a supporting character.
Although the film does not feature Mr. White, nor the QUANTUM organization. Mr. White returned in Spectre (2015), and it is also revealed in the following film, that Raoul Silva and Mr. White were members of the S.P.E.C.T.R.E. organization.
The influence of three of Ian Fleming's novels can be seen in the movie: the early sequences of Bond "missing or presumed dead" are reminiscent of the end of "You Only Live Twice", wherein Bond is suffering from amnesia, and is "missing or presumed dead", and M writes the obituary for the London Times. When he returns to London, the evaluation he 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 Russia, 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.
Second James Bond film to feature an attack on MI6 Headquarters in London. The first was in The World Is Not Enough (1999). Similarly, a raid on MI6's countryside Blayden safe house was seen in The Living Daylights (1987).
The movie's explosive finale, at the Bond homestead, "Skyfall", has often been likened by the public and production personnel, including Director Sam Mendes to the booby-trapped obstacle climax of Home Alone (1990). Two sound department crew, Dino Dimuro and David Young, worked on both films.
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.
This film marks the second film in which a character, played by Javier Bardem, uses cyanide pills. Raoul Silva breaks a tooth containing hydrogen cyanide after being held and tortured for several months, in an attempt to commit suicide. Rather than killing him though, the cyanide disfigures him. However, in The Sea Inside (2004), Bardem's character, Ramon Sampedro, a quadriplegic, is administered a potassium cyanide solution by his friend, allowing him to die after fighting for two decades for his right to assisted suicide. His suicide is successful.