Bond 23 Title, Logo, Cast and Plot Confirmed!

Today, on  the 50th anniversary of Sean Connery‘s announcement as James Bond, in an ex- MoD property in London’s West End, the main players in Bond 23 held a press conference to announce the title, plot and other information regarding 007‘s next outing. Present were director, Sam Mendes, producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson, Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem, Naomie Harris, Judi Dench and new Bond girl Bérénice Marlohe

The title is officially “Skyfall” which according to Barbara Broccoli “has some emotional context which will be revealed in the film.” Surprisingly, Skyfall doesn’t connect to any previous films. Sam Mendes said “It’s its own story. It doesn’t connect with the other films. Neal Purvis, Robert Wade and John Logan have written a fantastic script and I think it has all the ingredients to be a fantastic Bond movie, including – to quash any rumours – lots of action.” This may frustrate fans who have been waiting to find out who is behind the mysterious Quantum organisation since they emerged in Casino Royale.

The official synopsis states “In SKYFALL, Bond’s loyalty to M is tested as her past comes back to haunt her. As MI6 comes under attack, 007 must track down and destroy the threat, no matter how personal the cost.” Could this mean that once again Bond will be going rogue as did Timothy Dalton in the 1989 film Licence To Kill..? We’ll have to wait and see.

Unlike Dalton’s last which famously was the only Bond film not to be shot in the UK, the producers have confirmed that production will take place in the UK at Whitehall in London, Pinewood Studios on the famous 007 Soundstage, Shanghai, Istanbul and Scotland. What’s more is that shooting commences today which apparently is why the cast are in London.

New faces to be seen in Skyfall include Bérénice Marlohe as Severin, a “glamorous, enigmatic character,” Javier Bardem as “the villain of the piece,” and Naomie Harris as “a field agent called Eve.” No comment was made on the roles additional newcomers Ralph Fiennes, Ben Whishaw and Albert Finney– who were absent from the conference- would take.

The cast have been training hard for their roles and Naomie Harris in particular seems to have an action packed job ahead of her. Harris has been doing “Yoga three times a week to get in to shape and stunt driving, firing machine guns… Stunt training, jumping out of cars and running up and down stairs.” This implies she’ll be in a lot of the action scenes meaning she’s either buddying up with our hero or taking him on.

Bardem, who has been practising his English gave his thoughts about playing a bad guy, “Being a baddie means that somewhere someone thinks I’m a good guy” which honestly sounds rather cryptic and maybe a tease about his relationship with the other characters. On what he would bring to the role of a villain,  “It’s about the journey and finding a new way of doing it.”

Mendes seems very excited to be on board having been a fan since he saw Live and Let Die. He said, “I thought the story was fantastic, I love Daniel and Judi. This is an enormous challenge.” He also mentioned he would be hands on with the action, “The action needs to co-exist with the drama. That’s the balance we have to strike.” He also didn’t rule out returning for a second instalment if this one goes well. Indeed, on Skyfall he will be working with alumni from his previous directorial efforts including cinematographer, Roger Deakins and production designer Dennis Gassner which is exciting if you’ve ever seen Road To Perdition or Jarhead, two visually stunning films. All department heads are Bond veterans meaning the feel of Skyfall will be consistent with Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace.

The press conference didn’t give too many specifics away although when referring to gadgets Mendes said “there’ll be lots of surprises.” 

However vague the information was, it’s good to see Bond finally returning to the big screen after it’s studio MGM hit financial difficulties after QoS with Daniel Craig admitting the waiting was “frustrating.” 2012 looks set to be a celebration of the franchise however as it marks the 50th anniversary of Dr. No. Michael G. Wilson gave some tantalising information for all you extra content fans, “We have a documentary currently being made. We have a lot of other things planned but as yet won’t annuonce them. Sony and ourselves are looking for a way for the fans to celebrate.”

Daniel Craig as Ian Fleming‘s James Bond will return in Skyfall which will be released on October 26th 2012 in the UK.

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