Javier Bardem awarded for his role as Silva in “Skyfall”

The villainous and creepy Silva is ably played by Spaniard Javier Bardem, and the Press Academy agree!

Bardem was amongst the winners at the Satellite Awards this month, securing their “Best Supporting Actor” nod.

Skyfall is being pushed by both Sony and EON Productions to be shortlisted for an Oscar in the New Year.

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“Skyfall” earns $33m at the box office in its first day

After breaking all the records in the UK and Europe, Skyfall opened across the US and Canada yesterday and received a impressive $33 million at the box office.

Predictions that the film will have made $80+ million by the end of the weekend are not pie-in-the-sky.

It is understood that the film cost around $200m to make – although an official figure was never released – and so taking into account its UK and European successes, Sony Pictures are already in the black, with several weeks of box office earning (not to mention DVD sales!) to go.

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Screenwriter John Logan explains how the “Skyfall” villain goes ‘mano-a-mano’ with Bond

John Logan is new to the Bond franchise, but already his debut, Skyfall, is winning critics hearts and getting the popular vote with phenomenal turnouts at the box offices.

Logan explained how the character of Silva and 007 spar in a long dialogue scene that introduces Javier Bardem’s character.

The sequence makes passing reference to Bond’s homoerotic past as a public schoolboy. Logan clears up some of his thinking behind the references to 007′s “gay past” and the of writing of Bardem’s camp character:

“Some people claim it’s because I’m, in fact, gay but not true at all,” Logan told The Hollywood Reporter at the NYC premiere of the film, thrown by Tribeca Film Institute. “Sam and I were discussing, there were so many scenes where Bond goes mano-a-mano with the villain, whether it’s Dr. No or Goldfinger or whatever, and there’s been so many ways to do a cat-and-mouse and intimidate Bond, and we thought, what would truly make the audience uncomfortable is sexual intimidation; playing the sort of homoerotic card that is sort of always there subtextually with characters like Scaramanga in Man With the Golden Gun or Dr. No. So we just decided that we should play the card and enjoy it.”

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“Skyfall” is the UK’s most successful film of 2012

EON Productions, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios and Sony Pictures Entertainment are delighted to announce that SKYFALL has become the biggest film at the UK box office in 2012 surpassing The Dark Knight Rises with an extraordinary box office total of over £57m in just 12 days. It is now also the biggest Bond movie of all time in the UK exceeding the £55.6m achieved by CASINO ROYALE in 2006.

In response to this incredible news, producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli said “We are thrilled and proud to reach this box office landmark in record time and are delighted that UK audiences continue to enjoy SKYFALL.”

“We could not be more proud of this amazing achievement. Kudos again to all involved with this film, which clearly delivers on every level,” said Gary Barber, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, MGM.

“SKYFALL continues to set records in the UK and all over the world and we could not be more proud of the film and its continued success,” said Jeff Blake, Chairman of Sony Pictures Worldwide Marketing & Distribution.

SKYFALL, the 23rd James Bond adventure, continuing the longest running and most successful franchise in film history, opened in 587 cinemas across the UK and Ireland on Friday 26th October. It will release in the US on November 9th.

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Mendes considered casting Connery in “Skyfall”

One of the early and usually unfounded rumors to circulate about Skyfall (then just “Bond 23″) was that the old Bond actors would be back for cameos. Of course, non of this eventuated… But, director Sam Mendes has recently revealed that he did consider asking Connery to cameo in the film, possibly in the role that was ultimately filled by Albert Finney.

He told the Huffington Post:

You brought back a lot of nostalgia. There’s a scene in Scotland with Albert Finney. Was there any thought of approaching Sean Connery for that role?
There was a definite discussion about that — 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.

Obviously this wasn’t taken too seriously, as Barbara Broccoli (and if we recall correctly, Mendes has echoed this sentiment) has said, several times, that they got their ‘dream cast’ and that people they asked to take part in Skyfall were cast in the film.

If and when you see the film, let us know if you think Connery would be a good substitute for Finney?

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New MI6 Confidential magazine packed with “Skyfall” interviews

MI6 Confidential, the full-colour magazine celebrating the world of James Bond 007, returns with its eighteenth issue.

We undeniably have a classic in the making on our hands in the form of “Skyfall”. To celebrate the release of the 23rd adventure, MI6 Confidential takes you behind the scenes of the shoot with an exhaustive account of the production.

Also in this issue, Daniel Craig gives MI6 a candid interview about his role both on screen and off and Sam Mendes comments on the return of some of the classic Bond elements. Rounding out the coverage are interviews with Javier Bardem, the producers, and the new Bond girl Bérénice Marlohe.

  • Daniel Craig Interview – the 007 star talks about “Skyfall” and the future of Bond
  • Bringing Bond Home – An exhaustive account of the making of the 23rd Bond film
  • Classic Ingredients – Director Sam Mendes shares some classic “Skyfall” Bond moments
  • You Naughty Boy – Bérénice Marlohe reflects on her relationship with 007
  • Are You Sitting Comfortably? – Javier Bardem dissects his creepy character
  • Standing on the Shoulders of Giants – Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli on the 007 legacy
  • Everything or Nothing – The Saltzman & Broccoli families unite to celebrate 50 years of Bond
  • The Bond Connection – Celebrating Harry Saltzman’s lesser known pre-Bond productions

Issue #18 is now shipping around the world. To order online, visit www.mi6confidential.com.

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US “Skyfall” review roundup

The US critics got their hands on Skyfall this week, and we’ve rounded up some key praise and critique for the 23rd Bond movie, stemming from this side of the Atlantic.

Mendes and Deakins are so busy trying to be visionary that they don’t notice that characters are wandering too far from their roots, and half the time you can’t see what’s going on. A sequence in Shanghai in which Bond fights a fellow assassin against a gorgeous giant screen of jellyfish images degenerates into two anonymous backlit shadows. Silva is introduced with a shot that’s so ridiculously deep-focus, the camera work becomes a distraction. The scenes at the country house (which feature an amusing cameo by Albert Finney, trying his best to sound Scottish) are a bedlam of shadow and blasts of mustard-colored light. – NY Post

The villain is a blond-haired nut job named Silva (Javier Bardem), a cyberterrorist, and he has a grudge to settle. I’m not sure Bond ever turns on a computer, much less uses one; he leaves that to Q (Ben Whitshaw), a full-on nerd whose age and manner make it hard for Bond to, well, bond with him. – Democrat and Chronicle

Sam Mendes indulges more in mood lighting than in fistfighting. He poses Craig like a Ken doll against various exotic backdrops (Macao, Shanghai) but barely wrinkles the suits. The film’s climax, which reinvents more than one origin story (and explains the film’s title), feels satisfyingly apocalyptic, which may be a good sign. Perhaps the next Bond will do more shaking than stirring. – Newsday

Deakins, who also shot Mendes’“Jarhead” and “Revolutionary Road,” provides a varied array of looks, all of them dazzling. The MI6 headquarters, which must be moved to a hidden underground location following a vicious attack, have a crisp and stylish industrial-loft chic about them. The rugged hills of Scotland, where the final battle occurs at Bond’s ancestral home, are both wondrous and imposing; by this point in the film, “Skyfall” extends beyond the familiar confines of a spy thriller and becomes a flat-out Western. It’s a bold move. – Daily Tribune

Watching the purposefulness of this movie, the way Mendes argues for conversation and atmosphere over conventional, incoherently assembled chases and fights, I realized I was frustrated. “Skyfall” does every single thing these movies have to do (Bond’s last-name/full-name introduction, the shaking of the martini, the sport cars and sport sex; the stunts, deployment of gadgets, and camped-up villainy), and there’s little Mendes can do to enliven the familiarity. – Boston Globe

What people will cling to, however, is Craig’s subtle, performance that drips with depth as he confronts a past that would have emotionally crippled lesser individuals. Craig’s Bond has been one of the most stoic and straightforward versions of the character. The humor he brings to the role is subtle. And he says more with his non-traditionally handsome face and pursed lips than most actors say with words. His well-worn face shows hints of weariness that prove especially noteworthy for his portrayal of 007 in this particular outing. – Examiner

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Skyfall has record-breaking opening week at the box office

EON Productions, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios and Sony Pictures Entertainment are delighted to announce that SKYFALL has taken an extraordinary £37.2 million in its opening week, overtaking Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 to secure the biggest 7 day gross of all time in UK box office history.

SKYFALL, the 23rd James Bond adventure, continuing the longest running and most successful franchise in film history, opened in 587 cinemas across the UK and Ireland on Friday 26th October. It will release in the US on November 9th.

In response to the amazing 7 day figures, producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli said “We are very grateful to the Bond fans and all UK cinema audiences for making SKYFALL the biggest opening week ever during our 50th anniversary year.”

“The continued record-breaking success of this film is a true testament to all involved and the global power of this 50 year old franchise” said Gary Barber, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, MGM.

“We couldn’t be more proud of the critical and commercial reaction SKYFALL has received,” said Jeff Blake, Chairman of Sony Pictures Worldwide Marketing and Distribution. “The results are a true testament to the 50 year legacy of James Bond. The best is still yet to come in the UK and all around the world.”

Thank you, Bond fans everywhere, for making SKYFALL such an unprecedented success.

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Stars on the red carpet at the Royal World Premiere, London

Late last month the stars of Skyfall walked the red carpet to promote the 007 adventure that is getting rave reviews in the UK and breaking box office records all over Europe. Take a look at how the stars turned out for the special night in these photos:

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“Skyfall” gets overwhelmingly positive reviews from UK critics

It can’t be easy making the longest running film franchise fresh and interesting… it can’t be easy at the best of times, but on this 50th anniversary year, the producers and new director Sam Mendes had their work cut out.

Last week critics got their claws on the film for the first time, and the reviews appear positive. The Rotten Tomatoes website is currently listing at an aggregate score of 96%.

Here’s a few soundbites from some of the reviews – some of which are spoilerific.

Skyfall swipes the best and most established Bond elements from every actor’s tenure and combines them into a film so satisfying as a stand alone story it’s nearly impossible to envisage how it could be improved. – Clothes of Film

On his third outing Daniel Craig’s Bond finally feels like he’s come into his own, a strong balance of old and new but a rugged, clever character all his own. And Skyfall is the suave yet wry, superbly confident and perfectly executed movie to match him. – Cinema Blend

Bardem, who created such a memorable screen villain in No Country for Old Men‘s Anton Chigurh, repeats the trick with Silva. He’s camp, creepy and reptilian, and his first encounter with Bond is enough to make you laugh one moment then squirm the next. – Digital Spy

Ultimately, Mendes delivers an assured, accomplished Bond film that stands somewhere between delivering what the public expects from a Bond film and creating something original and new. His Bond is certainly more nuanced and intricate and instilled with a sense of Britishness that befits 007′s fiftieth year on the screen. – MI6

Ably directed by Sam Mendes, Skyfall – the 23rd official 007 outing – is at its finest during a bruising, tumultuous opening half, fired by an electrifying pre-credits chase scene and a script that nods shrewdly to the Wikileaks furore. Cyber-terrorists have stolen a hard drive containing a complete list of Nato operatives that they proceed to leak online, in weekly instalments, five names at a time. – Guardian

One of the pleasures of Skyfall is the amount of screen time given to characters who in previous films have had only a marginal role. Dench’s M in particular is foregrounded. She’s at once a maternal figure and someone (we learn) who has behaved very ruthlessly towards her spies. Ralph Fiennes registers strongly as a bureaucratic type, breathing down her neck but with hidden reserves of courage. There is enjoyable banter, too, between Bond and Ben Whishaw’s very youthful but very boffin-like Q. An added treat is Albert Finney as a bearded Scottish gamekeeper/vigilante. – Independent

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