Aside from the factoids about the forthcoming James Bond film, the press conference gave 007 fans a teaser of what they can expect this time next year. Here’s a few basic highlights from the press conference:
The MC explains, as was first (to the best of our knowledge) reported on MI6, that 3rd November marks the day that Sean Connery was ushered onto the world stage as 007 in 1961.
Producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli are welcomed to the stage to reveal the “worst kept secret in London” – the title of the James Bond film, Skyfall.
Sam Mendes is welcomed onto the stage to confirm a few rumors. He confirmed that a major set piece was to be shot in London’s Whitehall. Pervis, Wade and John Logan have written a “fantastic script” and Mendes is “incredibly excited”.
Ben Wishaw, Ralph Fiennes and Albert Finney will be playing top secret parts in scenes that Mendes cannot (or will not) reveal. “They might… or they might not…” was the answer Mendes offered for a well-posed question about if these would be characters Bond fans would recognise from the canon.
Just in case you were wondering Mendes pronounces the French actress’s name: “Bera-niece Mar-low” and the long-associated villain of the piece: “Hav-ear Bar-dem”.
Dame Judi is introduced by Mendes as a “young actress” that “some of you might not have heard of” but who “has a promising career ahead of her”.
Asked about what attracted him to Bond 23, Mendes claims to be a “huge fan of the Bond movies”. Mendes got “very excited” when he saw Craig in Casino Royale, which he “loved”, so working with Craig in Skyfall was part of the attraction. “Working with Sam is a dream come true” for Barbara Broccoli. Mendes’ “boyish excitement is really infectious,” says Broccoli.
Wilson says that “nobody thought we would get to 50 years of Bond” in 1961. Wilson tips his hat to the fans who supported the franchise all these years.
Craig says they have an “incredible crew”.
Dench suggests that she will never “get a grip on who M is” – nor anyone in the MI6 offices.
Harris says that she’s well into her training for the action sequences and feel’s “really ready” for what 007 can throw at her.
Mendes explains that there will be “lots of surprises” when quizzed about the return of some typical Bond gadgets. He also explained that the press were “not entirely accurate” in their assumption Bond will be “going back to his roots” with Scotland on the shooting schedule.
Barbara Broccoli dismissed the rumors of budget cuts with a rhetorical, “does it look like we’re cutting back?” The budget, Wilson tells us, is in the same range as the last film. Instead of cutting back they’re “adding” if anything. Barbara echoes her father when she says “it’s all going on the screen”.
Craig is “incredibly proud to be part of this gang of people” making Bond 23.
Bardem suggests that we should not conflate “a villain” and “a bad person”!
Mendes says he’s is very happy to be working with Alexander Witt and his second unit and that the action and special effects is the part that is new and exciting for him. He explains that the “action needs to coexist with the drama”. In addition he says that Oscar nominations (or wins for that matter) are “not the reason you do any movie and certainly not the reason you do a Bond movie”.
Asked what kind of training he has had to go through, Javier Bardem says “English vowels!”
Harris has been having a bit more of a workout with “stunt driving and firing machine guns”.
Sam Mendes was put on the spot at the conference when he was asked if he would be open to doing more than one Bond film. He was prompted by Broccoli and Wilson commented that “this is a question we’ve been trying to get the answer to”. Sam answered: “if in six months time I am still as excited as I am now, then the answer would be ‘yes’.”
The title, Skyfall, Barbara says, will have some “emotional context”.
Mendes says that it “doesn’t connect with the last two movies.” Quantum will not appear in Bond 23.
Craig was asked if he would be “doing this for a few more years?” / “Ask her,” said the Bond star, pointing at producer Barbara Broccoli. Cubby’s famed daughter answered, “yes, definitely.”