Bond 23: The “Skyfall” Press Conference

It’s official, “Skyfall” is the name of the upcoming 23rd James Bond film and the third to star actor Daniel Craig in the role.

The announcement was made at a press conference in London just moments ago where Craig, director Sam Mendes, Dame Judi Dench, and producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli were on hand to announce the start of production on the project which will hit cinemas October/November next year.

The press conference saw the confirmation of various casting rumours that have been floating around over the past few months. Aside from Craig returning as 007 and Dench as M we’ll see Berenice Marlohe as a glamourous character named ‘Severin’ and Naomie Harris as field agent called ‘Eve’ (so she’s not Miss Moneypenny as previously rumoured?). Harris added that training for her role has so far included yoga, stunt driving and firing machine guns.

Javier Bardem is confirmed as the villain but his name or character arc weren’t disclosed. Ben Whishaw, Ralph Fiennes and Albert Finney are also confirmed but what kind of roles they’re playing the organisers remained quiet on. When asked if we might recognise their character names and that’s why they’re being kept quiet, Mendes responded “they might do, then again, they might not”.

Mendes says the tone is “classic elements of a Bond film and lots of action”, those worried by the reports that he’s cutting back on the thrills in favour of a more awards movie tone – “action needs to co-exist with the drama… a Bond movie is for the audience, and only for the audience”.

Mendes added that the big draw for him was Craig’s work in “Casino Royale” and admits that once this film is done, if he’s still as excited about doing Bond as he is now then he’d come back to helm another.

Asked whether the budget for this one will be cut back, Broccoli amusingly replied “does it look like we’re cutting back”, while Wilson adds “everything is as it was in the last two films.”

One change though from the last two films will be the story. Mendes confirms that while the style will be the same, this film is a standalone so the ‘Quantum’ organisation will NOT be involved.

EON has also released a short synopsis: “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.”

The title reportedly has an emotional context that “will become clear when we see the film” according to Broccoli.

Asked about the opening musical theme, they say various people have been considered for the theme but at this stage they can’t announce anyone as no-one is set yet.

Filming kicks off today at Pinewood Studios in the UK with large portions of it to be shot around the Whitehall area. Other locations will include Shanghai, Istanbul and Scotland. A lot of things are also reportedly being done in preparation for the 50th anniversary of the franchise next year.