This is a spoiler, just like the headline says. So if you don’t want spoilers, leave now. If you stick around, see the Oct. 28 update at the end of the post.
But the reviews pass over one thing: the film’s gunbarrel logo once again isn’t at the start of the movie. A few who’ve seen the preview showing HAVE MADE NOTE OF IT ON THE INTERNET. As a result, there is already a debate on the message boards of IMDB.com (Examples: HERE, HERE and HERE.)
All of this began with 2006’s reboot of Bond in Casino Royale. He wasn’t *really* James Bond yet, so the traditional gunbarrel wasn’t used at the start. A much different logo was used just before the main titles. Then, in 2008’s Quantum of Solace, the rationale evidently was Bond wasn’t *really* Bond yet but he was at the end of the movie so it was dropped off at the end, just before the end titles.
There has been no official explanation (or even acknowledgment) that Skyfall repeats the strategy of Quantum. Perhaps Bond was really Bond, but stopped being *really* Bond but he eventually gets it back, so the gunbarrel again appears at the end.
Or maybe the explanation is even simpler.
In 2005, Michael G. Wilson said he and his half-sister Barbara Broccoli needed “to generate something new, for ourselves” (emphasis added).
The classic 007 gunbarrel of 1962-2002, created by Maurice Binder, ran at the start of the movie because the intention was to get the audience’s attention immediately. It got an updated look in GoldenEye (courtesy of Daniel Kleinman) and a CGI bullet was added with Die Another Day. On the extras of the Die Another Day DVD, composer David Arnold says something to the effect that the 10 seconds or so of the logo can make a member of the audience think they’re going to see the best James Bond movie ever.
That was a different day, a different era. The gunbarrel will get tossed in, but somewhere along the line, Eon Productions has decided the classic gunbarrel (used in the original way) is obsolete. It may be included simply to protect the trademark (lest someone claim it from disuse) at the end of a movie, in a poster or a video game.
Skyfall may be, at the reviews say, a great Bond movie, even (as some say) the best Bond movie. But an era has passed, nevertheless.
There are some fans who take the position there are no “classic” Bond movies, only old Bond movies. For them, this is no big deal, something swept out with the trash. Yesterday’s news, as it were, and part of yesterday’s newspapers put in a recycling bin.
For other fans, though, it’s the end of something. The classic gunbarrel used to be a little distinctive touch about the 007 films. At least it used to be.
UPDATE (Oct. 28): Barbara Broccoli in THIS INTERVIEW says Eon will put the gunbarrel logo where it feels like it works. The Key excerpt:
The gun barrel is at the end of the movie again. Is that the way it’s going to be from now on?
BARBARA: It will vary from film to film. In this film there wasn’t really a place to put it at the beginning. I know that sounds kind of funny, but we looked at putting it at the beginning and we discussed it with Sam, and we just felt it was better suited for this particular film at the end. We also thought it would be a nice way to mark the fiftieth anniversary, by having our 50th anniversary logo up there, just to mark this extraordinary event of fifty years.
UPDATE (Nov. 6): Mendes said he really did want to put the gunbarrel but that it “looked ridiculous” when paired with the first shot. You can CLICK HERE to read more and see a video.
Filed under: James Bond Films Tagged: | Bond 23, Casino Royale, Daniel Kleinman, Die Another Day, Digital Spy, Goldeneye, Gunbarrel logo, James Bond Films, James Bond gunbarrel, Maurice Binder, Quantum of Solace, Skyfall, The Hollywood Reporter, Variety