007 new questions about Skyfall

Some questions answered about the next James Bond movie. But there are always more. For example:

001. Naomie Harris is playing an MI6 operative named Eve. Does that mean she won’t be the next Miss Moneypenny? One might think so. But there’s a possibility that Agent Eve may somehow morph, by film’s end, into a new incarnation of Miss Moneypenney. That would, at this date, be a cheap gag/in-joke. Perhaps she ends up being Skyfall’s “sacrificial lamb,” ala Quarrel in Dr. No, Kerim Bey in From Russia With Love, etc.

On the other hand, a story in the U.K. paper the Daily Mail has this passage:

No one from the production was giving anything away, but Eve will become the new Miss Moneypenny marking the first time the character has appeared in a Bond film since Samantha Bond in Die Another Day in 2002.

That sounds awfully lame. But the Mail, a U.K. tabloid, has been proven right on a number of Skyfall details. We’ll see.

002. So will Bond wear a beard during part of Spyfall? That was the thrust of a story in the U.K. newspaper The Sun. Actor Daniel Craig showed up at the Nov. 3 Skyfall press conference sporting a Jed Clampett-style beard (we’ll credit Dell Deaton for that observation) at the news conference. That’s not a confirmation but you have to wonder if The Sun was correct.

003. Will the next James Bond novel be Skyfall? We have to credit the THE BOOK BOND WEB SITE for first posing the question. But that Web site is on to something. In 2002, Ian Fleming Publications and 007 novel continuation author Raymond Benson were parting ways. Benson’s final 007 novel had been published. But Die Another Day was coming out late that year. Ian Fleming Publications controlled print versions of Bond. Benson, in what would be his final 007 job, did the novelization of Die Another Day.

With 2006’s Casino Royale and 2008’s Quantum of Solace, IFP put out new editions of Ian Fleming originals (even if the 2008 movie only used a Fleming short story title) But Skyfall has absolutely no connection to Fleming. And IFP has no established continuation author; 2008’s Devil May Care and 2011’s Carte Blanche were done as one-off jobs by Sebastian Faulks and Jeffery Deaver, respectively. It’d be in the best interest of IFP and Eon Productions for a novelization of Skyfall to be available in late 2012. Can the two entities come to an agreement?

004. Will David Arnold return as composer or be replaced? Arnold, on his Twitter feed, said he didn’t know and the Skyfall press release didn’t mention a composer choice. Music is very important to a movie so this perhaps is the biggest question to be answered.

005. Will Skyfall be yet another personal mission? Maybe. The official news release had this line: “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.” Eon Productions has been hung up on the “personal” angle since 1989’s Licence to Kill. This may be more of the same. We’ll see.

006. Is this Judi Dench’s last 007 film as M? Dame Judi turns 77 in December. The plot hint of the Skyfall press release suggests her M will have a pivotal role. The Bond films may have reached a limit for screen time for M, so maybe this is the right time to cash out.

007. Will Skyfall be worth seeing or not? Too soon to tell. The “this time it’s personal!” hype continues (we were hoping the movie’s unofficial tagline would be, “This time it’s NOT personal!”). Albert R. Broccoli, the co-founder of Eon, famously was quoted as saying he wanted all the money spent on the film to be visible on the screen. His sucessors didn’t follow that dictum (Quantum of Solace had a reported $230 million budget, almost as much as a Harry Potter movie without nearly the production values). But a film can’t be critiqued until it’s made and screened, obviously. And Skyfall is only starting production.

Bond and his (new) girls

Today’s James Bond SKYFALL press conference has our first look at 007’s new leading ladies, Bérénice Marlohe and Naomi Harris. The Daily Mail website features some photos of Daniel Craig with his costars. Although not in costume or character, this gives us a reasonable how-they-look-today picture of what we can expect on the big screen next year. Although Craig needs a shave — what male actor doesn’t these days? — rumors of a bearded Bond are, at this point, still just that.

So jump on over to Daniel Craig Looks like Spy Who Got Cream and check them out. As of today, the “silly season” is mostly over, with only small details left to speculate on. Is Lady Gaga really going to replace David Arnold?

Eon says Bond 23 title is Skyfall, confirms other reports

Today’s Eon Productions news conference confirmed most of the major reports about the film, including the title being Skyfall.

First the title. From the Twitter feed:

007 James Bond
Producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli explain that the title Skyfall has “some emotional context”.

The title was originally disclosed by the Fusible Web site.

The cast does include Judi Dench (she had announced it her self but Eon hadn’t confirmed until today), Javier Bardem (same status as Dench), Berenice Marlohe, Naomie Harris, Ralph Fiennes, Albert Finney, Ben Wishaw. One thing not correct: Naomie Harris, according to the 007 Twitter feed, “will play a field agent called Eve.” Could she be the film’s sacrifcial lamb? (That’s an actual question, so don’t accuse of rumor mongering).

In THIS POST, we provided a list of where the reports and where they originated. One stumble, it appears, was a Daily Mail report that said Naomie Harris would play Miss Moneypenny. Unless, of course, we find out Eve is Moneypenny’s first name.

We haven’t seen any pictures yet, and none of the Twitter feeds (we’re following several) mention whether star Daniel Craig is wearing a beard. More later. REVISED UPDATE: Our friends at the James Bond Dossier had advised Craig didn’t have a beard at the news conference. But someone attending the event said Craig had a very thin beard. So the report about Bond having a beard may be accurate.

UPDATE: The Bond 23 press release is online and you can read it BY CLICKING HERE. An excerpt:

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.

There are also some crew announcements, including Roger Deakins as director of photography and Stuart Baird as editor. No mention of a composer. So the question of whether David Arnold returns or is replaced is still open.

UPDATE: Here’s David Arnold on his Twitter feed

DavidGArnold DavidGArnold
For those asking about Bond 23 and my involvement in it I dont have any news.they’ll announce something when they have something to announce