New Skyfall trailer debuts, first Silva dialogue included

The newest Skyfall trailer debuted today on the official at 2 p.m. in the U.K. and 9 a.m. ET in the U.S. After a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it shot of Javier Bardem’s villain Silva in an NBC commeercial last week, the new trailer includes Silva’s first dialogue. Silva, indeed, is supposed to be blonde.

The trailer also indicates that director Sam Mendes & Co. have borrowed from a literary device Ian Fleming used in his 1964 novel You Only Live Twice. Those who’ve read the book will instantly recognize it.

Finally, the trailer uses a more traditional version of the James Bond Theme. If you haven’t seen it already, take a look:

UPDATE I: The trailer at least partially confirms some fan analysis of clues (some of it based on call sheets and storyboards that were sold on eBay). Bond goes missing, lives the soft life for a while and has to get into shape for a new mission.

That’s not unlike Robert Conrad’s James West in The Wild, Wild West Revisited in 1979, a TV-movie that was played more for laughs than the original 1965-69 series. (And no, we’re not saying that’s a deliberate influence, just noting the coincidence.)

UPDATE II: An amusing Tweet from “Ernst Stavro Blofeld” (well, one of them):

So in #SKYFALL Bond gets ‘killed’ and comes back to life. Haven’t we seen this movie before? #YouOnlyLiveTwice

UPDATE III: This morning we embedded the international trailer. Here’s the somewhat different U.S. trailer:

007 Magazine has new issue available for sale

Graham Rye’s 007 Magazine has a new issue available for sale.

Stories include a summary of what’s known so far about Skyfall, the 23rd 007 film; a feature about photographer Terry O’Neill; the first of a four-part series by Robert Sellers about the six actors who won the role of Bond and those who came up short; and a look at the parallels between 1949’s The Third Man and 1987’s The Living Daylights.

(Two future Bond directors, Guy Hamilton and John Glen, worked on The Third Man. Bernard Lee was in the cast of The Third Man and both films were set in Vienna.)

For more information, CLICK HERE. The price is 9.99 British pounds, $15.99 or 11.99 euros, depending on where you live.

NBC’s Skyfall commercial online, with glimpse of Bardem

Silva’s brief appearance in Skyfall spot

A 30-second Skyfall spot aired during NBC’s broadcast of the opening ceremonies for the Summer Olympics and has been put up on the official Web site.

If you look really carefully, between the 21- and 22-second marks, there’s the barest glimpse of the face of Javier Bardem as Silva, the film’s villain, firing a weapon. It comes right after Daniel Craig as Bond says the line, “007 reporting for duty.” It appears Bardem is wearing the same blonde wig he was photographed in while shooting in London. In the teaser trailer released in May, only a silhouette of Bardem could be seen.

The shot may be included on the second Skyfall theatrical trailer, but we’ve only seen the now-removed bootleg copy on YouTube, so it’s hard to say. For all we know, it could have been up there when the mysterious “bearded guy” walked across the screen.

007 in the Olympics, reports proven (mostly) right

It won’t be shown for a few hours in the U.S., but Daniel Craig appeared in character as James Bond in the opening ceremonies of the Summer Olympics.

Daniel Craig and Queen Elizabeth in a short film that was part of the opening ceremonies of the Summer Olympics. This image is from MGM, which uploaded an image from the BBC.

The New York Times is LIVE BLOGGING the event.

An excerpt:

A video is showing Daniel Craig (as James Bond) arriving at Buckingham Palace. And the queen is in it! The genuine queen, not some costumed performer. She just said, “Good afternoon, Mr. Bond.” What a trouper! They’re getting in a helicopter (on video). And now they are jumping out of the plane (through special effects). Cute.

This was originally reported in the U.K. press on April 1, but has proven not to be an April Fool’s joke.

UPDATE I: Here’s an account in The Huffington Post. An excerpt:

Army helicopters then flew over the Olympic Stadium with a stuntman who played “Bond.” He then parachuted into the stadium to the tune of the theme from the James Bond movies. The best part? A stunt Queen also dropped in, Union Jack parachute and all.

UPDATE II: One critical thing didn’t happen. The 007 character wasn’t “knighted” by Queen Elizabeth II as reported by the London Standard.

Some Bond fans, especially those who were big fans of Daniel Craig, had argued this would amount to a de facto knighting of Daniel Craig himself. But it didn’t happen, so it’s a moot point.

That isn’t a bad thing because Ian Fleming’s James Bond turned down a knighthood in the author’s final 007 novel, 1965’s The Man With the Golden Gun. Thus the Olympics, by intent or by luck, ended up staying true to Ian Fleming.

UPDATE III: The BBC’s Web site has a video, which you can check out CLICKING HERE. The Queen’s dogs upstaged 007.

UPDATE IV: The video is on YouTube. CLICK HERE to see it.

UPDATE V: The Telegraph newspaper in the U.K. has a story that notes the doubles for Daniel Craig and Elizabeth II didn’t actually parachute into the stadium.

Some quick impressions of second Skyfall trailer

A bootleg copy of Skyfall’s second trailer emerged on YouTube the evening of July 26. James Bond Brasil spotted and got the word out. The hit count went from 8 to 306 by early this morning. Anyway some quick impressions:

1. More polished Bond: Daniel Craig’s days of an unsteady, inexperienced James Bond appear to be over. At 2:10 into the trailer, Bond escapes a harrowing situation and straightens his cuffs nonchalantly straightens his cuffs. It has been little moments like that that have made 007 films different than standard action movies over the decades.

2. Roger Deakins: It reinforces our reaction of the teaser trailer that Roger Deakins, the director of photography, lives up to the hype his hiring for the 23rd 007 film generated.

3. Still no Bondian music: The score of the trailer doesn’t evoke the Bond music style created by John Barry. That’s not a real concern at this point, given that trailers (at least preliminary ones) don’t have actual music from the movie.

4. If there are homages, they’re subtle: In the first minute of the trailer, there are shots of Bond engaging in a hand to hand fight on top of a train in a sequence filmed in Turkey. The combatants have to duck suddenly as the train approaches a tunnel. Long-time fans may be reminded of a sequence in 1983’s Octopussy where Bond was on top of a train in similar peril. But if this is a deliberate homage, the viewer isn’t hammered with it, unlike 2002’s Die Another Day, the 40th anniversary 007 film.

5. A young Q makes a good first impression: The casting of Ben Whishaw, 31, as the new Q got attention because previous MI6 quartermasters were older. Desmond Llewelyn was 48 when he filmed his scenes for From Russia With Love, his debut as Major Boothroyd/Q. But Whishaw seems just fine in the one scene we see in the trailer.

We decided to not embed the video (which could get taken down from YouTube for copyright reasons).

UPDATE I: Over at the message board of the Commander Bond Web site, poster “Shrublands” did some sluthing and may have discovered a very subtle homage to Dr. No in the trailer. CLICK HERE if you want to view. Warning: the sleuthing also deduces part of Skyfall’s plot. So don’t click if you want to avoid spoilers.

UPDATE II: The bootleg trailer on YouTube was yanked by 10:30 a.m. New York time.

UPDATE III: “Skyfall Fan” on Twitter advises there’s at least one other copy still out there somewhere on YouTube.

Martin Campbell’s other Casino Royale disclosure

Earlier this month, two-time 007 director Martin Campbell gave an interview to The Express newspaper in the U.K. that drew attention from Bond fans for two items: 1) Campbell describing how Daniel Craig won the role in a tight competition with Henry Cavill; 2) How Quentin Tarantino sought the screen rights to Casino Royale, Ian Fleming’s first 007 novel.

Martin Campbell, director of GoldenEye and Casino Royale.

Campbell served up a third disclosure that didn’t get as much attention. Based on the director’s comments, the 21st James Bond movie may have been a reboot even if Eon Productions hadn’t made it as Casino Royale.

The key excerpt:

“Casino Royale was not going to be the next film. They were developing another script but then, after a long battle, the Broccolis [the family behind the Bond franchise] suddenly got the film rights to the first Bond novel Casino Royale, despite Quentin Tarantino bidding against them.

“The script being developed, he says, was an original story in which James Bond isn’t the character we know today but someone younger and more screwed up. Pierce (Brosnan) was getting on for 49 or something, and clearly too old to play the younger Bond so they decided to go in a different direction.” (emphasis added)

If the director’s memory is accurate (and he was accurately quoted), producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli were going to do a reboot no matter what, featuring Bond at the start of his career. Bond wasn’t a rookie agent in Fleming’s Casino Royale. The novel was set in 1951 (according to 1959’s Goldfinger, when Bond encounters a minor character from the first novel) and Bond had been involved in intelligence work in one for or another since World War II. One of the two kills that got him 00 status was a Japanese cypher expert in New York.

Michael G. Wilson, working with Richard Maibaum, had pursued an “origin of Bond” story for the movie that ultimately become 1987’s The Living Daylights. Then-Eon boss Albert R. Broccoli vetoed the idea, according to the Inside The Living Daylights documentary on the film’s DVD. Campbell’s recent comment raises the possibility that Wilson dusted off the concept almost 20 years later and it got folded into the plot of the film Casino Royale.

Still, Campbell (who also directed 1995’s GoldenEye) was only one of the participants involved and thus his comments are only one piece of what happened. Perhaps there’s yet more of the story to be told. Meanwhile, you can CLICK HERE
to view a timeline put together by the MI6 James Bond fan Web site of Quentin Tarantino’s attempt to film Casino Royale.

MGM watch: 007’s studio may go public

The parent company of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, the studio that controls half the James Bond franchise, may become a public company. MGM put out a press release late July 24 that read:

MGM Holdings Inc. (“MGM” or the “Company”) announced today that it has
previously submitted a draft registration statement on a confidential basis to
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) for a possible initial
public offering of its Class A common stock.

No other details were available. MGM went through bankruptcy in 2010 and a new management team, led by Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum took over. Nikki Finke’s Deadline Hollywood Web site tries to read the tea leaves in a story you can view BY CLICKING HERE. You can CLICK HERE to read the Hollywood Reporter’s take.

MGM was originally created in 1924 when three studios merged. Most classic MGM movies (Gone With the Wind, Ben Hur, etc.) along with MGM-produced television series such as The Man From U.N.C.L.E., are owned by Time Warner, parent company of Warner Bros.

MGM’s film library includes the old United Artists library, which includes the 007, Pink Panther and Rocky series of movies along with the likes of West Side Story and In the Heat of the Night. UA also acquired half the Bond franchise when Eon Productions co-founder Harry Saltzman sold out in 1975 because of financial difficulties. The slimmed down MGM struck a deal with Sony Corp.’s Columbia Pictures to release the upcoming Skyfall.

The Living Daylights’ 25th: living on the edge

James Bond celebrated his silver anniversary in the movies in 1987 and in the process got a makeover in the person of Timothy Dalton, the fourth actor to play the role in the Eon Productions-made series.

The story is familiar to fans. Roger Moore had departed and Eon considered various candidates. Pierce Brosnan had been selected but NBC, deciding to capitalize on the choice, opted to renew the television series Remington Steele. Producer Albert R. Broccoli didn’t approve and decided to search anew. Eventually, Dalton got the job, beginning filming days after wrapping up the now-forgotten Brenda Starr, which wouldn’t get released until 1989 (and 1992 in the U.S.)

With a new Bond, a new Miss Moneypenny was cast, with Caroline Bliss getting the job, replacing 14-film veteran Lois Maxwell. There was some change going on behind the camera, as well. Broccoli, 78 when production began, had earlier promoted stepson Michael G. Wilson to share the producing duties with him. With Daylights, the master showman named daughter Barbara Broccoli associate producer, a title she shared with 007 crew veteran Tom Pevsner.

Caroline Bliss and Timothy Dalton

The biggest change was a more serious tone in story. While Richard Maibaum and Wilson again scripted, the story was much different than Moore’s finale, A View To a Kill. This was a MI6 that issued “termination warrants” and the Cold War very much played a big role, even though the the motivation of the villains (played by Jeroen Krabbe and Joe Don Baker) was to get rich.

Still, there was much continuity. Robert Brown as M, Desmond Llewelyn as Q and Geoffrey Keen as the Minister of Defence all were back in the cast. Also returning was composer John Barry, for his third straight Bond film and what proved to be his final 007 scoring assignment. Being Bond’s 25th anniversary, the film got publicity. Examples include a prime-time television special on ABC hosted by Roger Moore and an article in Time magazine that ran to almost 1,800 words.

Financially, the film sold $191.2 million in tickets worldwide, a good jump from the $152.6 million for A View To a Kill. In the U.S., the difference wasn’t as pronounced: $51.2 mlllion, less than $1 million more than View’s U.S. ticket sales. James Bond, and Timothy Dalton, would return, but more changes were in store.

How real life may intrude on 007’s Olympics debut

This week, James Bond makes his Olympics debut during the opening ceremonies of the 2012 Summer Games in London. But real life may intrude on Bond’s appearance, at least on the U.S. broadcast, in the form of a serious real-life Olympics anniversary.

Daniel Craig’s Olympics appearance as 007 may not be the highlight of U.S. broadcast of the opening ceremonies.

While it hasn’t been officially confirmed, it looks as if 007 will be part of the opening ceremonies on July 27. This first surfaced on April 1 in a story in the U.K. newspaper, The Sun. According to that story, current 007 star Daniel Craig will play Bond in a film where he’s “knighted” by Queen Elizabeth II and heads to the Olympics site by helicopter to help get the Games started.

There have been numerous stories since in places as varied as the MI6 007 fan Web site, the London Evening Standard, the Daily Beast Web site in the U.S. and The Times of Malta, not to mention NBC’s Olympics Web site. Also, MI6 noted filming in June that seemed to be related to the Olympics film.

This has psyched up many Bond fans, including some who argue this is a de facto knighthood for Craig himself (CLICK HERE for a thread on a message board which includes that viewpoint.)

Meanwhile, in the U.S., at least, one broadcaster wants to make note during the opening ceremonies of a more somber event — the 40th anniversary of the killing of Israeli athletes and coaches at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich.

NBC’s Bob Costas, who will anchor his network’s coverage of the Olympics, intends to make note of the anniversary, including 60 seconds of silence, according to a July 18 story in the Hollywood Reporter.

An excerpt:

When the London games officially launch July 27, Bob Costas will stage his own protest of what he calls a “baffling” decision: the NBC sportscaster plans to call out the International Olympic Committee for denying Israel’s request for a moment of silence acknowledging the massacre of 11 Israeli athletes and coaches at the 1972 Games.

“I intend to note that the IOC denied the request,” he tells THR. “Many people find that denial more than puzzling but insensitive. Here’s a minute of silence right now.”

Assuming Costas follows through, it won’t be the first time he’s commented about the 1972 event. In the following video, there are two clips of him commenting on ABC’s Jim McKay, who announced the fate of the Israeli athletes in 1972:

Meanwhile, CLICK HERE for a short commentary in the July 21 edition of the Wall Street Journal that approves of the stand Costas is taking.

Covers for Titan re-issue of Matt Helm books revealed

The cover for Titan Books’s re-issue of Death of a Citizen

The first covers for Titan Books’s re-issue of Donald Hamilton’s Matt Helm novels have been revealed. has pages for the first two Helm novels, Death Of a Citizen and The Wrecking Crew, being republished by Titan.

It appears Titan is going with a standardized format, featuring a shadowy Helm ready to fire a semi-automatic pistol. Just below the image it says “A Matt Helm Novel,” with the character’s name in large type. Below that is the name of the novel and Hamilton’s name. At the top is an illustration based on the novel’s plot.

While it’s a different look, Titan indirectly is paying homage to the 1960s Fawcett paperbacks. With the publication of the sixth Helm novel, 1963’s The Silencers, Fawcett devised a standard format: a “portrait” of Matt Helm at the top of the cover, the title and Hamilton’s name below that, and an illustration based on that particular story.

A 1963 re-issue of Death Of a Citizen

Fawcett tweaked the format in the 1970s (the Matt Helm portrait changed at least twice), but the basic idea remained. By the 1980s, the standard Matt Helm portrait disappeared and each cover just had an illustration.

The Titan re-issues will be available in February. You can CLICK HERE to see’s page for the Titan edition of Death of a Citizen, the first Helm adventure, originally published in 1960. You can CLICK HERE to see Amazon’s page for the second novel, The Wrecking Crew, also published in 1960.

Hamilton wrote 27 published Helm novels, the last appearing in 1993. He also wrote a 28th unpublished Helm story, The Dominators, around 2001 that isn’t part of the Titan Books deal. Hamilton died in 2006.

Thanks to Paul Bishop for the point out.