Our Bond 23 accuracy checklist

Over this year, James Bond fans have debated the accuracy of reports about Bond 23, which is gearing up production. Here’s a checklist of stories of the major disclosures to make it easier to determine who was right or not with the Bond 23 news conference scheduled for Nov. 3.

We’ve tried to track these down to the first media outlet to report, but if sharp-eyed readers can find earlier examples, let us know. (Also here’s a tip of the cap to the MI6 James Bond fan Web site. Its archive helped us track down some of the links.

Skyfall is the title: First reported by the Fusible Web site.

Ralph Fiennes is in the cast: reported in Variety on March 25, though that was a passing reference. This is almost virtually accepted by fans as fact, but still not officially confirmed. 007 actor Daniel Craig told MTV in September that he “hoped” Fiennes would be in the cast.

UPDATE: Actually credit would appear to go to the Daily Mail for Fiennes in a story published on Feb. 4. (Thanks to “Shrublands” on the Commander Bond message board.)

Albert Finney is in the cast: reported in the Daily Mail on Oct. 28.

Naomie Harris is in the cast: This has been around so long, it’s also accepted as virtual fact. It was first reported in June by the now-defunct News of the World (closed by parent company News Corp. because of the now-infamous hacking scandal). You can CLICK HERE to see a timeline. Eon confirmed to Entertainment Weekly that Harris was under consideration. But it has never been officially confirmed she’s in the movie. The Daily Mail upped the ante in July, reporting that Harris was negotiating to be the new Miss Moneypenny.

Berenice Marlohe is the cast: first reported by a Web site called Twitch.

Bond will have a beard during at least part of Bond 23: reported by the Sun newspaper in the U.K. on Oct. 21.

Meanwhile, here’s a list of previous media reports that have been confirmed:

Bond 23 will have November 2012 release date: Reported by Nikke Finke’s Deadline entertainment news Web site in late 2010. Confirmed in news release from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Eon Productions in early 2011. Later release dated tweaked so that U.K. release will be in October 2012, while the November 2012 date still applies to the U.S.

Javier Bardem offered a role in Bond 23: First reported by by the Deadline Web site. Bardem later told ABC that he accepted the role.

Sam Mendes being considered to direct Bond 23: First reported (and this is sounding like a broken record) by the Deadline Web site in Janurary 2010. Mendes responds by claiming to the Wall Street Journal in mid-January 2010 that it was merely “speculation” he might direct Bond 23. He tells this tall tale DAYS after his publicist confirmed talks were underway. Oops. Ex-wife Kate Winslet said in a Dec. 3, 2010 Daily Mail interview that Mendes was directing Bond 23 and she was moving to London so the kids could have time with dad. MGM and Eon finally come clean in an early 2011 news release.

A look at how SkyFall as Bond 23 title story spread

James Bond fans around the world are discussing whether Bond 23 will be titled SkyFall when it comes out next year. The fact it happened in less than 24 hours is yet another testiment to the power of the Internet.

First, apparently, was a post ON THE FUSIBLE WEB SITE. It began thusly:

It appears the name controversy over next the James Bond film slated to release in November 2012 by MGM and Sony Pictures is now settled.

The film will be called Skyfall, according to several domain name registrations privately purchased through the brand protection company MarkMonitor this week. MarkMonitor is the same company used by Sony Pictures for thousands of its own domain names, including SonyPictures.com.

One of the first Web sites to pick up on Fusible’s report was A POST ON THE WHATCULTURE! WEB SITE, which linked to Fusible while not explicitly crediting the original (you had to actually follow the link to find that out).

Then, fan Web sites jumped all over it, some reporting the same facts, creating a worldwide virtual echo chamber. Finally, fans uploaded images to YouTube about what a SkyFall poster would look like. Here’s an example:

At this point, who knows? But it appears nearly three since the last 007 movie (and more than a year before Bond 23 comes out), fans are starved for something, anything, to talk about.