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.

Skyfall: some elements confirmed, some not

On April 16, a number of entertainment Web sites put out stories generated during a Skyfall press tour last week. The resulting articles confirmed some things that have been reported about the 23rd James Bond while not confirming, at least for now, others. Here’s a quick look.

Skyfall's producer and star aren't confirming everything

Confirmed: character names for Ralph Fiennes and Albert Finney

A story ON THE COMINGSOON.NET WEB SITE had the following:

We know that Dame Judi Dench’s M is a lot more involved in this one and even goes out with 007 into the field, while Ralph Fiennes plays M’s government overseer Mallory and Albert Finney plays someone named Kincade.

A list of Skyfall characters surfaced last month when call sheets and related materials surfaced after they had been sold on eBay (call sheet information was previously disclosed on the James Bond Brasil and 007 Collector Web sites).

Fans pretty much put together that Fiennes was Mallory and Finney was Kincade. Meanwhile, earlier stories from the set of Skyfall had confirmed information on the call sheets that Javier Bardem’s villain character was named Silva.

Not confirmed (yet): Ben Whishaw plays the new Q (or reasonable equivalent)

Whishaw’s casting as the new Q was reported in November by the BBC, which cited the actor’s agent. When the call sheet information surfaced last month, there was a character listed only as B, perhaps short for Boothroyd, the “real” name of the Q character played from 1963 to 1999 by Desmond Llewelyn.

At this point, the Skyfall isn’t confirming while not exactly denying it. ComingSoon ran a separate INTERVIEW with star Daniel Craig and producer Barbara Broccoli. There was this exchange:

Q: Is it true that we’ll see you and Moneypenny back? We know about Q, that was announced by his agent.
Broccoli: Nothing’s been announced.
Craig: Agents are liars. You know that. (Laughter)

The quote that “Nothing’s been announced,” is meaningless. Things are official once a contract has been signed. The announcement is one of the last things to occur. Meahwhile, Craig’s laughing seems like a “wink, wink” moment. Plus, based on the call sheet information (none of which has proven to be wrong while much of it has been shown to be correct), confirmation appears to be only a formality. But, for now, this falls under the unconfirmed category.

At the same time, a story ON THE HITFIX WEB SITE made this observation about the movie in general:

And yes movie fans, if you wonder why Hollywood lifers tell you to ignore publicist denials, now you know. “Skyfall” was secretly being worked on and Mendes was always expected to direct (something EON and MGM denied for months).

Bardem tells MTV his Skyfall villain is `complex’

Eon Productions last week held some press interviews for Skyfall, the 23rd James Bond film. MTV was among those who got some time with cast members, including Javier Bardem, who plays the movie’s villain, who the actor refers to as “complex.” Here’s an excerpt:

Javier Bardem, who plays Skyfall's villain, Silva

That great cast includes the ultimate bad guy, Javier Bardem. The actor, who won an Oscar for his bone-chilling role as Anton Chigurh in “No Country for Old Men,” will prove yet again that he is a master villain as he takes on the role of Silva.

“I think the character is really complex; he’s not an easy guy,” Bardem said. “He’s not only a villain; it’s more than that, hopefully. It’s what we tried to achieve. I’m giving James Bond a hard time — that’s my job, that’s my duty.”

(Daniel) Craig believes Bardem’s evil role certainly adds great depth to the 23rd installment of 007: “There’s also the very important relationship he has with the bad guy in the movie, which, again, gives the whole film a richer content,” Craig said.

This may be confirmation of the name of Bardem’s character, something that didn’t become known until call sheets from Skyfall filming were sold on eBay. At least, MTV’s Christina Garibaldi writes as if the Silva name is correct. She doesn’t mention how the Silva name was supposed to be a secret until the call sheets surfaced via the James Bond Brasil Web site.

To read a text version of the entire MTV story JUST CLICK HERE. If you click the link below, you may be able (in the U.S. anyway) to see the video version of the MTV story. When we tested it, a media player popped up on our browser.

Skyfall’s latest `security breach’

They say things come in threes. So it is with “security breaches” with Skyfall, the 23rd James Bond movie.

First, it was call sheets and related materials that contained spoilers such as character names ended up on fan Web sites James Bond Brasil and 007 Collector. Then a blogger, who primarily takes nature photos, comes across Skyfall filming at an exterior set that’s supposed to be 007’s ancestral home and some more information about the film comes out.

Now, in Turkey, three high school students sneaked into a Skyfall filming area and took photos of a stunt scene being prepared, ACCORDING TO THIS STORY by the Dogan News Agency that appeared on the Web site of the Hurriyet Daily News. An excerpt:

The trio avoided security guards by sneaking through alleys and climbed over a wire fence into the train station. There, they crawled under train cars and reached the repair depot, where they grabbed off-duty workers’ overalls and helmets.

The story says one of the three was searched, but hid his cell phone (with its camera) in his underwear. To see a gallery of the photos shot, CLICK HERE.

The main reason this sort of thing gets attention is because Eon Productions has been more secretive than usual, such as not providing the names of characters played by Javier Bardem, Ralph Fiennes and Albert Finney. Thus, when some information does spill out, it gets played up. In the absence of traditional coverage, there’s a demand for news (with those wanting to remain “spoiler free” straining to avoid it) and these non-traditional methods are filling it.

Only two more months of filming to go. Will any more leaks occur?

Blogger ceases taking photos of Skyfall set (SPOILERS)

Warning: spoilers begin midway through this post

The blog The Foraging Photographer said March 16 it’s ceasing taking pictures of an exterior Bond set in Scotland after some pressure was applied.

007 relaxes at the pool after the latest Skyfall leak has been sealed off.

The blogger explains in a post you can read BY CLICKING HERE. An excerpt:

Weeeeeeell… I don’t know where to start, really. Or indeed where to finish. I arrived at Hankley this morning, with dog and child, friend and dog, expecting our normal walk around the common only to be enlivened by the film shooting. I greeted, in naive innocence, the (lovely) lady on the main security gate, only to have her call after me “…are you [my name]…?”, and tell me that I was in (and had created) a lot of trouble. They kept me there while they radioed the location manager to come and discuss things with me.

As it turns out, I’ve been a wanted woman on Hankley Common since yesterday, when it became apparent that I had breached military byelaw 4(13). On reading and re-reading this byelaw, I can’t say I’m yet entirely clear about how I’ve breached this, but I’m taking them at their word, and certainly the military police were perfectly serious about finding me and arresting me – the policeman I talked to later told me that if they’d found me first I would have been arrested, cuffed and charged.

(snip) What did distress me is that I seem to have dropped some of the site crew right in it. This really does upset me, because everyone I’ve spoken to on-site has been absolutely lovely, and I’ve greatly enjoyed having chats with them….I have been genuinely enthralled by the development of the set, and the incredible skill displayed therein. I love taking photographs of beautiful things, and, to me, the creation of this fake reality was an amazing thing to witness.

SPOILERS FOLLOW. If you don’t want to know any details bail out now.

The set in question is supposed to be James Bond’s ancestral home, known as the Skyfall lodge. Bond and M head up to Scotland, but Skyfall apparently will be attacked and destroyed. In a post you can view BY CLICKING HERE, you can see photos taken by the blogger, including the headstone for Bond’s parents, Andrew Bond and Monique Delacroix Bond as well as headstones for other relatives that have names taken from Ian Fleming relatives. There’s also a chapel that has been constructed.

The Foraging Photographer’s images have been reproduced on fan Web sites and message boards. This is now the third crackdown related to the 23rd James Bond film and the third starring Daniel Craig. Two fan sites, James Bond Brasil and 007 Collector had published images of Skyfall call sheets and related materials sold on eBay that revealed character names and other details. James Bond Brasil took down the images it published. 007 Collector took down a photo of the list of Skyfall character that was included with the call sheets.

UPDATE: The Foraging Photographer added this to her blog entry (MoD means Ministry of Defence):

just want to make very clear that I did not at any point go anywhere that the public were not free to go, nor was I at any point asked not to take photographs. I did not at any point go inside any fences around the structures which were up during construction. Once the fences were removed, I assumed the boundary to be the ‘flooring’ around the sites (the plastic roadway stuff that protects the ground underneath). Only once did I set foot on that flooring, and that was with permission. There was full public access to the site throughout construction (it’s MoD land), and lots of members of the public taking photos and videos. It was only during filming that the security guys were present. I do feel that if the chapel site was such hot property, then the production team should have made the construction team very aware of this, and put security on the site. It’s not like I was skulking around – I was there with two loud children and a dog!

Skyfall character names surface on call sheets (SPOILERS)

Skyfall call sheets, which were sold on eBay, continue to surface, providing more information about the 23rd James Bond film. This time, the names of Skyfall’s characters became available as part of the material.

STOP READING RIGHT NOW if you don’t want to know anything.

At the 007 Collector Web site photos of Skyfall call sheets, originally issued during filming last month in the U.K. appeared on March 13. They’re not as easy to read as the images of the call sheets that briefly ran on the James Bond Brasil site last week before that site was forced to take them down.

In addition, one of the pictures of the call sheets and related materials had — before the Web site took it down, also on March 13 — a list of Skyfall’s characters beyond those mentioned for the specific scenes being shot that day. There are no actors listed. In order, that list is: 1) James Bond 2) M 3) Raoul Silva 4) Gareth Mallory 5) Eve 6) Severine 7) Kincade 8) B 9) Bill Tanner 10) Patrice 11) Doctor Hall 12) Clair Dowar, MP 13) Inquiry Member #1 14) Vanessa (M’s Asst.) 15. Whitehall Police Guard #1 16) Shanghai Bartender 17) Floating Dragon Cashier 18) Mallory’s Office Assistant

There are others beyond that, but some numbers are skipped. Anong the others are B’s Assistant, Silva’s Isolation Guard, three bodyguards for Severine, two Vauxhall Bridge guards, three more inquiry members and three MI-6 Techies (i.e. MI-6 Techie #1, etc.)

There’s no Q, even though actor Ben Whishaw’s agent told the BBC that Whishaw was playing Q. No mention of Moneypenny nor any mention of Ernst Stavro Blofeld despite teasing by Skyfall scribe John Logan that a rebooted Blofeld would be the villain.

Does that mean Q, Moneypenny and Blofeld aren’t in the movie? Who knows? B conceivably could be the Q character (B stands for Boothroyd?). The three MI-6 “techies” hint there could be some kind of gadgetmaster character. Or maybe B is Blofeld? Plus, there were those stories in the U.K.’s Daily Mail that Naomie Harris’s Eve character would be revealed as Moneypenny.

One other question: Does having M listed second mean that Judi Dench will be the top-ranked actor in the main titles after the title? (With Daniel Craig as Bond in the customary spot before the title.) Given the role of M in the story — the Skyfall press release in November practically makes it sound as if the plot revolves around M as much as Bond — means that’s possible.

Meanwhile, the character list is consistent with call sheet information that the James Bond Brasil site disclosed. It said that Javier Bardem’s villain was named Silva. This newest piece of the puzzle now provides a full name. Still, there’s plenty of mystery; the call sheets and related material don’t seem to provide any information on the characters being played by Ralph Fiennes and Albert Finney

Fan Web site posts Skyfall call sheets (SPOILER ALERT)

UPDATE: The James Bond Brasil Web site said it had to take down the images of pages from the Skyfall call sheets that it posted earlier this week.

The call sheets were originally issued last month during filming in London and Scotland. Call sheets were being sold on eBay about a week ago, so James Bond Brasil’s proprietors may have been the winning bidder. (In fact, it appears ANOTHER SET is being auctioned on eBay now with a March 11 deadline.)

"There's been a leak!"

Anyway, based on the call sheets that had been on the site (and other places on the Internet prior to James Bond Brasil taking them down), there are some SPOILERS about the 23rd James Bond film out.

If you don’t want to know anymore STOP READING NOW.

OK, here are the nuggets of information:

1. The name of the villain played by Javier Bardem is Silva.

2. There’s a sequence where, in M’s car, “Tanner learns somebody is accessing The Flash Drive.” Then, “The car is stopped by security. M climbs out angry.” At the Vauxhall Bridge, “M yells at the bridge guards…Boom.”

3. At a Macao hotel, “Eve shaves Bond.”

4. In a later scene, “Silva is excited as he sees M & Kincade.”

5. In a scene set in Scotland, Bond and M have a drink and “Bond tells of his childhood.”

6. There’s a car chase, which includes a “bogus police Land Rover.”