UPDATED: our final Skyfall accuracy checklist (spoilers)

SPOILERS: Just like the headline says this has SPOILERS. Stop reading now if you haven’t seen the movie.

Here’s our final checklist concerning the accuracy of various reports about Skyfall dating back as far back as 2010. Sources varied from U.K. tabloids with a tawdry reputation to trade publications and entertainment news Web sites.

Ben Whishaw would be the new Q: Reported by the BBC in 2011, citing Whishaw’s agent. Formally announced in July 2012. Check. Daniel Craig proclaimed, “Agents are liars,” when asked about reports concerning Whishaw playing Q prior to the July announcement. Not in this case.

Skyfall is the title: First reported by the Fusible Web site before the title was confirmed in November 2011. Check.

Ralph Fiennes is in the cast: reported by the Daily Mail in February 2011 and Variety later. Check.

Albert Finney is in the cast: reported in the Daily Mail on Oct. 28, 2011. Check.

Naomie Harris is in the cast: Reported in June 2011 by the now-defunct News of the World. Check.

Berenice Marlohe is the cast: Reported Sept. 29, 2011, by a Web site called Twitch. Check.

Bond will have a beard during at least part of Skyfall: reported by the Sun newspaper in the U.K. on Oct. 21, 2011. Check.

Skyfall will have November 2012 release date: Reported by Nikke Finke’s Deadline entertainment news Web site in late 2010, before the Skyfall title was chosen. 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. Check.

Javier Bardem offered a role in Skyfall: First reported by by the Deadline Web site in January 2011. Check.

Sam Mendes being considered to direct Skyfall: Reported by the Deadline Web site in January 2010. Check. Mendes denied the news in an article in The Wall Street Journal DAYS after his publicist confirmed talks were underway.

Skyfall the last appearance for Judi Dench’s M: Reported by the BEST FOR FILM WEB SITE in April 2012. Check.

Naomie Harris’s Eve turns out to be Miss Moneypenny.. This idea was pushed repeatedly by the U.K. Daily Mail newspaper. CLICK HERE for one of multiple examples. The Daily Mail was decried for pushing rubbish on fan message boards and major 007 fan sites but, in the end, was proven correct. Check

Skyfall and spoilers

“NOOO! It’s a SPOILER!”

No spoilers in the text. But there are in the links. So if you don’t want to know, don’t click.

On Oct. 21, The Sun newspaper in the U.K. had a Skyfall spoiler. The story (which you can view BY CLICKING HERE if you don’t mind spoilers) had the giveaway in the headline and the URL of the online version.

In other words, if you picked up the paper or looked at the Web site, it was in your face. That includes Americans who traveled to the U.K. to see the movie this week, first for its premier and then for regular showings, who had tried to avoid spoilers.

To avoid specifics in this post, we’ll just say it was a spoiler that was categorically denied (or worded very carefully to make it sound like a categorical denial) by the principal involved and 007 FAN SITES TOOK THE DENIAL SERIOUSLY. Now, it turns out….well, we said we wouldn’t tell you because, well, it’s a spoiler.

The internet has increased the difficulty in remaining spoiler free. This, in turn, has made some fans more and more angry about spoilers.

Back in the early ’90s, just as internet message boards were getting popular, somebody wrote a post on the old Prodigy system about Alien 3. It’s title? “ALIEN 3 — RIPLEY DIES!” Responses quickly were written urging new laws to prevent this sort of thing. Those were among the milder of the responses.

It has continued since. Some folks get concerned when you give away the ending of an old movie. They don’t necessarily get upset if you mention that Rosebud is the name of the sled, but will (with a straight face) object to talking about the ending of an eight-year-old film such as Layer Cake (which has a major connection to Skyfall; we won’t tell you what it is, because it’s a spoiler).

At one time, the 007 movies didn’t seem too concerned about spoilers; soundtracks had titles such as “Death of Fiona” or “Death of Aki” among their tracks.

Skyfall’s publicity has been different, with references to all the twists in the film’s story and thus it had to be hush-hush. On the other hand, there was a press preview two weeks before Skyfall was scheduled to be shown in U.K. While most of the critics who have written about the film have been restrained with plot details, it’s hard not to give anything away.

For U.K. fans, you only have a few more days to dodge the dreaded spoilers. U.S. fans have a tougher job, especially once U.K. 007 fans start writing on the internet about the film two weeks before it shows up in U.S. theaters.

Our hope for Skyfall

So Skyfall is almost upon us. U.K. fans can see it the end of next week, U.S. fans two weeks after that. There have been press screenings in the U.K. and France. Fans ponder whether to read the resulting reviews or not.

We’ve followed months of hype, marketing and other developments. Now it’s time to see the final result.

Our main hope is Skyfall is entertaining. The number of positive reviews so far is intriguing. Bond movies historically don’t always get a lot of approval from critics. It doesn’t have to be the best James Bond movie ever, as some of the reviews say. If it is, that’s an extra bonus.

Skyfall had a 97 PERCENT RATING ON THE ROTTEN TOMATOES WEB SITE as of Oct. 17, with only one “rotten” review out of 31 to date. Even the ONE “ROTTEN” REVIEW had some kind words. (Be careful if you click on it; there’s a significant spoiler if you read between the lines).

Despite the lack of an Ian Fleming title, Skyfall appears to have more Fleming content than the most recent 007 movie, Quantum of Solace. (Fans of the novels picked up on clues in the trailers and television commercials.) We think that’s a good thing.

There’s a saying that you shouldn’t watch sausage being made. The same could be said of following a major production like Skyfall. There have been moments of contradictory statements like HERE, or HERE or HERE.

In the end, though, the final film is what matters. Even if a favorite fan icon continues to be played with, the big picture remains whether the movie tells a compelling tale.

So when it comes down to it, our biggest hope is that it all works. Over the past 11 months (going back to the November kick-off Skyfall press conference), it could be easy to not see the trees for the forest. It’s now time to see the big picture (for those seeing Skyfall at an Imax theater, that’s literal). We’re hoping for the best.

Intriguing hints about Skyfall in some early reviews

Daniel Craig, awaiting the Skyfall reviews


While we’ve done our best to keep this spoiler free, if you’re feint-hearted about this sort of thing, stop reading now.

We looked over some early Skyfall reviews after a press preview in the U.K. on Oct. 12. The writers generally tried to avoid just reciting the plot verbatim but it’s hard to review a movie without saying something about the plot. In any case, there were some intriguing snippets in the reviews. Some examples follow.

OLIVER LYTTLETON, THE PLAYLIST:

The review says the 23rd 007 film, directed by Sam Mendes, is like a Christopher Nolan-directed 007 film without Nolan.

Best of all is the bad guy. (Javier) Bardem was always a tantalizing choice to play a Bond villain, and his Silva is a terrific creation, and certainly the most memorable villain in the series in decades. There’s too many fun surprises to the character to give away here, but rest assured that Silva — who again, owes more than a little to a Nolan character, namely Heath Ledger’s Joker — hits the center of the funny/strange/scary Venn Diagram beautifully, with the actor making some bold choices that payed off with a huge reaction from the audience in London tonight. (emphasis added)

The reviewer says Mendes-Bond (or sort-of-Nolan Bond) is closer to classic 007 than other recent entries.

(T)here’s a real sense of mystery to the plot, giving the film a propulsive whodunnit-and-why momentum that lasts into the final act. But it’s also crucially never dour; the emo-Bond of “Quantum Of Solace” is nowhere to be found, with Mendes treating things with a light, playful touch throughout.

The review is less enthusiastic about Skyfall’s running time, which reaches nearly two-and-a-half hours. The review gives the film a B-Plus grade.

BAZ BAMIGBOYE, THE DAILY MAIL:

The writer, who had a number of scoops about Skyfall while it was in pre-production and production, fawns over the movie.

This Bond adventure directed by Sam Mendes is pure classic 007 fare , back on firm footing after the less than memorable Quantum of Solace.

Skyfall was a fantastic combination of 007 meets Bourne meets Spooks meets Home Alone.

Graham Rye who has published the Double-O-Seven Magazine for 30 years, hailed the film as ‘brilliant’ and said it’s ‘up there in the top five of all the 23 films made in the world’s most famous film franchise’.

When I asked how many stars he would give Skyfall out of five he said: ‘That’s not the right number.’

He waited a beat and declared: ‘It’s a 10 star Bond film. It’s up there with the best of them.’

The writer also spills the beans about Albert Finney and his character, gives away one of the meanings of the film’s title and boasts one of his still-unverified scoops (which references in a coy way) is proven to be true. Which scoop? It’s mentioned in THIS JULY 13 HMSS WEBLOG POST. Obviously, don’t click if you want to stay spoiler free.

GRANT ROLLINGS, THE U.K. SUN:

The review tries to out-fawn the Daily Mail, with a headline, “The coolest James Bond film yet.”

This film is stylish, witty and a class above the competition. It’s also irreverent about its past.

Daniel Craig again proves himself to be a great Bond.

(snip)

Joining Craig in Skyfall is the most impressive set of actors and actresses ever assembled in one Bond film

ROBBIE COLLIN, THE TELEGRAPH

Another review saying Sam Mendes is channeling Christopher Nolan, director of the 2005-2012 Batman trilogy released by Warner Bros.

Sam Mendes’s frequently dazzling, utterly audacious entry in the franchise has less in common with its much-loved predecessors than Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight. After its release in 2008 (when it left Quantum of Solace, the 22nd Bond film, trailing in its wake), Nolan’s pathbreaking superhero picture almost single-handedly reconfigured the modern blockbuster template. Like a wise old dog, 007 has studied it carefully, and learned some new tricks. (emphasis added)

Skyfall soundtrack to avoid spoiler titles

Thomas Newman


Tony Lewis, a sound engineer working on the Skyfall soundtrack, says THROUGH HIS TWITTER FEED that the movie’s soundtrack is avoiding spoilers in the titles for individual tracks.

Two examples from Oct. 1:

Tony Lewis ‏@MusicEditorcouk
In other news, those who were asking about s/track name spoilers, you’ve got them. We’ve been careful to steer around anything giveaway

Tony Lewis ‏@MusicEditorcouk
@Skyfall007Fan no, sorry if I wasn’t clear – we’ve made the soundtrack titles NOT give much away

“Skyfall007Fan” and proprietors of Bond fan sites have peppered Lewis with questions as the soundtrack was recorded. He’s avoided giving anything of substance away (noting he signed a non-disclosure agreement).

The question came up because previous Bond John Barry-composed soundtracks have contained spoilers with tracks titled “Death of Grant” (From Russia With Love), “Death of Goldfinger” (Goldfinger), “Death of Fiona” (Thunderball) and “Death of Aki” (You Only Live Twice). In the case of Thunderball, the soundtrack made it to stores in November 1965, for the Christmas shopping season, a month before the film debuted in theaters.

The soundtrack, with music composed by Thomas Newman, is is available for pre-order on Amazon.com.

UPDATE (Oct. 7): To view the list of titles on the soundtrack, CLICK HERE.

Does new Skyfall TV spot have a (minor) spoiler?

A new Skyfall commercial aired during the Emmy Awards broadcast on Sept. 23. Around the 0:20 mark, Daniel Craig’s 007 walks through a door that looks familiar to those who’ve viewed Bond movies of the 1960s and ’70s. Craig’s line, “007 reporting for duty,” is from a different scene based on previous TV spots and trailers.

There has been some speculation among fans about how Skyfall may end. Also, back IN A JULY VIDEO WEBLOG, director Sam Mendes teased, “There’s something about the last part of the movie, which is deliberately, very consciously, could have taken place in 1962.”

007 questions about the future of the film James Bond

“What? More questions?”


Some pretty big news week. The MI6 James Bond fan Web site said it had confirmed Daniel Craig would do two more 007 films after this year’s Skyfall. The Web site didn’t specify how it obtained the information, but it got picked up on other Web sites, including THIS ONE, THIS ONE and THIS ONE. Oh, and don’t forget THIS ONE. Even THE HUFFINGTON POST cited the MI6 story. (UPDATE: Nikki Finke’s Deadline entertainment news Web site said it CONFIRMED THE NEWS AND REPORTED THAT SONY WOULD CO-FINANCE BOND 25.)

Well, that got us to thinking and that, naturally, spurs us to ask these questions:

001. Which movie will be seen first: Bond 24 or Marvel’s The Avengers 2?: The Avengers has been the biggest hit of 2012 with $1.5 billion in worldwide ticket sales and Walt Disney Co. has already set a May 1, 2015, release date for a sequel. When will Bond 24 come out? Sony Corp. has said 2014 but Eon Productions co-boss Barbara Broccoli and star Daniel Craig have said NOT SO FAST.

002. If Bond 24 doesn’t come out in 2014, when will it come out? You’re guess is as good as ours. One of the main talking points of the Skyfall publicity campaign is the movie benefited from production delays (due to studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer’s bankruptcy) to fine tune the script. For an example, CLICK HERE. If so, would that be at odds with trying to restore the tradition every-other-year schedule that MGM and Sony Corp. (which is releasing Skyfall) want?

003. What are you trying to say? It’s one thing to say Daniel Craig will do two more films if the second is out in 2016. It’s another if the second is out in (for argument’s sake) 2020.

004. They won’t wait another four years to do Bond 24, will they? Let’s see if Eon co-boss Michael G. Wilson complains yet again about how exhausting it is to make James Bond movies. If a new set of Wilson quotes along this line surfaces late this year or in early 2013, it might be a sign that Bond 24 might not come out as soon as many fans would like. If that’s the case, when would Bond 25 come out?

005. Any possibility any more spoilers will come out before Skyfall’s premier? It depends whether the sountrack comes out before the film’s premier.

006. What does that mean? Well, Thunderball’s soundtrack came out in November 1965, a month before the “Biggest Bond of All” came out. One of the tracks was titled “Death of Fiona,” so that was a giveaway. Other titles on various 007 soundtracks included “Death of Grant,” “Death of Goldfinger” and “Death of Aki.” So a fan could get some clues if they purchase the soundtrack before the movie premiers.

007. Are you looking forward to Skyfall or not? Yes to the movie. Not so much to various talking points. It’s under 50 days before the U.K. premier and just over two months before the U.S. premier. Other than, say, seeing the final Skyfall trailer, we’d rather get on with it. In the end, it’s whether the movie is good or not.