Ben Whishaw’s agent is proven correct

Official publicity still of Ben Whishaw as Q in Skyfall. Daniel Craig is in the background.

It turns out the agent of actor Ben Whishaw was right after all.

Eon Productions formally confirmed that Whishaw plays the MI6 gadget master in an announcement on Skyfall’s official Web site.

Whishaw was listed in Skyfall’s cast in early November but no specific role was mentioned. Then, in late November, the actor’s agent told the BBC that Whishaw had the Q role.

But things took a twist.

Call sheets from the film surfaced on eBay and Whishaw’s character was listed as “B” (for Boothroyd?). Was the agent misnformed? Or was this some misdirection on the part of the filmmakers?

In an interview published in April star Daniel Craig said, “Agents are liars,” when asked whether Whishaw was the new Q. The text of the interview indicated Craig laughed at that point, so it may have been a joke. Barbara Broccoli, Eon co-boss, in the same interview merely said nothing had been announced.

A few weeks later, in an interview published in May, Skyfall director Sam Mendes said that Whishaw, indeed, was playing Q. Mendes took credit for the idea.

Skyfall storyboards surface on eBay

A set of 52 Skyfall storyboards has shown up for sale on eBay with a “buy it now” price of $350. Here’s the description:

“Not eBay again!”

Anyone want to know what happens in the new Bond film? This is a sequence of 52 Crew Copy, Production used Storyboards from the latest instalment. Buy it now price is less than $7 per Storyboard!

If you go to THE EBAY LISTING, it includes four storyboard samples. The samples do provide spoilers. There are no many plot revelations in the four samples but you can piece together at least some of what is going on in the scene.

According to the listing, the storyboards will remain on sale until 1:54 p.m. Pacific time, July 11, unless somebody plucks down that $350 right off the bat.

Back in March, a set of Skyfall call sheets that included information about the film including character names (at a time many character names hadn’t been disclosed) and basic descriptions of scenes was sold on eBay.

Sony shows a 4-minute Skyfall preview; rumors confirmed?

Sony Corp. this week showed a four-minute preview of Skyfall during an event in Spain aimed at executives of movie theater chains, according to a story in the Hollywood Reporter. Berenice Marlohe, one of the Bond women in the film, was part of the proceedings.

Daniel Craig in a Skyfall publicity still


Could the showing be at least a partial confirmation of Internet rumors? A poster on the Commander Bond Web site referenced a friend who saw a four-minute extended trailer but had to sign a non-disclosure agreement. Around the same time, an IMDB.com user claimed to have seen a four-minute trailer without providing details.

On the one hand, it seems quite a coincidence that all three mention a four-minute preview and/or trailer. Perhaps it’s not much of a stretch that Sony would also seek audience reaction while pressing those in attendance to sign a non-disclosure agreement.

On the other hand, could most people remember virtually every shot, as IMDB.com user tom-sudddd suggests he was able to do so? Also, that account includes this:

M SHOOTING A GUN! I think it was the P99!

M? Judi Dench? Judi Dench shooting a Walther P 99?

Well, there was a publicity still of Ralph Fiennes as Mallory (who may or may not take over as M) shooting a sizeable handgun.

We’ll stick with our caveat emptor of a previous post for now. But the timing of the Internet tidbits about a four-minute extended trailer/preview is interesting.

Rumors surface about extended Skyfall teaser

Caveat emptor: IMDB.com user tom-sudddd claims to have seen an extended Skyfall trailer that’s about four minutes long.

You can read the full post BY CLICKING HERE. A sampling (spoiler alert, if true):

The title bit is amazing! Bond turns and shoots at the screen, wearing a suit. A gunbarrel forms around him and spins. Bond walks slowly toward us, with his gun at his side, through the gunbarrel (like the teaser poster)

The dialogue, i can’t remember much of, it all went over me. There’s bits and pieces of it. Bond introduces himself though! “Bond James Bond.” I think he’s saying it to Bardem. The music is about 3 minutes worth of that electronic Bond theme from the teaser, new mix then it turns into a fully orchestral Bond theme. It sounded very nice.

There’s also a long list of shots, where the poster says he saw Ben Whishaw as Q, Javier Bardem as villain Silva and a gimmicked up Aston Martin DB5, plus more shots of stars Daniel Craig and Judi Dench.

No details about where, or how, tom-sudddd managed to see this extended trailer. A day before, a poster on the Commander Bond Web site says a friend in Berlin saw an extended trailer but had to sign a non-disclosure agreement.

Meanwhile, bear in mind, that another IMDB.com user, calling herself Liz, earlier this year posted a description that, in retrospect, didn’t sound that close to the teaser trailer that emerged in May. Also, final movie trailers tend to run about 2:30, not four minutes.

So we go back to how this post began: caveat emptor.

Mendes confirms Skyfall delves into 007’s `personal history’

Skyfall director Sam Mendes


Empire magazine, promoting its new issue with Skyfall star Daniel Craig on the cover, has a short article with comments from Sam Mendes where the director confirms the movie will get into Bond’s background. While not a huge surprise, there’s this passage about the audience can expect:

Mendes also adds that Skyfall will see 007 “physically pushing himself” and says that he takes the character “to another level where Daniel isn’t just playing things he’sdone before, where we felt we were pushing — I have to say this in a way that’s not giving too much away — the personal history of the character.”

This revelation isn’t a surprise to anyone who read about Skyfall call sheets that briefly described scenes or viewed photographs taken by a nature photographer during filming in March.

Still, it’s the first quote we’ve seen from one of the Skyfall principals that addresses the issue of how the 23rd 007 movie will explore the character’s history. It hasn’t come up much in previous films. GoldenEye had a passing reference to how Bond was an orphan, for example.

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).

007 new questions about Skyfall (SPOILER)

IF YOU’RE ONE OF THOSE WHO’VE MANAGED TO AVOID THIS WEEK’S SKYFALL SPOILER STOP READING NOW

WE REALLY MEAN IT

This edition of 007 questions is based on the Skyfall news of the week that, for the record, we’ll mention is not officially confirmed but, neverthless, is the talk of James Bond fandom. (If you’ve read this far, no complaints about spoilers will be accepted.)

Judi Dench and Daniel Craig at the November press conference for Skyfall.


001. Were you really surprised by the report on the Best for Film Web site that that a certain character is getting killed off in Skyfall? We’d heard a rumor to that effect but this was the first time we’d seen it written up. Given how it went viral, it would seem that nobody else had written it until now.

002. What’s your reaction? Judi Dench is 77 and the Bond films have been produced at an erratic rate since 2002. Killing off a long-running character (the Dench version of M M debuted 17 years ago in GoldenEye) tends to be dramatic no matter how many times it has occurred in the past with other characters in other movies and television shows.. So it makes sense.

003. Until now, had there been any clues this may happen? Recall that Peter Morgan, originally hired as a “prestige” writer to work with Eon scribes Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, had once said he had devised a “shocking” story for the then-untitled Bond 23. He later said his idea his main idea was still in the script (now with John Logan in place of Morgan). The small amount of publicity relative to previous 007 movies is consistent with trying to keep the lid on a surprise (more about that down below). Finally, the November Skyfall press release described the plot like this:

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. (emphasis added)

004. So will it be a good or bad thing? The answer, if you’ll pardon the pun, will lay with the execution of the idea.

005. What about having Ralph Fiennes be the new M? (also part of the initial report but not discussed as much) Well, there was a clue when the Skyfall call sheets and related material were sold on eBay and hit the Internet. A cast list said Fiennes’ character was named Mallory, which evokes Admiral Sir Miles Messervy, the original M of Ian Fleming’s novels, played by the late Bernard Lee. The name of Finnes’s character hasn’t been officially disclosed.

006. What’s the fan reaction been like? Everything from, “Of course, everybody knew that,” to “Oh, no!” to “It’s about time!” One of the more interesting comments on one message board was wondering if fans who’ve been wanting the Dench M to exit the series (because she seems to get an expanding amount of screen time with each film) will still find a reason to complain now the character is being killed off.

007. How do you think they’ll do it? We’re not going to guess at this point, but there was one message board where a poster suggested it’d be great showcase for Daniel Craig if his Bond gets to kill M. That left us cold. Blunt instrument is one thing, some fans seem anxious to transform 007 into a glassy eyed sociopath. Meanwhile, yes, the literary Bond did try (unsuccessfully) to kill M in The Man With the Golden Gun, but he had been brainwashed by the KGB.

Best for Film reports `insanely massive’ Skyfall spoiler

NO SPOILER IN THIS POST

The Web site Best for Film on April 5 reported what it calls “insanely massive Skyfall news.” If correct, it’s the spoiler of all Skyfall spoilers. Previously, we’ve written when other spoilers came out after first posting a warning. But this one, well, merits special treatment.

Suffice to say it’s bigger than photos and video that have come out from Scotland and Turkey during Skyfall filming. We had to make note of this, but decided not to mention the details in this post.

So: CLICK HERE if you want to find out the news. If you don’t want to know, keep the cursor away from the link

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?

No Skyfall novelization, Book Bond Web site says

There won’t be a novelization of Skyfall, the 23rd James Bond film, the BOOK BOND WEB SITE REPORTED, citing Ian Fleming Publications.

Raymond Benson's Die Another Day remains the most recent 007 film novelization. Photo copyright © Paul Baack

Raymond Benson, most recent 007 novelization author


There was no statement on the Ian Fleming Publications Web site as of 3 p.m. Eastern Time on March 18. On the Book Bond site, webmaster John Cox said he didn’t press for the reasons why there won’t be a novelization.

One possibility (our own speculation): director Sam Mendes has had a penchant for secrecy for all matters Skyfall, even to the point of denying in early 2010 he was in talks to direct the film even after his own publicist had confirmed such talks were, in fact, underway. A novelization is typically available before a film’s release and is the ultimate spoiler. One exception: Max Allan Collins, in his novelization for Warren Beatty’s Dick Tracy movie, awkwardly told the reader Tracy was surprised who the mystery was without revealing the identity.

IFP controls the literary Bond. Novelizations were published for the four Pierce Brosnan films: GoldenEye, Tomorrow Never Dies, The World Is Not Enough and Die Another Day. John Gardner did the GoldenEye novelization in 1995 and Raymond Benson the others, beginning in 1997. In 2002, Benson’s final Bond continuation novel had been published but he was the logical choice to do Die Another Day’s novelization published in the fall of that year.

With 2006’s Casino Royale, IFP re-issued Ian Fleming’s first James Bond novel of the same name, and with 2008’s Quantum of Solace, IFP put out two Fleming short stories, including Quantum of Solace, which had nothing to do with the film.

Going further back, Christopher Wood penned novelizations for The Spy Who Loved Me (“James Bond, The Spy Who Loved Me”) and Moonraker (“James Bond and Moonraker”) in 1977 and 1979 respectively. Gardner also wrote the novelization for 1989’s Licence to Kill.

IFP has no “regular” Bond continuation novel author. Sebastian Faulks and Jeffery Deaver were hired to do one-offs (Devil May Care for Faulks where he was “writing as Ian Fleming” and Carte Blanche for Deaver). Interestingly, based on spoilers that have leaked out, Skyfall has a plot element similar to Carte Blanche. (We referenced that spoiler in a March 17 post, so we won’t mention it here).