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Skyfall is the twenty-third James Bond film produced by Eon Productions. It was distributed by MGM and Sony Pictures Entertainment in 2012. It features Daniel Craig in his third performance as James Bond, and Javier Bardem as Raoul Silva, the film's antagonist. The film was directed by Sam Mendes and written by Neal Purvis, Robert Wade and John Logan.

The film centres on Bond investigating an attack on MI6; the attack is part of a plot by former MI6 operative Raoul Silva to humiliate, discredit and kill M as revenge against her for betraying him. The film sees the return of two recurring characters to the series after an absence of two films: Q, played by Ben Whishaw, and Eve Moneypenny, played by Naomie Harris. Skyfall is the last film of the series for Judi Dench, who played M, a role that she had played in the previous six films. The position is subsequently filled by Ralph Fiennes' character, Gareth Mallory.

Mendes was approached to direct the film after the release of Quantum of Solace in 2008. Development was suspended when MGM encountered financial troubles and did not resume until December 2010; during this time, Mendes remained attached to the project as a consultant. The original screenwriter, Peter Morgan, left the project during the suspension. When production resumed, Logan, Purvis, and Wade continued writing what became the final version of the script. Filming began in November 2011 and primarily took place in the United Kingdom, China and Turkey.

Skyfall premiered in London at the Royal Albert Hall on October 23rd 2012 and was released in the United Kingdom on October 26th 2012 and the United States on November 9th 2012. It was the first James Bond film to be screened in IMAX venues, although it was not filmed with IMAX cameras. The film's release coincided with the 50th anniversary of the Bond series, which began with Dr. No in 1962.

Skyfall was positively received by critics and at the box office, becoming the 14th film, as well as the first Bond film, to cross the $1 billion mark worldwide and the second-highest-grossing film of 2012. The film won several accolades, including the BAFTA Awards for Outstanding British Film and Best Film Music; the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture; and was nominated for five Academy Awards, of which it won two: Per Hallberg and Karen Baker Landers won the award for Best Sound Editing, and Adele's theme song won Best Original Song. The song also won Best Original Song at the Golden Globe Awards

After the release of Quantum of Solace in 2008, producer Barbara Broccoli commented that Skyfall, untitled at the time, may continue the plot of the Quantum organisation, introduced in Casino Royale and continued in Quantum of Solace. Ultimately, Skyfall was a stand-alone film.

In August 2011 the Serbian newspaper Blic stated that Bond 23 would be entitled Carte Blanche and would be an adaptation of the recent continuation novel by Jeffery Deaver. On August 30th Eon Productions officially denied any link between Bond 23 and Carte Blanche, stating that "the new film is not going to be called Carte Blanche and will have nothing to do with the Jeffery Deaver book". On October 3rd 2011 fifteen domain names including 'jamesbond-skyfall.com' and 'skyfallthefilm.com' were reported to have been registered on behalf of MGM and Sony Pictures by Internet brand-protection service MarkMonitor. This led to supposition in the media that the film had been given the name "Skyfall". These reports were not confirmed at the time by Eon Productions, Sony or MGM. Skyfall was later confirmed as the title at a press conference on November 3rd 2011, during which co-producer Barbara Broccoli said that the title "has some emotional context which will be revealed in the film". The title refers to the name of Bond's childhood home "Skyfall", and the setting for the film's finale.

The main cast of Skyfall was officially announced at a press conference held at the Corinthia Hotel in London on November 3rd 2011, fifty years to the day since Sean Connery was announced to play James Bond in the film Dr. No. Daniel Craig returned as James Bond for the third time, saying he felt lucky to have the chance to appear as 007. Director Sam Mendes described Bond as experiencing a "combination of lassitude, boredom, depression [and] difficulty with what he's chosen to do for a living". Judi Dench returned as M for her seventh and final appearance in the role. Over the course of the film, M's ability to run MI6 is repeatedly called into question, culminating in a public inquiry into her running of the service. As the film's principal villain Javier Bardem was cast, playing a cyberterrorist who is seeking revenge against those he holds responsible for betraying him. Bardem described Silva as "more than a villain", while Craig stated that Bond has a "very important relationship" to Silva. In casting the role, director Sam Mendes admitted that he lobbied hard for Bardem to accept the part. Mendes saw the potential for the character to be recognised as one of the most memorable characters in the series and wanted to create "something [the audience] may consider to have been absent from the Bond movies for a long time". He felt that Bardem was one of the few actors up to the task of becoming "colourless" and existing within the world of the film as something more than a function of the plot. In preparing for the role, Bardem had the script translated into his native Spanish to better understand his character, which Mendes cited as being a sign of the actor's commitment to the film. Bardem dyed his hair blond for the role after brainstorming ideas with Mendes to come up with a distinct visual look for the character, which led some commentators to observe a similarity between the character and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Ralph Fiennes was cast as Gareth Mallory, a former lieutenant colonel in the British Army and now the Chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee, which gives him the authority to regulate MI6. At the end of the film, Mallory becomes the head of MI6, assuming the title of M. During production, Fiennes stated that he could not say anything specific about the role other than that it was a "really interesting part which is really quite fun". To play the returning character of Miss Moneypenny, Naomie Harris was cast. Harris' role was initially presented as that of Eve, an MI6 field agent who works closely with Bond. Despite ongoing speculation in the media that Harris had been cast as Miss Moneypenny, this was not confirmed by anyone involved in production of the film, with Harris herself even going so far as to dismiss claims that Eve was in fact Moneypenny, stating that "Eve is not remotely office-bound". According to Harris, Eve "[believes] she is Bond's equal, but she is really his junior". Another character returning to the series was Q, played by Ben Whishaw. Mendes had initially declined to confirm which part Whishaw would play, and later said the idea of the re-introduction was his, saying "I offered ideas about Moneypenny, Q and a flamboyant villain and they said yes". Bérénice Marlohe was cast as Séverine, a character who had been saved from the Macau sex trade by Silva and now works as his representative. Marlohe described her character as being "glamorous and enigmatic", and that she drew inspiration from GoldenEye villain Xenia Onatopp (played by Famke Janssen) in playing Séverine. To play the part of Kincade, Mendes cast Albert Finney. The producers briefly considered approaching Sean Connery to play the role in a nod to the 50th anniversary of the film series, but elected not to as they felt Connery's presence would be seen as stunt casting and disengage audiences from the film.

Skyfall director Sam Mendes, who had previously worked with Craig on Road to Perdition, was approached after seeing Craig in a production of A Steady Rain. The two met after a performance, where Craig broached the subject of directing a Bond film for the first time. Mendes was at first hesitant to accept the job as directing a Bond film had no appeal to him, but he did not reject the offer immediately because of Craig's involvement and enthusiasm for the project; Mendes described Craig's casting and performance in Casino Royale as being precisely what he felt the Bond franchise needed in its lead actor. He agreed to direct after meeting with producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli and seeing the early direction the film was going to take. Speculation in the media suggested that Mendes had commissioned rewrites of the script to remove action scenes in favour of characterful performances with the intention of bidding for an Academy Award. Mendes denied the reports, stating that the film's planned action scenes were an important part of the overall film.

Peter Morgan was originally commissioned to write a script, but left the project when MGM filed for bankruptcy and production of the film stalled; despite his departure, Morgan later stated that the final script was based on his original idea, retaining what he described as the film's "big hook". Director Mendes adamantly denied this, stating that it was "just not true" and that Morgan's script treatment had been discarded once Mendes agreed to direct. The final script was written by Bond screenwriting regulars Neal Purvis, Robert Wade and John Logan. Logan recounted being brought into the project by his long-time friend Sam Mendes, describing the process between Mendes and the writers as "very collaborative", and that writing Skyfall was one of the best experiences he had had in scripting a film.

Roger Deakins signed on as cinematographer, having previously worked with Mendes on Jarhead and Revolutionary Road. Dennis Gassner returned as production designer, the costume designer was Jany Temime, Alexander Witt was director of the second unit, the stunt co-ordinator was Gary Powell and Chris Corbould supervised the special effects, while the visual effects supervisor was Steve Begg. All have worked on previous Bond films. Daniel Kleinman returned to design the film's title sequence after stepping aside to allow graphic design studio MK12 to create the Quantum of Solace sequence.

Sam Mendes and Barbara Broccoli travelled to South Africa for location scouting in April 2011. With the film moving into pre-production in August, reports emerged that shooting would take place in India, with scenes to be shot in the Sarojini Nagar district of New Delhi and on railway lines between Goa and Ahmedabad. The production crew faced complications in securing permission to close sections of the Konkan Railway. Similar problems in obtaining filming permits were encountered by production crews for The Dark Knight Rises and Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol. Permission was eventually granted to the Bond production crew; however, the production ultimately did not shoot in India.

Principal photography was scheduled to take up 133 days, although the actual filming took 128. Filming began on November 7th 2011 in and around London, with the cinematographer Roger Deakins using Arri Alexa cameras to shoot the entire film. St Bartholomew's Hospital was used as the filming location for the scene in which Bond enters MI6's underground headquarters, while the Old Vic Tunnels underneath Waterloo Station in London served as the MI6 training grounds. For the meeting between Q and Bond, production worked during the National Gallery's closing hours at night. The Department of Energy and Climate Change was used in the scene when Bond stood on the roof near the end of the film. The Vauxhall Bridge and Millbank was closed to traffic for filming the explosion at the MI6 headquarters at Vauxhall Cross. Unlike The World Is Not Enough, which also featured an explosion at the building (which was filmed at a large scale replica) the explosion in Skyfall was added digitally in post-production. Shooting of the finale was planned to take place at Duntrune Castle in Argyll, but was cancelled shortly after filming began. Glencoe was instead chosen for filming of these scenes. Although supposedly based in Scotland, Bond's family home of Skyfall was constructed on Hankley Common in Surrey using plywood and plaster to build a full-scale model of the building.


Production moved to Turkey in March 2012, with filming reported to be continuing until May 6th. Adana stands in for the outskirts of Istanbul in the film. A group of Turkish teenagers infiltrated a closed set in a railway sidings in Adana to film rehearsals of a fight scene on top of a train before being caught by security. The train scene depicted in trailers showed the Varda Viaduct outside of Adana. Bond stunt double, Andy Lister, dived backwards off the 300-foot drop for the scene. A crane was set up on a train carriage to hold a safety line. Parts of Istanbul – including the Spice Bazaar, Yeni Camii, the Main Post Office, Sultanahmet Square and the Grand Bazaar — were closed for filming in April. Store owners in the affected areas were reportedly allowed to open their shops, but were not allowed to conduct business, instead being paid $418 per day as compensation. Production faced criticism for allegedly damaging buildings while filming a motorcycle chase across rooftops in the city. Michael G. Wilson denied these claims, pointing out that the film crew had removed sections of rooftops before filming began and replaced them with replicas for the duration of the shoot; when filming finished, the original rooftops would be restored. The production team negotiated with 613 part owners of the Calis Beach in Fethiye, to film along the coastline.

Mendes confirmed that China would be featured in the film, with shooting scheduled to take place in Shanghai and "other parts" of the country. John Logan described that production deliberately sought out locations that were "in opposition" to London with an exotic quality that made them "places for Bond to be uncomfortable". Many scenes were not filmed on location in Shanghai. Instead, the Virgin Active Pool in London's Canary Wharf acted as Bond's hotel pool in Shanghai, and the entrance to London's fourth tallest building, Broadgate Tower, was also lit up to look like an office building there; for the aerial footage of Shanghai, the crew received rare access to shoot from a helicopter on loan from the Chinese government. The interior of the Golden Dragon Casino in Macau where Bond met Sévérine was constructed on a sound stage at Pinewood, with 300 floating lanterns and two 30-foot high dragon heads lighting the set. Additional scenes were filmed at Ascot Racecourse, standing in for Shanghai Pudong International Airport. The first official image from the film was released on February 1st 2012, showing Daniel Craig on set at Pinewood Studios, within a recreation of a skyscraper in Shanghai.

Set reports dated April 2012 recorded that scenes would be set on Hashima Island, an abandoned island off the coast of Nagasaki, Japan. In actuality, the scene was set on an unnamed island off the coast of Macau, though based on the real-life Hashima. Sam Mendes explained that the location was a hybrid of a set and computer-generated images. Production chose to include the Hashima model after Daniel Craig met with Swedish film-maker Thomas Nordanstad whilst shooting The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo in Stockholm. Nordanstad, who produced a short documentary on Hashima Island in 2002 entitled Hashima, recalled Craig taking extensive notes on the island at the time of the meeting, but was unaware of his interest in it until Skyfall was released.

The film was later converted into the IMAX format for projection in IMAX cinemas. Cinematographer Roger Deakins was unaware that the film was to be released on IMAX until after he had made the decision to shoot the film with the Arri Alexa cameras, and was unhappy with the IMAX tests made from his footage as the colours "didn't look great". After exploring the IMAX system further and discovering that the IMAX Corporation was using their proprietary re-mastering process, Deakins had further tests made without the process and found that "the images looked spectacular on the big IMAX screen", quelling his doubts about the format.

Thomas Newman, who worked with Sam Mendes as composer for American Beauty, Road to Perdition, Jarhead and Revolutionary Road, replaced David Arnold as composer, becoming the ninth composer in the series' history. When asked about the circumstances surrounding his departure from the role, David Arnold commented that Newman had been selected by Mendes because of their work together, rather than because of Arnold's commitment to working with director Danny Boyle as composer for the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics. The soundtrack album was released on October 29th 2012 in the United Kingdom and on November 6th 2012 in the United States. The film also features Charles Trenet's 1938 song, "Boum !" during scenes in which Silva shows Bond around his abandoned island, and The Animals' 1964 cover of John Lee Hooker's song, "Boom Boom" when Silva assaults Skyfall in the film's finale.

In October 2012 British singer-songwriter Adele confirmed that she had written and recorded the film's theme song with her regular songwriter, Paul Epworth. She later posted the cover for the "Skyfall" sheet music on Twitter, crediting the songwriting to herself and Epworth, with arrangements to both Epworth and orchestrator J. A. C. Redford. The song was released online at 0:07 am BST on October 5th 2012, a day dubbed "James Bond Day" by the producers as it marked fifty years to the day of the release of Dr. No. The song was nominated for and won the Academy Award for Best Original Song. It was the first time a Bond song had won, and only the fourth time one had been nominated. "Skyfall" also won the Brit Award for Best British Single at the 2013 BRIT Awards.

The premiere of Skyfall was on October 23rd 2012 at the Royal Albert Hall in London. The event was attended by Charles, Prince of Wales, and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. The film was released in the UK three days later and into US cinemas on November 8th. Skyfall was the first Bond film to be screened in IMAX venues and was released into IMAX cinemas in North America a day earlier than the conventional cinema release. In the UK the film grossed £20.1 million on its opening weekend, making it the second-highest Friday-to-Sunday debut ever behind Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2. It also achieved the second-highest IMAX debut to date behind The Dark Knight Rises. In North America, the film opened in 3,505 cinemas, the widest opening for a Bond film. The film earned $2.4 million from midnight showings on its opening day and a further $2.2 million from IMAX and large-format cinemas.CinemaScore polls reported that the average grade filmgoers gave the film was an "A" on an A+ to F scale. Skyfall went on to gross $30.8 million on its opening day in the US and Canada, and $88.4 million in its opening weekend, the biggest debut to date for a Bond film.

Skyfall received generally positive reviews from critics with a number of critics asking whether Skyfall was the best Bond film ever produced. The Daily Telegraph's film reviewer, Robbie Collin, considered Skyfall to be "often dazzling, always audacious", with excellent action sequences in a film that contained humour and emotion. Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter thought that Skyfall was "dramatically gripping while still brandishing a droll undercurrent of humor", going on to say that it was a film that had "some weight and complexity to it". Variety's Peter DeBruge suggested that the film's greatest strength lay in its willingness to put as much focus on characterisation as it did action set-pieces, allowing the two to co-exist rather than compete for the audience's attention. Kim Newman, reviewing the film for Empire, concluded, "Skyfall is pretty much all you could want from a 21st Century Bond: cool but not camp, respectful of tradition but up to the moment, serious in its thrills and relatively complex in its characters but with the sense of fun that hasn't always been evident lately". Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film 4 out of 4 stars, describing it as "a full-blooded, joyous, intelligent celebration of a beloved cultural icon". Reviewing for the New Statesman, Ryan Gilbey saw that "nostalgia permeates the movie", going on to say that "sometimes the old ways are the best".

A number of reviewers praised Daniel Craig in Skyfall saying he manages to get out of the shadow of Connery and relaxed into Bond without losing any steeliness. The supporting cast also received praise. Roger Ebert reflected that Skyfall "at last provides a role worthy of Judi Dench, one of the best actors of her generation. She is all but the co-star of the film, with a lot of screen time, poignant dialogue, and a character who is far more complex and sympathetic than we expect in this series". Henry K Miller considered Javier Bardems' character "the most authentically Bondian Bond villain in decades". Ann Hornaday, writing for The Washington Post, thought Sam Mendes had reinvigorated the series, with Skyfall being "sleek, crisp, classy ... exhibiting just the right proportion of respect for legacy and embrace of novelty".



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.
Add Skyfall to your DVD collection.




The film did not escape criticism, with reviews pointing to its two and a half-hour running time, and the final third of the film being "protracted", and not matching the first two thirds in its momentum as the underlying flaws in the film. Xan Brooks of The Guardian, in an otherwise positive review, criticised the "touchy-feely indulgence" of "the bold decision to open Bond up – to probe at the character's back-story and raise a toast to his relationship with M".

After the success of Skyfall Daniel Craig played Bond in a short film, Happy and Glorious, produced by Lisa Osborne for the BBC and directed by Danny Boyle as part of the opening ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. In the film Bond is summoned to Buckingham Palace by Queen Elizabeth II, played by herself, and escorts her by helicopter to the Olympic Stadium. Bond and Her Majesty jump from the helicopter into the stadium with Union Flag parachutes.

For the parachute jump, the Queen was played by BASE jumper and stuntman Gary Connery (below right). Mark Sutton (below center) acted as Craig's stunt double during the jump. After the film was shown, the Queen appeared and formally opened the Games.


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