At a press conference in London yesterday, director Sam Mendes — seated alongside star Daniel Craig — confirmed broad details of the next James Bond film including its title, Skyfall. The outline of a gun fits snugly in the letter “F” (demonstrated in the picture above), presumably one of the reasons the title was chosen.
On the question of whether the name of the film is “good” — remember this is a franchise that brought us Octopussy — The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw summed it up perfectly:
The acid test is whether or not you can imagine Shirley Bassey singing it over some surging brass, while silhouettes of naked women posing with handguns get superimposed over a close-up of a roulette wheel. This passes the test: Sky-faaaalll!
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Craig will of course return as the shaken-not-stirred secret agent, bringing with him the steely charm and no-guff demeanour that marked a significant departure from the style of his predecessor, Pierce Brosnan, and the traditionally smugger demeanour of the other retired 007s.
There are several interesting talking points about Skyfall. First of all, the signing of Sam Mendes, who snagged a Best Director Oscar in 1999 (for American Beauty) and has never dabbled in an action. Recent speculation has suggested Mendes intends to tone down the explosions and hullabaloo in order to make a Bond feature that is — gasp! — potentially Oscar worthy, though he assured he press that “this has all the elements of a classic Bond movie, including – to quell any rumours – a lot of action.”
Another is Mendes’s casting of fellow Oscar winner Javier Bardem as the villain. Bardem was unforgettable in the Coen brothers’ 2007 masterpiece No Country For Old Men and will undoubtedly bring gravitas to the role. It’s difficult to picture him stroking a white cat or yelling “MUHAHAHAHA” before putting Bond in a death machine that doesn’t work.