First came the announcement earlier this year that the film would be led by respected British director Sam Mendes. Mendes is perhaps best known for dramas which explore fragmented domestic relationships such as Revolutionary Road and American Beauty and seems a solid choice for Craig’s darker, more fallible Bond.
We also finally have an apparent title for the piece. Following in the footsteps of Goldfinger, Goldeneye, Octopussy and Thunderball Bond 23 is a single word: Skyfall. A title which gives absolutely nothing away but still sounds unmistakeably cool. Whilst, like its predecessor Quantum of Solace, Skyfall is pretty bulletproof from the efforts of pun-loving film critics (the best this reviewer could come up with was the ‘Skyfall Tower’, but even that was stretching it!)
More revealing is recent casting information. This week Javier Bardem finally confirmed he would be the villain of Skyfall, though adding ‘I’d be playing Bond’s nemesis, yes. But it’s not that obvious. Everything is more nuanced’.
This news can only be a good thing. One of the main problems of 2008’s Quantum of Solace was a bland and disinteresting villain who didn’t seem a match for Bond. Bardem has a history of playing emotionally complex characters and even in lighter affairs such as Woody Allen’s Vicky Cristina Barcelona there’s something mesmerising about his performances which suggest he’s spar well with 007.
Other casting news throws further curveballs into the mix. Twitch.com has suggested the next Bond girl may be Lust.Caution actress Tang Wei. Whilst the Daily Mail are reporting that French actress Berenice Marlohe may also be in line for a leading role.
But most intriguingly were hints a few months back that Naomi Harris will be coming onto the production, as Moneypenny! By Die Another Day Moneypenny had become a tired joke. A tired, old and distinctly unfeminist joke. The sexually frustrated female secretary who flirted meaninglessly with James but whom never won his affections. Can Harris be the one to inject a bit of bite back into the character? Let’s certainly hope so.
Fingers crossed Skyfall is going to follow in the footsteps of Casino Royale in breathing new life into stale parts of the franchise.
(What do you think of news of James Bond Skyfall? Are you happy with the casting choices or do they make you want to go 00-no! Why not leave a comment down below?)