The Status of "Skyfall"
"Skyfall" is the twenty-third film in the James Bond series of spy films. It marks Daniel Craig's third appearance as James Bond in this series, with Javier Bardem playing the main villain in the film. The film's director is Sam Mendes, and the script is written by Robert Wade, John Logan, and Neal Purvis. This film is produced by Eon Productions on behalf of Columbia Pictures, MGM, and Sony Pictures Entertainment. "Skyfall" will premiere on October 23, 2012, which will mark the fiftieth anniversary of the premiere of "Dr. No," which was the first film in the James Bond series. "Skyfall" is scheduled for release on October 26, 2012 in the United Kingdom.
Early rumors on the Internet held that the twenty-third Bond film would be called "Carte Blanche," after the recent Bond novel of the same name by Jeffery Deaver. Eon Productions dispelled those rumors on August 30, 2011, saying that the film would have nothing to do with Carte Blanche. MarkMonitor, an Internet brand-protection service, registered 15 domain names on behalf of MGM and Sony Pictures Entertainment, including skyfallthefilm.com and jamesbond-skyfall.com. Co-producer Barbara Broccoli confirmed that the title of the film would be "Skyfall" at a press conference held in November 2011. She also stated that the reason for this title would be revealed in the film.
EON Productions approached Mendes to direct "Skyfall" in 2008, shortly after the release of the previous Bond film, "Quantum of Solace." MGM suspended production of "Skyfall" in 2008 because it was in bankruptcy proceedings, from which the company did not emerge until December 2010. Mendes remained on the project as a consultant during this period. Lead screenwriter Peter Morgan left the project during this period, and staff writers Wade, Logan, and Purvis completed the final script.
Production began in earnest during November 2011 in locations that included the United Kingdom and Turkey. Eon Productions and MGM initially announced a release date for the film of November 9, 2012 at a press conference in January 2011. They later changed the release date to October 26, 2012 for the United Kingdom, although the original release date of November 19, 2012 will remain unchanged for the United States. The estimated budget of "Skyfall" is approximately $150 million, a 25 percent decrease from the $200 million budget of "Quantum of Solace."
Producer Michael G. Wilson announced that a documentary crew followed the film's production, although the release date of that documentary is currently undecided. "Skyfall" will also be available in the IMAX format when it's released to theaters.
The principal photography for "Skyfall" began in the London area on November 7, 2011, with a maximum allowance of 133 days in the production schedule. Specific filming locations included Canary Wharf, Charing Cross station, the National Gallery, the Old Royal Naval College, and Whitehall. Residents in Cadogan Square, Parliament Square, and Tower Hill also reported filming at these locations. The scene including the aftermath of an explosion at the MI6 building was also filmed on location at the Vauxhall Bridge, which required the bridge to be closed to traffic. The actual explosion will be added to the film during post-production.
Location filming in Turkey began during March 2012 and ended on May 6, 2012. Specific locations that were closed for filming included the Grand Bazaar, Imperial Post Office, the Spice Bazaar, Sultanahmet Square, and Yeni Camii. Store owners in these areas were not able to conduct business during filming and were paid the equivalent of $418 per day as compensation. The producers received criticism in the local media for damaging building rooftops while filming a motorcycle chase scene. However, Wilson pointed out that sections of the original rooftop were removed and replaced with replicas prior to filming. The original rooftops were then restored after the chase scene was filmed.
The producers announced the main cast of "Skyfall" at a press conference in London on November 3, 2011, marking the fiftieth anniversary of the announcement that Sean Connery would play James Bond in "Dr. No." Mendes describes Craig's interpretation of the James Bond character as being bored and depressed with his profession as a secret agent. Bardem plays Raoul Silva, the primary antagonist in the film. Craig has stated that Bond and Silva will share a very important relationship that has been missing from previous Bond films, making Silva more than just a villain. Mendes reports that he lobbied Bardem aggressively to get him to accept this part.