JOE’s Spoiler Series… Skyfall.
Welcome to 007 Days of Bond, a very special JOE celebration of all that is great about Ian Fleming’s iconic super spy.
Each day this week, in the build-up to the release of Spectre in Irish cinemas on Monday 26 October, we’re bringing you a series of super suave Bond-themed articles to celebrate the 24th film in the series.
This is JOE’s Spoiler Series, where we take you behind the scenes to some of motion picture’s finest. This is your *SPOILER ALERT* warning, no more excuses now.
Ready? Then follow us as we find out all there is know about the 23rd official James Bond installment, Skyfall.
Director: Sam Mendes
Irish release date: October 26, 2012
Worldwide Box Office: $1,108,561,013
Irish Certificate Rating: 12A
(Maybe the most famous ever) Tag Line: “Bond, James Bond”.
Plot’s it all about?
Marking Daniel Craig’s third consecutive appearance as the lead, Skyfall, directed by Sam Mendes, was quite a landmark edition in the James Bond series.
Skyfall marked the 50th anniversary of the Bond franchise, coming exactly half a century after the inaugural 007 film, Sean Connery’s Dr. No, in 1962.
The plot addresses the theme of a slightly out of shape Bond (Daniel Craig) identify, track down and nullify the latest threat to MI6 in the form of Raoul Silva (Javier Bardem), while his relationship with M (Judi Dench) is tested to the max.
With the synopsis sorted, here is some killer trivia about this gem…
The film was a first in many Bond departments
Skyfall broke $1.1 billion in the worldwide box office, making it not just the most successful Bond film up to that point, but also the 7th most successful film of all time when it was released.
It was nominated for 41 awards in total, including five Academy Award nominations (a record for any Bond film) and the first of the franchise to win two Oscars.
The two statues were for Best Sound Editing and Best Original Song.
In fact, the latter saw Adele’s ‘Skyfall’ become the first Bond song ever to debut inside the top 10 US Billboard Chart, with the English superstar set to take over from Shirley Bassey as the long-term voice of Bond.
Clip via The Music I Love
Meanwhile, the film itself had a few a few firsts in the blockbuster series.
Skyfall was the first Bond to be filmed in China, the first edition to show the main protagonist drinking a bottle of beer and the first time any of the Bonds was shown in IMAX.
Oh, and it was the first time the word “f*ck” was ever said out loud in a Bond movie, when M had the pleasure of delightfully saying that she “really f***ed this up”.
“I’ve been trying to get out of this from the very moment I got into it, but they won’t let me go”
These were the words of Daniel Craig, who very much much intended to call it quits after Skyfall… and there appears to be a prominent reason for that.
Craig was very much the wrong side of 40 when production began on the 2012 hit and, as reflected in Skyfall itself, actually did worry about staying in shape.
As a result, he began working out a full six months before filming commenced, as he does with every Bond film, in order to compensate for his age.
The English actor’s training regime is pretty intense, all in order to make his scenes as authentic as possible (more on that later).
There were ridiculous levels of secrecy surrounding the script
The script is the most protected and secretive element of the Bond world, with the system running like a real-life espionage mission.
It turned out that pretty much all of the actors, with the exception of the main players, weren’t even given prior access to their lines.
Tonia Sotiropoulou, who played one of Bond’s lovers, duly explained the rigid protocol:
“I was one of the people who never had a script. I just got told what I’d be doing on the set by the director. They have to be so careful. You have quite strict contracts that say you can’t say anything about the plot. And everyone respects that.”
Although the lead actors did receive their scripts in advance, the rules were just as stringent.
For instance, if Craig, Bardem or Dench had accidentally or otherwise leaked some important plot information, then producers would know as each script was individually stamped.
The main actors got on like a house on fire
Despite being enemies in the movie, Daniel Craig and Javier Bardem bonded on set… over their love of rugby.
It’s no surprise really, considering the pair played quite a bit in their heydey. Craig turned out for Hoylake RFC in Merseyside, while Bardem was quite the handy player, even representing Spain at youth level.
Thankfully, the friendship was allowed to burgeon because it is believed that the director Sam Mendes initially offered Kevin Spacey the role of Raoul Silva, with the House of Cards star turning down the offer due to scheduling conflicts.
Meanwhile, leading Bond girl Bérénice Marlohe later revealed that she had to put 007 himself at ease before their steamy shower scene was filmed.
Allegedly, when Craig opted to keep his underpants on during the scene, the French actress responded by saying:
“‘No, come on, don’t be shy. I will do anything to make you feel comfortable'”.
A deserted island was used for filming while production became suddenly halted
Mendes decided that Silva’s home should have an air of mystique about it, so fittingly chose Hashima Island as the location.
Why is it mystical?
Well, Hashima Island hasn’t been inhabited since 1974, when it was then used for coal mining. The island remains untouched, including the remaining derelict buildings, making it the perfect villain lair.
Clip via TheSupererogatoryGuy
While the film’s eventual success was unprecedented, there were quite a few teething problems along the way.
Amazingly, production was postponed for a whole nine months between April 2010 and January 2011 as the sale of the bankrupt MGM studio had to be complete for filming to resume. This worried Daniel Craig in particular, because there had already been a two-week delay in filming when the lead injured himself during rehearsals.
Luckily, everything turned out juuuust fine.
Super Happy Bonus Fun Fact: Daniel Craig filmed the vast majority of stunts himself
Clip via ODE
Song of the Movie: ‘Skyfall’ – Adele
Only one choice in the end.
We’ve already seen how the song fared in the chart and award categories, and it’s easy to see and hear the appeal.
Skyfall has everything you want in a Bond theme tune; class, coolness, style, subtlety, menace and a ballad-like quality, while still maintaining a strong hint of impending action and danger.
Adele got it spot on here, with the payoff coming in the film’s fantastic introduction.
Clip via NohjAnec
Spectre is released in Irish cinemas on Monday, October 26. Check out the spy-tastic trailer here:
Clip via James Bond 007