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Movies & TV

26th Oct 2022

Released 10 years ago today, this original ending might have ruined one of the best action movies ever made

Rory Cashin

“Sometimes the old ways are the best…”

Released in cinemas in Ireland and the UK on 26 October 2012, there was some tentative hope that Skyfall would be good.

Let us not forget, it was the first Bond movie after Quantum Of Solace, which was seen at the time to be a major disappointment after the tremendous Casino Royale, but has since earned more than its fair share of defenders.

But Skyfall was bringing back Daniel Craig and Judi Dench, adding in Javier Bardem as the villain, as well as Ralph Fiennes, Ben Whishaw and Naomie Harris as new members of MI6.

Behind the camera, we were getting Oscar-winning director Sam Mendes (American Beauty, Road To Perdition), Oscar-winning cinematographer Roger Deakins (Blade Runner 2049, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford), and 15-time Oscar-nominee Thomas Newman (Finding Nemo, The Green Mile) as the composer.

Upon release, it was clear that everything had fallen perfectly into place, as the movie made over $1.1 billion at the global box office (the most for any Bond film to date), scored a mighty 92% from critics on Rotten Tomatoes, and won two of the five Oscars it was nominated for (Adele for Best Song, and Best Sound Editing).

But it could’ve all fallen apart very easily had the original ending for the movie remained in place….

For a very brief round-up, the movie revolves around a semi-retired Bond (Daniel Craig) being brought out of retirement by his boss, M (Judi Dench), when her personal offices at MI6 are bombed.

He tracks down the attacker, revealed to be Silva (Javier Bardem), and in an attempt to gain the upper hand, Bond and M retreat to Bond’s childhood home, named in Skyfall, located far up the Scottish highlands.

Once there, Bond is reunited with his old friend and Skyfall’s groundskeeper Kincade (Albert Finney), and together, the trio prepare for Silva’s arrival and the ensuing battle.

But the story goes that Finney was not the first person approached for the role, because originally Skyfall wasn’t going to be Bond’s ancestral home, but instead it would’ve been an estate for retired agents, and Finney’s role was set to be played by none other than Sean Connery.

The rumour is that the script’s original ending would’ve alluded to Connery also being a 00-agent, without ever specifically saying so, and Craig’s Bond would team up with the retired agents to take down Silva.

Mendes told Huffington Post at the time: “It would take you out of the movie. Connery is Bond and he’s not going to come back as another character. It’s like, he’s been there. So, it was a very brief flirtation with that thought, but it was never going to happen, because I thought it would distract.”

When Connery eventually bowed out of the project, there was talk that the role was then offered to other former Bonds, including Timothy Dalton and George Lazenby, before the rewrites changed the character and the setting completely, and thus we got Albert Finney as Kincade.

Which is entirely for the best, as Mendes was absolutely correct, the stunt-casting of Connery would’ve felt completely at odds with the sombre tone the finale was clearly aiming for.

Sombre until the house was exploded by a helicopter and Bond gets into a fight on a frozen lake… which was all really awesome, if we do say so ourselves.

Skyfall is available to watch at home right now on Prime Video.

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