There was a time last year when the future of the James Bond franchise was in more danger than 007 himself: The studio behind the movies, MGM, teetered on bankruptcy, leaving the series in limbo.
But Bond 23 — now officially called Skyfall — is a go. “We start shooting today,” announced Daniel Craig from a press conference in London on Thursday. Among the top five facts confirmed:
1. The title!
Although previous titles have referenced creator Ian Fleming’s works, Skyfall is apparently brand new, with no connection. Perhaps it’s meant to evoke the Transformer with the same name. 007 versus the Decepticons? No. “It has emotional context, which will be revealed in the film,” said producer Barbara Broccoli. The official 007 Twitter feed revealed more a few hours later: “Bonds loyalty to M is tested as her past comes back to haunt her,” it said, regarding the role that will be reprised by Dame Judi Dench.
2. Villain Javier Bardem is a softie in real life.
“One of the most beautiful memories I had as a kid was going to see all these movies,” said the badass from No Country For Old Men at the press conference Thursday. His character’s signature quirky feature (all Bond villains have one) will remain a secret (bad haircut?).
3. Naomie Harris, star of Pirates of the Caribbean:?Dead Man’s Chest, will star as field agent Eve.
Is she good or evil? The Bond Girl is not telling. “I’m still pinching myself. Raring to go. I spent two months training for the part.”
4. Sam Mendes can handle this.
The director of American Beauty isn’t known for his action movies. But he said he has a good second-unit director — Alexander Witt, who directed set pieces for Casino Royale and X-Men: First Class. He added: “The action needs to coexist with the drama.”
5. And perhaps, most important: Will Craig and Bardem take off their shirts?
“Damn right,” said Broccoli.