The long-delayed next entry into the James Bond franchise finally has a name! "Bond 23" is no more, enter Skyfall.
At a press conference this morning, it was revealed that after years of setbacks, most notably due to the bankruptcy of MGM studio, the beleaguered Bond sequel will begin its London shoot with current 007, Daniel Craig in just four days on November 7.
Additionally, all the casting rumors we've been hearing have been pretty much confirmed. French model and actress, Berenice Marlohe will be James' new love interest. There will also be significant roles for Ralph Fiennes and Albert Finney. Plus, Naomi Harris of 28 Days Later will play a field agent known as "Eve." (Who some speculate is the new Miss Moneypenny.)
Also, confirming what we've known for some time, No Country For Old Men star, Javier Bardem will be on hand as the film's megalomaniacal villain. (Likely minus the limp.)
Director, Sam Mendes (Jarhead, American Beauty) promises "lots of surprises" and that it will not have any direct connection to the last two films. While it is expected for Mendes to bring a more pathos-heavy version of a Bond film, the director made things perfectly clear that, at the end of the day, this is not going to be plastic bag flowing in the wind avante-garde Oscar fodder.
“The action is part of the main body of the film. Every decision is mine. The action needs to co-exist with the drama.”
While Mendes expressed his intentions to make more of an insular film, rather than a conventional "sequel," I would nevertheless expect some progress on the continuing storyline with the SPECTRE-like Quantum organization which has been featured in the previous two films. According to a plot description:
“Bond’s loyalty to M is tested as her past comes back to haunt her. As MI6 comes under attack, 007 must track down and destroy the threat, no matter how personal the cost.”
Ever since the franchise rebooted itself with Casino Royale, we've seen traditional Bond elements slowly, but surely make their way into the field. While it doesn't sound like this film will get too traditional, the idea of the encompassing grand criminal organization with numerically-numbered members and a scary, scar-faced leader who likes cats seems ready to be reinvented, hopefully in a clever way. (Eventually.)
Bond 23...err, Skyfall, is set to hit theaters on November 9, 2012.