Bond 23: Title, Cast and Synopsis Revealed

After three years between films, MGM filing for bankruptcy, and weeks of rumours, the title of Bond 23 was finally revealed this morning at a press conference in London.

Skyfall, directed by Sam Mendes and produced by Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson, will star Daniel Craig, back for his third Bond film after Casino Royale (2006) and Quantum of Solace (2008). Judi Dench returns as M (amazing), with Rory Kinnear once again becoming her Chief of Staff Bill Tanner. Javier Bardem, Naomie Harris, french actress Bérénice MarloheRalph Fiennes, Albert Finney, Helen McCrory and Ben Whishaw are new to the franchise. That’s quite a cast.

Bardem and Fiennes will play the film’s villains, with Naomie Harris as field agent Eve and Bérénice Marlohe as the yet-unknown Severin, who she described as a “glamourous, enigmatic character”. Harris talked about the training she’s been doing (yoga and firearms, although probably not together), which promises an action-heavy role. Moneypenny she ain’t. Who Fiennes, Finney and Whishaw will play is being kept secret for now, and it was implied that the reason is because Bond fans will recognise the names.

Skyfall doesn’t refer to any previous Bond material and is being considered separate from the two previous films, so no return for criminal organisation Quantum. The title has some emotional context within the film, so we’ll have to wait to really understand it. Director Sam Mendes promised lots of action and the traditional elements of a Bond movie, but said that “the action needs to co-exist with the drama. That’s the balance we have to strike.” It starts shooting today in Whitehall, with other locations named as Scotland, Istanbul, China and, of course, Pinewood Studios. Mendes has never been involved in a Bond film before, but he’s been a fan since he watched Live and Let Die as a child and wanted to be a part of the new Bond franchise since watching Casino Royale, and producer Barbara Broccoli talked about his “childish enthusiasm.” Incidentally, she also said that Barden and Craig would be taking of their shirts, very enthusiastically. Rumours have been mentioning Adele or Kings of Leon as possible contenders for the theme music but there were no announcements, only that several artists were being considered.

As for the future – Mendes said that he would happily direct another Bond film if all goes well with Skyfall, and Daniel Craig was very positive, saying “if I could do this for a few more years then I’ll be happy.”

Not announced at the press conference but making its way into the world via the official James Bond Facebook page is a brief synopsis, which has since been confirmed by Sony Pictures:

In SKYFALL, 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.

Skyfall will be released on October 26, 2012, in what will be the 50th anniversary of Bond on screen – Doctor No. was released in 1962.

To celebrate and remind yourself why this news is such a treat, here’s Daniel Craig and Eva Green sizzling at each other in a scene from Casino Royale…