Welcome to James Bond Countdown, our resident 007 expert's in-depth analysis of the James Bond franchise leading up to the release of Skyfall this November.
U.K. Cinema Character Posters
We love these large-scale character posters and group banner promoting the U.K. release of Skyfall. French actress Bérénice Marlohe's sparkling dress is befitting of a Bond bombshell, while English starlet Naomie Harris' field agent Eve opts for an edgier look. Our secret agent is wearing a modern, but classic tuxedo, while his adversary Silva — played by Javier Bardem — is leering at us in leather. The clean, elegant design inspires a lot of excitement to see the four figures in action.
Behind-the-Scenes Photography Book
Skyfall: Bond on Set comes from world-renowned photographer Greg Williams who is responsible for the set photos on the last three Bond movies, and Skyfall makes four. In celebration of the visual compendium's October 1 release, the official 007 website spoke to Williams about his role on set. We get to learn a few details about Skyfall's action set pieces:
"The day they did the London Underground crash was awe-inspiring. The craftsmanship in that stunt is incredible. They had this camera that could shoot the train coming towards it and then if it was going to keep going they had an emergency release that could yank the camera out of the way. I think the train stopped four inches before the concrete wall so to have this enormous thing and to get it to stop in the right spot was quite amazing. No one was allowed to be inside the tunnel so my cameras were on remotes for those shots. We were in the stairwell watching it on TV screens firing off the camera remotely. With my shots you see bricks flying towards the camera and I’m sure they were bouncing off of the camera too. I used my cheaper camera for that one."
Williams also reveals that he hasn't been the only shutterbug on set. "When you go away with Daniel [Craig] the one thing he’s carrying onto the plane is his camera bag. We talk about lenses and kit a lot," the artist expressed. What was it like working with Skyfall's director? "Sam was a jolly nice bloke, he obviously knows exactly what he wants and you can see why he’s at the very top of this game. There was such attention to detail."
Bond Girl Style
Makeup-savvy duo Sam and Nic from Pixiwoo
have artfully re-created several Bond Girl makeup looks. The team is known for their artistry when it comes to matching pop culture styles, and they honored some of the films' most beautiful with these theatrical transformations. First Bond Girl Ursula Andress' ocean-drenched Honey Ryder from Dr. No
, Casino Royale's
Vesper Lynd (Eva Green), and Thunderball's
Dominique Derval (Claudine Auger) are the inspiration for these three looks. Visit their YouTube channel
for future Bond Girl makeovers.
American vintage-inspired women's label Wildfox Couture got inspired by 1960s Bond Girl style for their latest swimwear campaign. Model Cintia Dicker wore go-go boots and bikinis to play the part of the archetypal spy series starlet, photographed by Mark Hunter. See more of the sexy shoot on website Fashionising
Bond at the Olympics
Daniel Craig assisted Queen Elizabeth II in a grand entrance at the opening ceremonies of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London. In a prerecorded segment, Craig's Bond ensured the Queen's safe arrival by leaping out of a helicopter and parachuting over the crowded city before her Majesty took the podium. It was her first "film" role. Even if you've watched it already, it's worth another look
to see Daniel Craig smile again — a rarity!
New Skyfall Images Emerge in Entertainment Weekly
We recently got a closer look at our lead players in Entertainment Weekly
. There are no surprises, but we're starting to form a better picture of a renewed Bond (who looks just as confident on a motorcycle as he does in his Aston Martin), creepy villain Silva played by Javier Bardem, and new Bond Girl Sévérine, played by Bérénice Marlohe. She's a frightened associate of Silva's and looking a little world-weary in this latest photo. We would be too if we had to contend with Bardem's wickedness. [via The Playlist
The Problem with Bond's New Gun?
As we wrote in our synopsis of the new Skyfall trailer
, it's great to see the franchise reintroduce the gadgets that have been missing from Daniel Craig's tenure as 007 in the form of a fascinating weapon. In the clip, Q (played by Bond newcomer Ben Whishaw) hands the British agent a gun that has been coded to his palm print so only he can fire it. Website RFID Journal (Radio Frequency Identification) explains that Skyfall's
science is questionable:
"The problem with fingerprint, palm print and other biometric approaches to preventing guns from being fired by those not authorized to do so is that it takes time to analyze biometric data. So while the weapon is attempting to figure out whether it is Bond or someone else holding the trigger, he'd likely be shot dead, which would be a real setback to the 23-movie franchise—not to mention Q's reputation."
This isn't the first time the series has made a techno goof. As the website explains (in the case of RFID), "In Casino Royale, Bond was supposedly tracked from long distances via a subdermal RFID transponder, despite the fact that there is no way a short-range passive RFID transponder would function as a real-time location device."
Of course, this is the movies, so we'll happily suspend our disbelief. Get Bond science geeky on RFID's website
Javier Bardem's Silva and Christopher Walken's Max Zorin
He's been compared to Stuart Smalley and Fred Armisen's SNL
character in comedy sketch "The Californians." All kidding aside, the greatest resemblance to Javier Bardem's Silva may be Christopher Walken's Max Zorin in 1985's A View to a Kill
. The blond hair definitely helps, but the level of supremely odd and terrifying vibes we're getting from Bardem's baddie mirrors Walken's Nazi-engineered, ultra-intelligent psychopath who tried to destroy Silicon Valley. The duo seems comparably quotable too. In Skyfall's
new trailer, Silva says things like, "Mommy was very bad." How can we not find that menacing? Zorin's quirkiest rage moment came when he shot a man and shouted, "Dead! That's rather neat, don't you think?" At time's Walken's maniacal playboy was like a menacing Stewie from Family Guy
, carrying on and squealing, "More power. More. Do it!" It was a distinctive, memorable performance, and we're certain that Bardem's experience with playing unsettling and unusual madmen will help him deliver the same — as was the case in No Country for Old Men
and his killer (also sporting a terrible hairstyle) Anton Chigurh. Silva and Bond are said to share a very special relationship that is quite different from 007's usual antagonists. Get creeped out by Bardem all over again in Skyfall's trailer
There are 71 days until the London premiere of Skyfall on October 26, 2012 — commemorating the franchise's 50th anniversary. The Sam Mendes-directed film opens in the U.S. on November 9 and finds Daniel Craig returning to the role of James Bond. The movie also stars a villainous Javier Bardem and new Bond girl Bérénice Marlohe. Catch up with previous James Bond Countdown columns over here.