With this year marking the 50th anniversary of the James Bond movie franchise, all eyes are on Daniel Craig and director Sam Mendes, who brings his award-winning vision to the 007 universe in the next chapter of the beloved series. And just like with any other James Bond film, there are lots of questions surrounding Skyfall. From the movie's mysterious villain, Silva (played by Oscar-winning actor Javier Bardem), to questions about what 007 will be wearing and where in the world he'll travel this time around, everyone seems to have a burning question for the Bond team.
Movies.com recently visited the London set of Skyfall, and we put 10 of these big questions to the cast and creative team behind the film. Here's what they had to say:
1. What sort of character is the villain, Silva?
A: “The character has meat to chew. . . . So many great actors and great villains have been in James Bond movies all these years, but the reaction I had was not to really think about that. . . . I had my own ideas, [and] Sam came to me, and we put the ideas together. Hopefully, we're doing something that's original – which is very difficult in this world.” - Javier Bardem (Silva)
A: “It's thrilling to see [Bardem and Craig] together. It's absolutely spine-tingling when they work together. It really is a clash of the titans.” - Barbara Broccoli (Skyfall Producer)
2. Will this be Judi Dench's last film as M?
“How can I possibly tell you that? [Laughs] I hope I'm not finished with her, but who knows? I've loved playing her. I loved it. It wasn't 'til i wrapped a week ago that, at the end of the last shot, they said 'thank you' and I thought, '17 years! That's a long time!'” - Judi Dench (M)
3. Will we see more of James Bond's gadgets or clever nods to the franchise canon in Skyfall ?
“You can't help but do it, and it would be wrong of us not to. . . . I'm a huge James Bond fan, and Sam's a huge James Bond fan, so everyone's looking to put their little touch of something in there that pays homage to what's gone before. You have to in this situation. We've had some fun with it.” - Daniel Craig (James Bond)
4: How will Skyfall be different from the previous films?
“It's a certain confidence – and not overconfidence, [because] we've been doing it long enough to be wary of getting overconfident in this business. [It's] having the confidence to know we have a good story, we've got a great cast with a great director, and just that we're making something that's exciting and hopefully will move people a little. . . . This is a whole new experience for me. Having Sam come into this, and the fact that we got a script together so well early on meant that I could work for a long time on the script.” - Daniel Craig
“The last film had an A-to-B run. It was a straight testosterone movement, because it was about revenge and finding the bad guy. In this film, it's so complicated and beautiful and magical. It all connects. That's what I love about this film: how it all connects.” - Dennis Gassner (Skyfall Production Designer)
5: What sort of James Bond movie can we expect from Sam Mendes?
“Sam's a great actor's director, there's no doubt about that. . . . His energy has driven us all along. His stories are important to him. He wanted to make the characters as big and as real as possible, and throw those into a Bond movie, and mix that up with the best action sequences that he can put together. He's doing an amazing job.” - Daniel Craig
“[Sam] enjoys being with the actors and there's a reason why he's doing this film. There are great, fantastic scenes in it that are very powerful. I think he's enjoying that, and what a movie like this represents, and the whole challenge of it. The atmosphere on the set is very creative. It's fun.” - Javier Bardem
“[Sam] is very precise in what he wants and what he doesn't want. He has a very strong sense for the psychological. With Bond, all of the main parts are always very good, but the small parts are superb. For me, it's extremely difficult when we have to dress somebody with one line, because the one-line role can make a scene. If you have a bad one-liner, your scene is completely ruined. Every single one-liner that I dressed for Skyfall was perfectly cast. I just had to look at them and I knew which costume they would have, because they were so perfect. I think this is due to some of Sam's talent and background, and it was so very helpful to me.” - Jany Temime (Skyfall Costume Designer)
6: What sort of “Bond girl” will Berenice Marlohe be playing?
“We used two words to describe Severine: glamorous and enigmatic. Enigmatic is good, because I want to create a character that is not as obvious as the Bond girls were before – either good or bad. Daniel's James Bond is really complex and has a lot of different colors, and that's the 'enigmatic' I want. I want to give her as many colors and as much substance as possible – like a human being that you can't define. . . . James Bond has vulnerability, [he's] strong, tough, and has a sense of humor. He's very human, but also very much like a snake, and almost like a robot sometimes. It's the same for the Bond girls with me. I want to put in substance, so finally you have a very real and human and full-of-life character, so it's interesting to see.” - Berenice Marlohe (Severine)
7: What locations will be featured in Skyfall?
“Everybody presumes that the whole film is about London, but actually it's not. It's a good chunk [in London], but it's just a small part of the movie. . . . We've been lucky to have the ability to film down in Westminster, a bit in the underground, and areas you usually don't get a chance to film in, because it's difficult to get permission. But somehow Bond can seem to pull the strings.” - Daniel Craig
“There are a lot of countries that are represented in different ways, but it's all about telling a story,” - Dennis Gassner
8: What will James Bond be wearing?
“I knew Daniel and had worked with him before, but he is such a great Bond. He knew what he wanted and knew the character he was playing. For his suit, he wanted something he could move in – a light fabric, a tight suit. . . . Little by little, we created his dream suit. [Designer] Tom Ford was amazing. He's been manufacturing all the suits. They were so beautiful that when I was opening them, it was like Christmas. I was crying. They were so perfect. . . . There were 200 suits altogether – the doubles, the stunt doubles, they all have different sizes. One suit is clean, one suit is slightly damaged, one suit has blood on it, one suit is muddy. You need different things. . . . We had a tailor come from Italy. A good, old-fashioned guy. We had three or four fittings for every suit.” - Jany Temime
9: Will we ever see a funny James Bond again?
“Oh, yes. I'm so campy in this one. I've gone quite far. [Laughs] . . . For me, comedy in Bond movies comes out of the situations people get into. The situations are exciting and heart-stopping, hopefully, and the comedy comes out of one-liners and things like that. But [you need to] get these into the script very early on and start playing around with them. You can't make them up on the day. We've been working on this script for at least two years. . . . I'm not saying this one's full of one-liners, but I'm saying that there's a lightness of touch in the writing that's not been as evident in the past two films, and I'm excited about that.” - Daniel Craig
“It's got those situations when you think, 'Only in a Bond movie.' That's where the wit comes into it.” - Barbara Broccoli
10: Will the 50th anniversary of the franchise play into the film at all?
“We haven't got nods every ten minutes going, 'Hey, this is the 50th anniversary!' We're making a movie, and it has a story to tell – because that's the most important thing. But I'd be lying if I said we weren't aware of it.” - Daniel Craig
“The pressure is always on, because fortunately, we have a lot of fans who really look forward to the next Bond movie coming out and have high expectations. We'd like to at least meet those expectations, if not surpass them.” - Barbara Broccoli
Bonus Question: Do you know what “M” stands for?
“Well, I know what I think it is... [Laughs]” - Judi Dench