Skyfall is one of James Bond's finest moments
The future of everyone's favourite secret agent is safe thanks to Skyfall, writes Caris Bizzaca
Daniel Craig says die-hard Bond fans shouldn’t be concerned about seeing the British spy’s stiff-upper-lip quivering in the emotionally hard-hitting Skyfall.
Directed by Sam Mendes, who’s known for dramas like Revolutionary Road and American Beauty, Skyfall has already raked in over half a billion dollars at the worldwide box office and been hailed by some critics as the best Bond film.
Yet some Bond fans has expressed concern that Skyfall touches upon topics like the supposedly immortal superspy’s age, past and old demons.
Craig says those who are worried should “just go and see it”.
“You can’t forget he’s James Bond,” Craig said during a Sydney visit to promote the film.
“You can’t get kind of too deep and Freudian.”
Producer Barbara Broccoli says it’s not necessarily delving into new territories: Bond has always been aware of his own mortality.
“When you go even to the very first film, Dr No, I mean Bond at the beginning is in the gun barrel, he’s in the sights of an assassin and I think that very much informs who the character is,” she says.
“Each day he doesn't know if he's going to live or die, so he lives life to the fullest.”
Broccoli would know. The daughter of original Bond producer Albert R “Cubby” Broccoli, she and her brother Michael G Wilson took over from their father after he retired as the overseers and caretakers of the James Bond film franchise.
New Bond girl Naomie Harris credits them for ensuring James Bond, the longest-running film franchise in history, has survived for so long. This year marks its 50th anniversary.
“What they do is they constantly try to modernise it, but also keeping the classic elements that people love,” she says.
For Broccoli, a big part of the Bond’s success now is Craig – “the best Bond for the 21st century, without doubt”.
“He’s reinvented the character for the 21st century, he’s brought so much of Bond’s inner life to the part and he’s given him a lot of humanity,” she says.
Harris says the first Bond movie that resonated with her was Casino Royale, because of Craig.
“I loved the way Daniel reinterpreted this role (and) suddenly you had a much more human Bond that you could relate to.”
She says growing up in London, Bond movies “were just always on, particularly at Christmas”, but they never struck a chord with her until then.
“For me that was the first time I was like ‘wow, I'm a fan of this. I absolutely love these movies’,” she says.
Craig, who has signed onto play Bond in two more movies, is also set to become the highest-paid 007.
London’s Sunday Times reported the 44-year-old will be paid the equivalent of $A48 million to star in the next two films.
But Craig doesn’t just act and do as many of his own stunts as possible.
He is also involved with the script from the very beginning, working with writers John Logan, Neal Purvis and Robert Wade.
He says that in Skyfall he and Mendes, who have known each other for around a decade, wanted to create a movie that was original, but still had that classic Bond style.
“We wanted to introduce some old characters and some new characters and try and just get as good a story as possible,” he says, adding he wanted “just to be better” than 2008’s Quantum of Solace.
“All I care about is I don’t want the audience to second guess it. I want the audience to be surprised by what they’re seeing.”
Harris says part of why Skyfall is different to other James Bond films is not just the story, but the director.
She says Mendes ultimately is interested in characters and relationships and Skyfall focuses on that.
“I think people have really appreciated that,” she says, referring to things like Javier Bardem’s Silva – “a villain that people actually care about”.“And that’s the reason why people are saying ‘it's the best Bond ever’ because you have all the same ingredients that you have in every other Bond, but you have this added dimension of these incredible characters that people can relate to.”
See Skyfall at Australian cinemas nationwide now.
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Action time: Daniel Craig as James Bond in Skyfall.
Bond girl: Berenice Marlohe is stunning as Severine.
Pure evil: Javier Bardem as Silva, one of the most convincing bond villains ever.