It’s been a long road to Skyfall, Bond’s twenty-third outing, and as well as our review and red carpet interviews we had the chance to sit down with the cast and crew of the film and over the next three days we’ll be bringing you the six interviews.
Producers and protectors of the Bond legacy Michael G. Wilson & Barbara Broccoli have led Skyfall through a very difficult path to the big screen and as well as talking about securing Sam Mendes as director the pair talk about how they wanted to make the best film to honour the series on its fiftieth anniversary.
Huge thanks to Neil Alcock AKA The Incredible Suit for being our man in the thick of it. If you haven’t been keeping up with his epic BlogalongaBond then now is the time to catch up. When it comes to Bond, nobody does it better.
It’s been four years between Quantum Of Solace and Skyfall. Do you think the hiatus helped you make a better movie?
MICHAEL: Well, we were worried that we weren’t going to make a 50th anniversary film, so that was a concern, but in a way it turned out to be fine. Sam said it gave him more time to work on the script, so it’s worked out fine.
How did Sam Mendes come on board, is it right that Daniel approached him at a party?
BARBARA: That’s right, they were at a party in New York, and we got a call the following day from Daniel, who said, “I was at a party and had a few drinks, met Sam Mendes… I think I offered him the job, which I’m not sure I was allowed to do but what do you think?” And we said that’d be fantastic, is he interested? And he said yeah, so we leapt on a plane, went to New York and had dinner with Sam and discussed it and then…
Was Sam excited from the start?
BARBARA: He was, I mean we didn’t realise he was a Bond fan, but he very clearly said to us that he wanted to make the best James Bond film to date, so… I think he’s done an amazing job. We’re very excited.
This movie’s a lot more fun than the previous two. Was that a reaction to the reaction to the previous one?
BARBARA: Well it has to do with the story. Casino Royale is about Bond falling in love with someone who turns out to be a double agent and commits suicide, and he’s also tortured in probably one of the worst ways imaginable, so it’s really hard to make that fun, you know? And Quantum Of Solace was about Bond seeking revenge for those who were responsible for Vesper’s death, so with Skyfall we created a new story. I’m glad you think it’s fun, we think it’s more appropriate for the story and it’s a really good third film for Daniel.
What’s the thinking behind releasing Skyfall in IMAX? Do you see a future for Bond in 3D?
MICHAEL: I think IMAX is possible because we filmed it with a high resolution digital camera which means it can be screened in IMAX without losing resolution, which we couldn’t do with 35mm negatives. So I think that’s something that we’ll be pushing again. The 3D is, uh, who knows? It has to be film appropriate. It seems to work with fantasy and sci-fi very well.
Can you see Bond going back into space any time soon?
MICHAEL: Not for a while!
What do you think makes Javier Bardem a good villain?
BARBARA: He brings so many dimensions to the character. I mean, the villain certainly has a reason to have a grudge against M, but I think Javier makes you feel for him. You’re repelled by him but you’re also enthralled with him, he’s very charismatic, he’s very sexy, he pushes the envelope with Bond… the scene with him and Daniel is a real poker game. It’s quite electric, it’s sort of sexy but repulsive at the same time, it’s really fireworks. They’re two magnificent actors in a face-off.
Is it true that Daniel also met Javier at a party and asked him to be in the film?
BARBARA: Well, I think they met somewhere along the line a long time ago, but we had always talked about Javier for this role. The writers wrote it with him in mind, but we didn’t approach him until we had a script and Sam was on board.
In the documentary Everything Or Nothing, you said it was 9/11 that made you decide to move away from the Pierce Brosnan style of films. How far do you think Bond can drift into the real world and real politics?
BARBARA: I don’t think we ever want to have real politics in these movies because these are fantasy, action-adventure films. Bond lives in a slightly heightened version of the real world – it’s a bit more glamorous, there are casinos and very exotic people, villains and women – it’s a parallel world but it’s a heightened reality world. That’s where we feel very comfortable and in terms of 9/11 we just felt that Die Another Day had become too fantastical. I think that’s something that happened in previous Bond films along the way and you have to recalibrate the tone of the films to fit the times.
Was there anyone else in the running for the theme song? Because there were rumours that Muse might do it, and their song Supremacy definitely has a Bond sound about it.
BARBARA: Oh really? Well, we haven’t heard it. No, Adele was always our first choice.
Did you receive loads of submissions from other artists?
BARBARA: Well, we don’t. It’s possible that some went to Sony, but we just went for Adele from the start.
Michael, you’ve had a cameo in the last dozen or so Bond films – are you in Skyfall?
MICHAEL: I had to give a bottle of champagne to one of your colleagues yesterday, who announced that he had found me on a second viewing. I got mostly cut out but there’s one shot of me in there.
The gun barrel is at the end of the movie again. Is that the way it’s going to be from now on?
BARBARA: It will vary from film to film. In this film there wasn’t really a place to put it at the beginning. I know that sounds kind of funny, but we looked at putting it at the beginning and we discussed it with Sam, and we just felt it was better suited for this particular film at the end. We also thought it would be a nice way to mark the fiftieth anniversary, by having our 50th anniversary logo up there, just to mark this extraordinary event of fifty years.
So it’s not necessarily going to be at the end in all future Bond films?
In the past an actor would shoot the gun barrel sequence and it would be reused three or four times, but it’s been redone again for this film after Quantum Of Solace. Why is that?
BARBARA: It’s fun to do! We decided we wanted to do it again, Daniel wanted to do it and we all thought it was a good idea.
Have any plans been made for Bond 24 yet?
BARBARA: Not really, not yet.
How long a gap do you think you’ll need?
MICHAEL: If we were rapid it’d be two years, if not it’d be three, but it’ll be within that time period, I think.
Have you at least engaged your regular screenwriters, Neal Purvis and Robert Wade?
BARBARA: We haven’t done too much in terms of making deals about the next film because we literally just finished this one last week. We just want to open this one, have a bit of a break and get on to the next one.
Daniel’s said in interviews that he’s going to do two more…
BARBARA: At LEAST two more!
…but there hasn’t been an official announcement from you guys to say that. Can you confirm that?
MICHAEL: Well, we don’t want to limit ourselves.
Well, will you tell us, is he going to do at least two more?
MICHAEL: But we wouldn’t necessarily want to limit ourselves to just two.