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Is 'Skyfall' The Name Of Sam Mendes' James Bond Film?

Photo of Oliver Lyttelton By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist October 6, 2011 at 1:03AM

Considering it's had an unusually tortured journey to the screen for a big franchise picture, thanks to the financial problems of MGM, it's not entirely surprising that details are relatively thin for the twenty-third James Bond film, the third to star Daniel Craig as the suave secret agent. Oscar-winner Sam Mendes has been attached to direct for close to two years now, we've known that for certain. Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, who've penned the first draft of every Bond script since "The World Is Not Enough," again did the groundwork, before Peter Morgan, John Logan and most recently "Notes on a Scandal" scribe Patrick Marber, came on for a polish. And it's a given that the plot will continue, or possibly cap off, Bond's pursuit of Quantum, the secret organization behind the events of "Casino Royale" and "Quantum of Solace."
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Considering it's had an unusually tortured journey to the screen for a big franchise picture, thanks to the financial problems of MGM, it's not entirely surprising that details are relatively thin for the twenty-third James Bond film, the third to star Daniel Craig as the suave secret agent. Oscar-winner Sam Mendes has been attached to direct for close to two years now, we've known that for certain. Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, who've penned the first draft of every Bond script since "The World Is Not Enough," again did the groundwork, before Peter Morgan, John Logan and most recently "Notes on a Scandal" scribe Patrick Marber, came on for a polish. And it's a given that the plot will continue, or possibly cap off, Bond's pursuit of Quantum, the secret organization behind the events of "Casino Royale" and "Quantum of Solace."

But beyond that, there's been little official confirmation of anything bar a release date. There have, of course, been casting reports: Javier Bardem and Ralph Fiennes are said to be locked in, the former as the villain, the latter in a "complex" role. Naomie Harris is thought to be taking up the mantle of Moneypenny. And though Ben Whishaw confirmed a while back that he was in negotiations for a part, while French actress Bérénice Marlohe is rumored to have the female lead, Sony hasn't revealed anyone else's presence bar Craig. With filming set to get underway soon, it can't be long before more falls into place, and a big piece of the puzzle may have just been revealed -- namely, what the damn thing's called.

The last (fairly unconvincing) rumors pegged it as borrowing the name, and possibly plotline, of Jeffrey Deaver's recent Bond novel "Carte Blanche," but that was swiftly denied by producers. But a few days back, WhatCulture! noticed that a number of domain names had been registered by a brand protection company working for Sony, including skyfall-themovie.com, skyfall-film.net, and, crucially, jamesbondskyfall.com. So, is the Mendes Bond flick going to be called "Skyfall"?

It's entirely possible. Movie studios tend to hedge their bets when it comes to these things, so it's possible it's only one of a number of names being considered, but it's pretty clear at this point that "Skyfall" is at least in the running to be the name. And Craig told a CNN reporter last month that the film now had an official title, so it's unlikely Sony would register something else at this stage in the process. Given the usual non-sequitur nature of Bond titles, we're not going to try and guess too much about the plot, but we sort of hope that it means a return to the more far-out realms of the franchise, and that Bardem's villain is literally trying to make the sky fall, turning the film into a sort of spy action equivalent of "Chicken Little." But that's probably just us.

"Skyfall," or whatever it ends up being called, will start rolling out in Europe on October 26th, 2012 with a U.S. release following on November 9th.

This article is related to: Films, Actors, Sam Mendes, Genre Films, Daniel Craig, James Bond 23


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