By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist July 31, 2012 at 9:00AM
Now that we're coming to the end of summer blockbuster season, many eyes are turning towards the fall line-up, and while there's the usual selection of prestige fare there, we're not exactly going to be starving for blockbusters. "The Hobbit," "Jack Reacher," "Breaking Dawn Pt. 2" -- all films with the potential to be huge without necessarily troubling Academy voters. But one of the most anticipated of all is "Skyfall," the 23rd official James Bond film, which hits in November.
Bond movies are always eagerly awaited, but this one particularly so, given that it marks the 50th anniversary year of James Bond on screen, that it's four years since 007 was on screen, and that the film has a higher caliber of talent involved than ever, with Oscar-winner Sam Mendes directing, Oscar nominee John Logan writing the script, and Javier Bardem, Ralph Fiennes, Albert Finney, Ben Whishaw and Naomie Harris among those joining Daniel Craig and Judi Dench in the cast.
Hot on the heels of Bond's cameo at the Olympics last Friday, producers unveiled a brand new full-length trailer on their 007.com site, and it looks pretty damn terrific. After the disappointing "Quantum Of Solace," we've needed our faith restored a little, and this seems to be taking us places we've not been before with the character -- faking his death, a very personal threat to MI6 and M -- but with all of the action expected of a film released in 2012.
There's a little more plot revelation here -- a missing list of undercover agents (a la the first "Mission: Impossible"), a vengeful villain -- but the trailer is probably most notable for bigger hints of some of the new characters. Ben Whishaw looks very promising in his brief moments as the new Q, Bond girls Naomie Harris and Berenice Marlohe look to be more than holding their own, but most memorable of all is Javier Bardem as the villain: blonde, leering, and at one point contained in a Hannibal Lecter-style glass cage, he seems to fall somewhere between Anton Chigurh and Blofeld, and we can't wait to see him butt heads with 007.
All in all, there's very little not to like here: hopefully the thrills of "Casino Royale" have been captured by Mendes for Craig's third outing in the tux. "Skyfall" hits theaters in Europe on October 26th before coming to the U.S. on November 9th.