Tag Archive | "Bond 23"

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The Title For BOND 23 Is Now Officially…

Posted on 03 November 2011 by Rich Drees

Skyfall.

Just moments ago at a press conference to note the launch of production on the twety-third James Bond film, producers Michael G WIlson and Barbara Broccoli confirmed that the rumors that the next James Bond adventure will indeed be titled Skyfall.

Ironically, the press conference was held on the same date that Sean Connery was announced as being Bond prior to the production of the first 007 film Dr. No.

The film will shoot in London using large sections ofthe Whitehall area as well as Shanghai in China, Istanbull in Turkey, and Scotland. Production on the film had been delayed due to MGM’s long drawn-out bankruptcy,

The title is the first one for a Bond film that doesn’t directly stem from the literary roots of the character as created by Ian Fleming. Broccoli explained that Skyfall will have “some emotional context” that will become clear when we see the film.

The conference also confirmed reports that Albert Finney has joined the cast. It was also confirmed that Javier Bardem will be the villain of the film and that Ralph Fiennes will also have a role, though what part it is went undisclosed. Naomie Harris will be playing a field agent named Eve, not the role of Miss Moneypenny as previously rumored.

Plot details are still scarce, but when asked if the film will feature a return to the gadgets that the franchise has been known for, director Sam Mendes dodged the question but stated that there would be “plenty of surprises.”

One surprising detail was Mendes’s statement that Skyfall “is its own story. It doesn’t connect with the last two movies.” Previously, Casino Royale and Quantum Of Solace shared story threads concerning the uncovering of a global-spanning terrorist organization.

Although Mendes is known primarily for dramas like American Beauty and Revolutionary Road, the director stated he was looking forward to shooting action sequences, noting “action needs to co-exist with the drama.”

The film will be released next November as part of MGM’s celebration of the film franchise’s 50th Anniversary.

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Albert Finney Has Joined The BOND 23 Cast

Posted on 28 October 2011 by Rich Drees

If you think you know who all has been cast in the upcoming twenty-third installment of the James Bond franchise, director Sam Mendes has a surprise for you. It is being reported in the British tabloid press that acting legend Albert Finney will be playing a part in the upcoming, untitled film.

Supposedly, Mendes kept Finney’s participation a secret and unveiled it to cast members earlier this week when they sat down to perform the first read through of the screenplay.

According to the Daily Mail, Finney will be playing an official in the British government’s Foreign Office who oversees the British Intelligence Services. Basically he will be the boss of James Bond’s boss “M,” played by Dame Judi Dench. Interestingly, even though both Finney and Dench share much of th same acting background, they have never been in any production together before this. It should be great to see such two acting stalwarts going back and forth.

Now remember that this is the Daily Mail reporting this, so standard British tabloid disclaimers apply. But so far there has been no denial from the franchise producers Eon Productions, so I’m going to hesitantly state that this is probably on the up-and-up.

Bond 23 is set start filming sometime next week and will be released in November 2012.

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Javier Bardem Confirmed As BOND 23 Villain

Posted on 11 October 2011 by Rich Drees

Javier Bardem has confirmed the rumor that he will be playing a villain in the upcoming twenty-third James Bond film scheduled to begin production later this year.

In an interview with ABC’s Nightline, Bardem stated –

I am very excited. My parents took me to watch the movies, and I saw all of them, so to play that is going to be fun. They chose me to play this man, but I cannot give you many details.

Unfortunately, one of those “details” is the character’s name, which will now only fuel speculation that Bardem will be playing the classic Bond villain Blofeld. Although a presence in the early years of the franchise, he hasn’t been seen since 1981’s For Your Eyes Only, when Bond dispatched an unnamed, wheelchair-bound man who shared Blofeld’s characteristic penchant for stroking a white cat.

This rumor is most-likely wrong, born more out of fan wishes than any actual possibility of it happening.

To fully understand why it is highly unlikely that Blofeld will show up in the series anytime soon, you need to know that the James Bond franchise’s producers, EON Productions, don’t own the rights to use the character or the global criminal organization he ran, SPECTRE. Those two elements were created for an original Bond film for producer Kevin McClory. When the film didn’t happen, Fleming folded many of the story ideas into the novel Thunderball. Lawsuits followed resulting in McClory getting a producer credit on the Thunderball film adaption and owning the remake rights to the book. Although Blofeld was able to appear in subsequent novels and their film adaptions, it appears that the rights to use the character in new stories lie with McClory’s estate. (McClory died in 2006.)

Never let it be said though, that the fandom rumor mill ever let something like facts get in the way of a good story. And it is tempting to see where the character of Blofeld could be fit into the franchise’s current continuity as the head of the shadowy terrorist organization Quantum that Daniel Craig’s Bond has slowly been uncovering over the course of Casino Royale and Quantum Of Solace.

I just don’t see it happening.

Via Coming Soon.

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Will The 23rd James Bond Film Be Called SKYFALL?

Posted on 06 October 2011 by Rich Drees

The producers of the James Bond franchise smartly love to play coy with the titles of each new film. It generates interest and gets people talking. The discussion today is the possibility that the film will be called Skyfall.

That’s what the folks over at What Culture seem to think and they actually have more than a British tabloid report to back up their claim. They discovered that a brand protection company working for Sony Studios recently registered the URLs for skyfall-themovie.net, jamesbond-skyfall.com as well as a number of other, similar titles. You can see the registration for JameBond-Skyfall.com here.

Since I can’t think of any immediate connection to the James Bond stories written by Ian Flemming that all the previous film titles shared, my first thought was that the title was actually for an upcoming video game, except for the fact that domain registration for a video game would very probably be done by Activision, the company who are currently publishing said games.

As for now, I’m going to put this rumor in the “Strongly Possible” column, which is something I didn’t say for rumors claiming that Bond 23 would be called Carte Blanche or Red Sky At Night.

Whatever it winds up being called, the twenty-third James Bond adventure is scheduled to start shooting later this for a November 2012 release.

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BOND 23 Production Moves Train Sequence From India To South Africa

Posted on 26 September 2011 by Rich Drees

An action sequence aboard a train planned to be filmed in India for the upcoming twenty-third James Bond film will now be shot in South Africa. The Times Of India is reporting that plans for the filming fell through due to concerns over safety and security issues.

The Times Of India quotes Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi as saying, “While the Bond franchise is important for us, so is the safety of people. God forbid if something untoward happened, people would not stop blaming us.”

This is not an entirely surprising development, as we told you earlier this month that India’s Railroad Ministry had concerns over the action sequence, which at one point would involve a motorcycle jumping on top of a moving train. They also voiced concerns over the depiction of Indians riding on top of trains.

According to the Times Of India report, another factor that may have played into the cancellation of the shooting was concern over the production’s request to “lock off the lines for seven-eight hours a day for seven days in a row.” While that seems like a reasonable amount of time to shoot an action sequence, it could have proved a severe inconvenience to those who would normally rely on the service. (India is fairly spread out and rail travel is more common there.)

The train sequence, and possibly other scenes initially planned to be shot in India, will very probably now be shot in South Africa when the film goes into production early next year.

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Will 007 Fight Blofeld In BOND 23?

Posted on 22 September 2011 by Rich Drees

Will British secret agent James Bond face off against his perennial nemesis Ernst Stavro Blofeld in the upcoming untitled twenty-third Bond film?

John Logan, who is one of the writers who have worked on the screenplay for the just-about-to-go-into-production Bond 23, has hinted as much in a recent appearance in London while speaking at one of the British Film Institute’s “Screenwriter Lectures” series. WhatCulture reports –

Rather interestingly, during the talk last night Logan was reminded by an audience member of a quote that he said some ten years ago that, in his opinion, “Bond should always fight Blofeld”. When pressed on this he gave a wry smile and said “Bond should always fight Blofeld”.

So was Logan dropping an obvious hint or just putting out a bit of misinformation to conceal the screenplay’s real surprises?

Although he only appeared in three of Ian Fleming’s original Bond novels, Blofeld made appearances in six of the Bond franchise films, seven if you the ersatz Never Say Never Again.

As leader of SPECTRE (the Special Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge, and Extortion), Blofeld has crossed swords with Bond on several occasions. He has been portrayed by the likes of Donald Pleasance, Charles Gray and Telly Savalas. His most notable and notorious appearance was in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service when he and henchwoman Irma Bunt brutally murder Bond’s hours-old wife Tracy.

Now granted, there conceivably is room in the upcoming Bond film for the character, should the producers choose to use him. The terrorist organization Quantum that Bond has been slowly uncovering since the franchise rebooted with Daniel Craig in the role still hasn’t had its leader revealed. And Quantum does feel like a modernized version of the SPECTRE terrorist group that Blofeld ran in the older films.

The problem with this, though, is the convoluted, real-life legal wranglings surrounding the Blofeld character. At the heart of the problem lay a question of who actually created Blofeld and SPECTRE and who owned the rights to the character. Both had their origins in a James Bond film project titled Thunderball that pre-dated 007’s first cinematic appearance in 1961’s Dr. No. When that project fell through, Flemming went on to use much of the material he felt he developed for the film in the novel Thunderball, causing the aborted project’s producer Kevin McClory to sue. The lawsuit was settled out of court and McClory held onto certain rights that allowed him to team with the Bond franchise’s producers for the 1965 adaption of Thunderball. McClory also tried numerous times to remake Thunderball or use the rights to launch a competing Bond franchise, though the only time he was successful was with 1983’s Never Say Never Again.

Even though McClory passed away in 2006 and MGM now owns the distribution rights for Never Say Never Again, it appears as if there is still some question as to who may own the rights that McClory claimed. As such, I tend to doubt that Logan was dropping any real hint so much as he was just winding up fans.

Of course, this doesn’t preclude that the film’s villain, to be played by Javier Bardem, couldn’t be modeled after Blofeld. As I noted before, the Quentum organization is similar to the old SPECTRE organization, so why not continue the parallel by giving it a leader who may have a passing similarity to the character?

Bond 23 is set to be directed by Sam Mendes from a script written by Logan and Neal Purvis and Robert Wade. Joining Craig in the cast are Dame Judi Dench, Ralph Fiennes and Naomie Harris.

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Is Wright Not Returning For BOND 23?

Posted on 12 September 2011 by Rich Drees

One of the mainstays of the James Bond universe, both in books and on the big screen, has been the British spy’s friendship with American CIA agent Felic Leiter. The character has appeared in half of the 22 Bond films we’ve seen, most recently appearing in the two films that compose the franchise’s relaunch in the form of actor Jeffrey Wright.

But it looks as if Wright won’t be back for the upcoming Bond 23. Speaking to Coming Soon at the Toronto Film Festival, the actor told the website that he has not yet been contacted about appearing in the upcoming film. Granted, filming hasn’t begun quite yet, so there is still time for him to be brought into the cast.

But let’s realize that Wight’s possible exclusion from the film doesn’t mean that the character of Leiter will be recast. The answer could be just as simple as the character not appearing in the film. Granted, that would be a shame, as I’ve been enjoying how the relationship between the two spies has been developed so far in Casino Royale and Quantum Of Solace. Also, I doubt that producers will recast the role given that the producers have been very attentive to keeping the films internally consistent so far.

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India Government Requests Changes To BOND 23 Train Action Scene

Posted on 12 September 2011 by Rich Drees

As the next James Bond film gets ready to film on location in India, the government there has requested that producers change an action sequence that is scripted to take place on top of a moving train.

Spoilers ahead.

According to The Guardian, the Indian government requested the rewrite as the “planned action sequence showing people travelling on the roof of a state-run train service,” citing Indian Railways minister Dinesh Trivedi as saying “Rooftop travel is illegal in India and it cannot be encouraged… There are many trains in India and not all trains have people travelling on the rooftops.”

As scripted, the scene would have involved British secret agent James Bond, being played by Daniel Craig, jumping from a motorcycle on to the top of a moving train in pursuit of a bad guy. The scene will remain basically the same, though without any travelers riding on top of the train to interfere with Bond’s progress.

Previously, the Bond franchise has only shot on location in India once before, for 1983’s Octopussy. That film also had an action sequence set on top of a train which was also curiously passenger-free.

Of course, jumping a motorcycle onto a moving train is not a stunt that will be unique to Bond 23. Future Bond girl Michelle Yeoh did it in the 1992 Jackie Chan film Police Story: Supercop.

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BOND 23 To Shoot In India

Posted on 31 August 2011 by Rich Drees

The 23rd installment of the James Bond franchise, which most likely not be title Carte Blanche, will be heading to India when it goes into production this November.

The Times Of India is reporting that the film has been given permission from Indian authorities to shoot the follow up to 2008’s Quantum Of Solace at several locations throughout the country. Locations specifically mentioned in the story include –

  • The town of Navagam near Ahmedabad
  • The beaches of Goa
  • North Goa with the exception of the tunnel at Dudhsagar (south-eastern railway) and the Zuari rail bridge over the Zuari River (Konkan railways) due to security concerns.
  • Delhi, specifically the streets of streets of Daryaganj, Sarojini Nagar market and Ansari Road
  • Mumbai

Given that locations can be dressed to look like someplace else, I don’t think that we can deduce too much of the upcoming film’s storyline from this news. Previous Bond films have managed to make areas in and around England’s Pinewoods Studios, where the films do all of their non-location shooting, look like everything from Fort Knox to the border between North and South Korea. Though I have to wonder if the inclusion of shooting in a business center such as Mumbai may indicate that there is some element of international business to the plot.

The film will mark Daniel Craig’s third outing as the suave secret agent, following his premier in 2006’s Casino Royale and Quantum Of Solace.

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Is This The Title Of The Next James Bond Film?

Posted on 30 August 2011 by Rich Drees

Until they are ready are to announce it, the title of an upcoming James Bond film is guarded by its producers more securely than some of the secrets being held by the real British Secret Service. So let us proceed with more than just a note or two of skepticism.

Blic (via BleedingCool) is reporting that Serbian cellist Jelena Mihailovic has been asked to perform the

At one of the many concerts the musician held in France during the Cannes Film Festival, the producers and the director of the next Bond film were in the audience, who were staggered by what they had heard and on the spot offered Jelena a chance to write the opening score for the new James Bond film, entitled Carte Blanche.

So the question here is where did the news outlet get the title Carte Blanche?

The first possibility is that they got the title from Mihailovic herself, who heard it from these unnamed producers and didn’t know that she shouldn’t be repeating it. That seems unlikely, though, as I think that the title wouldn’t be dropped into a conversation with someone they were discussing working on the film. I would think that one wouldn’t get that knowledge until they are under contract with written-in obligations to not divulge said information.

It seems more likely that Blic pulled the name from the latest Bond novel to hit the shelves written by Jeffery Deaver. Bleeding Cool points out that there is an action sequence involving a train in the new book and a rumored train sequence in the upcoming film and suggests that it is possible that the new book and film might be sharing the same.

Personally, I doubt this. The same secrecy that surrounds the title to upcoming Bond film is extended to its plot as well. I highly doubt that Eon Productions, the folks behind the films, would agree to a plan that would put that story out in detail a year and a half before the film is scheduled to hit theaters.

And this isn’t even the first time a rumored title has been reported for Bond 23. In January, the British tabloid The Sun stated that the film would be titled Red Skis At Night. (Though given recent revelations about The Sun’s corporate sibling News Of The World, I would give more creadence to The Sun‘s reporting as they could have hacked someone’s phonemessages for the title.)

The twenty-third James Bond film goes into production later this year and that’s when I’ll expect we’ll get the announcement of the official title. And I would place money that it won’t be Carte Blanche.

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