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« Destry Links Again | Main | Distant Relatives: 8½ and Synecdoche, New York »
Thursday
Nov032011

Live-Blogging the Bond 23 "Skyfall" Press Conference

I couldn't begin to tell you why I do the things I do but rather than make you watch all 28 minutes of the Bond 23 conference, I'm watching it for you; I'm a giver.

007 by way of 11/03

50th Anniversaries on their way!

0:01 As the press conference begins we're reminded that it's exactly 50 years ago today Sean Connery was officially announced to play James Bond in Dr. No (1962). Fun, trivia right?

1:15 The confirmation of the worst kept secret in London: the title is "Skyfall"... They don't mention this but that make Skyfall the second shortest Bond title ever (after Dr. No). The longest title is On Her Majesty's Secret Service. #uselesstrivia

2:02 EDITED TO REMOVE COMPLETELY GARBLED NONSENSICAL SENTENCE WHICH IS WHAT YOU GET WHEN YOU LIVE BLOG. The film will take place in London, Shanghai, Istanbul, and has a heavy Scottish component. 

3:21 Not present at the conference but in the film Sam Mendes tells us are wispy wonderful Ben Whishaw and Ralph Fiennes who are described in virtually the same way as playing...

a part I can't tell you about in scenes I can tell you nothing about"

4:25 The stars come out Berenice Marlowe, Naomie Harris, Dame Judi Dench (Mendes makes a funny "you won't have heard of her but i think she has a very promising career ahead of her"), Javier Bardem will play the villain and of course Daniel Craig as Bond, James Bond 007.

5:53 Sam Mendes says he was a huge fan of Bond films (English schoolboys grow up with him) and he says the first one he saw was Live and Let Die (1973) which is, incidentally, one of the Roger Moore titles.

press conference attendees: Bardem, Marlowe, Mendes, Dench, Craig, Harris, Broccoli and Wilson

6:30 Lots of mutual back patting. Mendes loves Craig (he doesn't mention it but he gave Craig one of his first big American movie roles in Road to Perdition), the Broccoli estate loves Mendes, etcetera. Everyone loves everyone. 

7:35 Producer Michael G Wilson "No one really thought we'd get 50 years of Bond, let alone 23 pictures." They mention 23 a lot but it depends on how you count the films.

8:30 They will start shooting today... BOND GIRLS & SHIRTLESS BOND AFTER THE JUMP

8:42 Judi Dench claims she still doesn't have a grip on "M". Strange evasive answer about returning to the character for the 7th or 8th time.

9:12 Very generic answers from Javier and Berenice and Naomie about being fans of the movies and being excited to do the movie -- none of them mention any titles other than that they "saw the movies" which means that they probably didn't have a particular interest beyond the generic kind.

11: 15 Mendes reiterates that he can't reveal much. No shit.

I can't give much away. There's lot of surprises, I will say that."

And yet his answer is the furthest thing from a surprise.

11:31 A Swedish patriot in the press corps tries to sneak in a question about The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.

Reporter: You recently played Michael Blomkvist in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. How would you compare him to James Bond?" 
Daniel Craig: They're completely different.

And then Craig makes this face while everyone laughs. That's his whole answer to the question.  Hee.

Is it just me or does Daniel Craig seem a little botoxed at this press conference? I normally hate to point these things out but...

12:32 Berenice plays a glamourous enigmatic character called "Séverine". Isn't it dangerous for a French actress to be asked to play anyone named Séverine. Hello, Belle de Jour. Deneuve -- who has never been a Bond girl -- is untoppable.

DON'T RISK IT! Change her name now while you still have time.

13:59 The producers are flippant about a question about the economy and the ballooning budgets. "Does it look like we're cutting back?" Ah, the 1%. One imagines that the Broccoli estate doesn't worry about such puny human concerns as budgets.

Javier. Always the villain15:19 The Bond Theme. They're considering various people but no announcements. This press conference is USELESS. It's all "we can't tell youssss!" and vague pronouncements.

16:38  Javier Bardem cuts through the uselessness very very briefly responding to an interesting question "why do big productions always think of you to be the bad person of the story" with a fun answer "Who told you that a villain is a bad person?" But then he goes back to silly vagueness about being excited to do the movie.

17:53 A follow up question that alludes to his No Country For Old Men performance as being the pinnacle of what he could do as a movie villain. How will he top it? The Oscar winner does a little sidestep "it's about taking a different journey"

18:39 Sam Mendes objects to Empire's characterizations of Bond directors as not doing their own action sequences. Gives a lot of credit to the team. He does seem annoyed at any reference to rumors that his Bond movie won't have action. Sam does a cute wavy thing with his right hand every time he can't find a reporter who is talking to him.

19:20 An awards question. I wasn't expecting that! Bond and Awards don't really go together. The BBC News wants to know if they are hoping for golden statuettes for their 50th anniversary. Mendes responds.

It's not the reason you do any movie and it's certainly not the reason you do a Bond movie. I don't think in those terms about anything. For me Bond is for the audience and only for the audience like any good movie should be. The rest of it is just what happens afterwards and that is not in my hands. 

"It's not the reason you do any movie" huh? I think Revolutionary Road begs to differ!

Naomie Harris. I've told y'all I love her, right?21: 47 They ask the stars how much training they have to do. Javier funny "Me learning the vowels is a lot of training." Naomie has been doing yoga three times a week and stunt driving and machine guns which she's discovered she has a real taste for [big laughter from the press corps].

Berenice character is obviously more boring because she only uses guns. If I had to guess I'd say that Naomie is the main Bond girl and Berenice is the one who gets one bedroom scene plus one brief action scene like Gemma Arterton's "Strawberry Fields" character in Quantum of Solace.

22:50 One time only gig for Mendes? The producers interrupt to say they're trying to get that answer from him themselves. Awww, group hug (not really. That was just the mood. Well... group hug with slobbering on the director.)

23:34 What does Skyfall mean? The producers say it has emotional context. You'll have to wait and see. we can't tell youuuuuuu  remember

24:00 Daniel implies he didn't mind waiting for years to do his third Bond but sounds annoyed about waiting for the actual filming to start now that they've been prepping for months.

26:21 "Interesting story, well written with a great ca"zzzzzzz zzz zzz

27:01 Hilarious question and the most important of the entire press conference: Are we guaranteed that Javier Bardem and Daniel Craig will take their shirts off? Barbabra Broccoli shouts "YES!" And her fellow producer adds "If Barbara gets her way it'll be more than just their shirts."

shirtless bond throughout the years

Daniel Craig seems amused and says "It's the gig." (We love it when movie stars understand their jobs.)

28:37 After more than 23 evasive answers the Bond 23 press conference ends abruptly. So, too does this blog entry.

THE FULL CONFERENCE

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Reader Comments (5)

I wish the press conf was as enjoyable as your commentary...

November 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJames T

I am totally in the bag for all things Bond so I am thrilled with how this is shaping up so far (totally agree with your guess about the Bond girl ranking ... The French one is EEEEVIL, I tell you.)

November 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRJ

The Broccoli produced Bond pictures are official canon, hence this being their 23rd Bond picture.

November 4, 2011 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtfull

Hey, you promised Shirtless!Bond and I am not seeing it!

November 4, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterforever1267

forever1267.... yeah, that was a mean tease. so now it is provided.

November 5, 2011 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R
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