This week saw the release of the first trailer for ‘Skyfall’, James Bond’s latest adventure.
It was all very exciting, but a bit of a mystery at the same time, as canny producers have kept much of the plot under wraps so far.
With this in mind, we decided to get our magnifying glass and decipher (as best we can) this most teasing of teaser trailers.
[Related blog: The first poster for Skyfall]
What does Skyfall mean?
It all begins with Bond (Daniel Craig) involved in a game of word association. “Country... England. Gun... shot. Agent... provocateur. Murder... employment.
What does it mean? No-one knows yet as the term isn’t used in any of the Ian Fleming books.
Whole message boards have been set up to answer the question ‘What is Skyfall?’, but we’ve got our own theory (that’ll probably be totally wrong).
The trailer and the official synopsis hint that it’s the codename for an old Bond mission that went horribly wrong. When Nicholas Woodeson says ‘Skyfall’ to 007, we cut for a second to someone (Bond?) with a gun.
Then Ralph Fiennes’ Gareth Mallory shoots a look at Judi Dench’s M as they watch through a glass screen. The synopsis says M’s past comes back to haunt her and she clearly has some skeletons in the closet. Is that skeleton Skyfall?
The end of M?
We know that M plays a major part in the movie but will this be Judi Dench’s last film in the role? Rumours have definitely been circulating to that effect and two of the film’s actors (Fiennes and Albert Finney) seem perfect as the next M.
The stark image of Dench with the Union Jack draped coffins speaks volumes about her role. She has a past in the spy business and if we know one thing from the Bond franchise it’s that this is a business stalked by death. Could those coffins be the victims of the London attack? (see Captial Gains further down)
Who are the Bond girls?
This is Bérénice Marlohe’s Sévérine. Little is known about her other than that Bond tails her in the Shanghai portion of the film. She looks the part of femme fatale and we assume that’s the role she’ll play, but how close to Javier Bardem’s villain is she?
The lead Bond Girl is Naomie Harris as Eve. She’s a Field Agent who we know shares plenty of the action with 007, but there’s an interesting side to her character if the rumour mill proves true. When she was cast it was widely believed she would play a returning Miss Moneypenny, which she may well end up as by the film’s end.
But more importantly, why is she shaving Bond?
Javier Bardem’s Kaiser Soze moment
The only shot of Silva is an ominous one. Behind him is a building believed to be the Scottish retreat of someone important (most likely M). It is also where Bond delivers the trailer’s killer line - which we’ll get to later.
London has been ever-present in the Bond franchise as the base of operations and the place of Bond’s home - but it’s rarely a target.
The trailer’s money shot sees a London Underground train plough through a wall, raining debris everywhere as it rockets towards the camera. This is going to be a major set piece in the film with Javier Bardem’s Silva at the centre of the carnage.
We’re not sure what exactly happens to the train but we’re looking forward to seeing a major action set piece set in our nation’s capital.
The best-looking Bond yet?
The Shanghai and Scotland-based scenes in particular look stunning.
Roger Deakins is the man responsible, having been brought on board by Mendes, who has worked with him on ‘Revolutionary Road’ and ‘Jarhead’. Deakins has also worked with the Coen brothers on each of their films since ‘Barton Fink’ in 1991.
For his cinematography Deakins has received nine Academy Award nominations and a tenth seems likely on this evidence.
Fret not, there’s still plenty of action
Those worrying that Mendes would turn Bond into an art house film have no need to fret any more. ‘Skyfall’ looks set to give thrill-seekers everything they’d want from a Bond movie.
Daniel Craig still looks suitably badass in a suit, shooting at off-screen villains and as the trailer goes on the guns only get bigger. As mentioned, the London sequence looks like it’ll meet the madness quota expected of Bond and there was a brief tease of the film’s later train sequence.
As for that killer line...
“Some men are coming to kill us... We’re going to kill them first.”
You may now hum the Bond theme to your heart’s content.
‘Skyfall' is released in the UK on 26 October 2012.