James Bond - Skyfall

Bond is back for the 23rd installment of the franchise. Sony/Columbia has Skyfall scheduled to be released in November 2012 coinciding with the series’ 50th anniversary.  Oscar-winning director Sam Mendes (Away We Go) will be directing his first James Bond film, which starts filming tomorrow.  Mendes will get a taste of how a globe-trotting spy lives by filming in England, Istanbul and Scotland.

Daniel Craig (Dream House) returns as the serious 007 along with Judi Dench (J. Edgar) as his nut-cracking boss M. Written by John Logan, Neal Purvis and Robert Wade this stand-alone story is not connected to the last two films, though it will keep the same production crew, effects and stunt teams as the previous film and at a similar budget. "In Skyfall, Bond's loyalty to M is tested as her past comes back to haunt her. As MI6 comes under attack, 007 must track down and destroy the threat, no matter how personal the cost."  Joining the club of iconic bad guys is Javier Bardem (Eat Pray Love) as the unnamed villain.  Additional cast members include Bérénice Marlohe (L’art de seduire) as Severin, Naomie Harris (The First Grader) as field agent Eve, Ben Whishaw (The Tempest), Ralph Fiennes (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows:  Part 2) and Albert Finney (Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead).

Being a director of primarily dramatic films, the Bond project will reveal Mendes’ ability to balance that with high-impact action scenes.  Says Mendes, “the action needs to be balanced with the drama.”  As one of the cinema’s longest running franchises, the line between too much drama and not enough super-spy action could be thin.  But Mendes and producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael Wilson want to assure fans that this bond edition won’t disappoint.  "It, I think, has all the elements of a classic Bond movie, including, to quell any rumors, a lot of action," Mendes said.

In 1962, Sean Connery brought to life the suave secret service character created by Ian Fleming in Dr. No.  Fifty years later, Sony Pictures plans to release Skyfall to British theaters in October 2012 and American cinemas in November.