007 now has a Twitter account, and mercifully it’s not being used to post mopey youtube song links with #MissUVesper hashtags, or even to troll George Lazenby. Instead, this morning EON ended the baseless speculation phase of Bond 23′s development with a press conference which, in a first for the company, was live-tweeted. It was probably the most painless way to experience the event, as the EON press conferences can be somewhat awkward affairs. (For Daniel Craig’s rollout in 2005, the producers raced their new star to the podium via speedboat, where a waiting press got their first glimpse of the fearless master spy – sporting long hair and a lifejacket. James Bond should look like James Bond when you announce James Bond. And he shouldn’t be wearing water wings.)
Today’s press conference unveiled some news, mostly in the way of confirmations and debunking some online speculation.
CONFIRMED: Skyfall is the title of the new film. The producers claim it has “some emotional context,” which Bond dorks are currently predicting to mean that SOMEONE WILL DIE (looking at you, Dame Judi);
CONFIRMED: The cast of Skyfall officially includes Daniel Craig, Dame Judi Dench, Bérénice Marlohe, Naomie Harris, Javier Bardem (confirmed today as the villain), Ben Whishaw, Ralph Fiennes and Albert Finney;
DEBUNKED: Naomie Harris is apparently NOT playing Moneypenny, but a field agent named Eve. (Although Eve surely must have a last name that was left off for some reason…?) Also debunked: any other name you heard in connection with the new Bond girl. It’s the lovely and pale Bérénice Marlohe, playing a character named Severin;
CONFIRMED: Locations! Bond will be racking up the sky miles as he hits up Shanghai, Istanbul and Scotland;
CONFIRMED: Skyfall will be Daniel Craig’s first standalone Bond adventure, as director Sam Mendes states the film “is its own story. It doesn’t connect with the last two movies.” And there was much rejoicing.
Mendes also said a few vague things about how the action must be integrated into the story, etc. I thought that was always the idea, but hey.
After the press conference, 007′s Twitter account posted the official synopsis of 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.”
So that’s the news from England. I suppose we could still find out that Eve’s last name is Moneypenny, and Ralph Fiennes will be playing a slightly unhinged Q, but it’s kind of good news to me that they’re still resisting the pull of the old formula. The film starts shooting today (and as Craig needs a shave in these shots, maybe that weird tabloid story about Bond having a beard is also confirmed), so the rumor mill should slow to a crawl, and we can begin overanalyzing spy set pics and random interview bytes until Skyfall opens in the States on November 9th, 2012.