New Skyfall Production Video Released, Sam Mendes Calls Javier Bardem a "Classic Bond Villain"
05.05.12 by Ryan
Another new production video has been released online for the 23rd James Bond movie, Skyfall, which manages to reveal plenty of behind-the-scenes footage without spoiling the movie's secretive plot.
Focused on the movie's elaborate production design, the video shows off the elaborate set designs created by Academy Award-winning production designer Dennis Gassner (Bugsy), who also worked on Skyfall's predecessor, 2008's Quantum of Solace. Judi Dench is also interviewed and discusses the feeling of working on the Gassner's detail-oriented sets, including one set in an underground office, while more of the movie's Shanghai sets, revealed in a previous production blog.
Delayed due to MGM's financial troubles, production finally started last November on Skyfall. At the time, a few details about the movie's plot were revealed in a brief synopsis, which claimed that Bond's (Daniel Craig) loyalty to M (Dench) would be tested when her past comes back to haunt her. How Javier Bardem's villain plays a part in the movie is still unknown, but, in a recent roundtable interview attended by Collider, director Sam Mendes (Jarhead, American Beauty) said that, because the script went through several iterations during the delay, it allowed for Bardem's character to become a "classic Bond villain."
I think it’s fair to say that without the extra time we wouldn’t have written such a good baddie and I don’t think we would have gotten Javier [Bardem] to play him, for example. One of the things I thought when I watched them, rewatched them, was it’s been a while since there was, even with Daniel, there’s been a while since there was a classic... what I would call a classic Bond villain. I’m not saying these guys weren’t great. I thought Mads [Mikkelsen] was particularly good in Casino Royale. But I wanted somebody perhaps a bit more flamboyant, perhaps a bit more frightening, and so I felt like we needed a great actor to achieve that.
So that’s something that came with a bit of time, able to really work on that role so it had something different, special about it. And then it changed again, of course, when Javier said, 'Well, I’m interested. Let’s start talking,' and we talked about the role and it began to develop from there and some of his ideas, I had time to factor in. It wasn’t like, "Here’s the script. You’ve got to say ‘yes.’ We’ve got two weeks before we start." It was like, "Well, we’re probably going to be doing this, but we’ve got time to discuss how it might be," so again it gave us time to receive his ideas, let them percolate a little bit, get them into the script and then, at a certain point, he trusted that it was something he could make his own, so he ended up doing it. That’s a good example of how it actually changes the literal reality of the movie; you’ve got time to listen and respond.
Mendes wasn't going to reveal more about the movie's plot, but did say that the movie's story adds more "complexity" to the relationship between Bond and M, and gave Dench more to work with..
We’ve gone further into their relationship and without giving too much away, I think something interesting happened. I thought it was a master stroke when they cast Judi [Dench] way back, seven movies ago I think, because the character, who was a fairly distant male figure, became this female figure; there was a maternal aspect to it. There was much more complexity in the relationship and I think we’ve taken that a little further. Judi, to me, is one of the great actors of the English-speaking world and so it’s a question of, well, a little bit like what I was saying with Javier, what can we give her that will take her to another level we’ve never seen her before? What can we do with her that will surprise or challenge even her? We pushed it further and we pushed other characters further, too. That’s what we’re trying to do.
Skyfall co-stars Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, Bérénice Marlohe, Tonia Sotiropoulou, Helen McCrory, Rory Kinnear, and Albert Finney. The script was written by Neal Purvis and Robert Wade (Quantum of Solace, Casino Royale), and John Logan (The Aviator).