With SPECTRE on the horizon, Daniel Craig’s tenure as Bond, James Bond has certainly reinvigorated the franchise into a box office, critically acclaimed behemoth. While everyone will be using the new movie’s release to list what they think are the Best Bond Girls, Best Bond Songs, Best Bond Stunts, we decided to do something a little different for all you Bond fans.
So we broke into MI6, hacked all of Q’s files, and found these fifteen TOP SECRET Bond Facts!
1 – Did you think Daniel Craig was their first choice? Think again. Initially, there were rumours of Quentin Tarantino directing Pierce Brosnan in a ‘60s setting. When that approach was dumped, the casting net was thrown wide and far: Julian McMahon, Dominic West, Gerard Butler, Goran Visnjic, Sam Worthington and Rupert Friend were also considered, while Henry Cavill almost got the part but, at 22 years old, was considered too young to play it. Hugh Jackman was reportedly offered the role down but turned it down. It was only when the producers seen Craig in 2004’s Layer Cake that they considered him a candidate. It all worked out, as he became the first actor playing Bond to be nominated for a BAFTA for the role.
2 – Eva Green was also not the first choice for Vesper Lynd. Angelina Jolie, Naomi Watts, Scarlett Johansson, Charlize Theron and Cécile De France were all considered for the role of Vesper. Rumour has it that Audrey Tautou was officially offered the role, but turned it down due to scheduling conflicts with The Da Vinci Code.
3 – It is the first movie since Moonraker, twenty-seven years previous, to be based on one of Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels.
4 – The movie entered the Guinness Book of World Records, when the stunt by the Aston Martin DBS broke the world record for the most barrel rolls assisted by a cannon. Originally, the racing specifications of the DBS meant that a standard ramp would not be sufficient to get the car to roll, so the special effects team were called in to install an air-powered cannon behind the driver’s seat. This allowed the car to complete seven full rolls.
5- The tanker truck driver murdered by the terrorist at Miami Airport? None other than the movie’s director Martin Campbell, who had previously directed GoldenEye.
QUANTUM OF SOLACE
6 – This is the first ever James Bond film in the series that has no gun barrel sequence at all at the start of the movie, and the first to use it at the very end of the movie.
7 – Some of Bond’s famous catchphrases are completely absent in the movie. There’s no “vodka martini, shaken not stirred”, and it’s the first time since You Only Live Twice in 1967 that Bond does not introduce himself with the catchphrase “Bond, James Bond.”
8 – Paul McCartney turned down the offer to write a new James Bond song for the film, and recommended singer-songwriter Amy Winehouse for the job. Winehouse actually recorded a demo with music producer Mark Ronson, but the project was eventually abandoned. In their place, Alicia Keys and Jack White performed “Another Way To Die”, the first duet in Bond Theme Song history.
9 – The confusing title resulted in some interesting translations around the world: “A Quantity of Consolation” in Germany, “Quantum of Mercy” in Russia, “007 Quantum” in Mexico, “A Grain of Comfort” in Croatia; “007: Reward of Comfort” in Japan and “Evening Prayer” in the Phillipines.
10 – The director’s chair was initially offered to Paul Haggis (Crash) who instead took the role of screenwriter. Roger Mitchell (Notting Hill, Enduring Love) was also approached, before the position was eventually assigned to Marc Forster. Having been born in Germany, Foster became the first non-commonwealth national to direct a Bond movie, with all previous directors hailing from England or New Zealand.
11 – There were a series of firsts achieved in Skyfall, not all of them good for Bond! It was the first ever James Bond movie where the traditional Bond car, an Aston Martin DB5, is blown-up. It was the first Bond film in which the villain is successful in completing his primary objective, in this case, the death of M. It was the first time since 1965’s Thunderball that Bond suffered a gun-shot wound, and only the second time in the series 50 year history to suffer such a wound. Plus, it was the first use of the F-word in the franchise. And no, the F didn’t stand for Franchise.
12 – Director Danny Boyle (28 Days Later) was rumoured to call the shots before the production landed Sam Mendes, while Kevin Spacey was talked about for the lead villain in place of Javier Bardem. Actresses Freida Pinto, Olivia Wilde, Rachel Weisz, Esti Ginzburg, Margarita Levieva, Alice Eve, Ana Ventura, Emilia Fox and Ebru Akel were all shortlisted for the roles that eventually went to Naomie Harris and Berenice Marlohe.
13 – “There was a definite discussion about that – way, way early on. But I think that’s problematic. Because, to me, it becomes too… it would take you out of the movie. So, it was a very brief flirtation with that thought, but it was never going to happen, because I thought it would distract.” – that’s Sam Mendes, discussing Sean Connery almost playing the role that went to Albert Finney.
14 – The Oscars sure did love Skyfall, as it became the Bond movie to receive the most Academy Award nominations, for Best Song, Score, Sound Mixing, Sound Effects Editing and Cinematography. It was the first Bond film to win two of them, including the first Bond Theme to win Best Original Song. Previously, a Bond movie hadn’t even been nominated since 1981’s For Your Eyes Only, while 1965’s Thunderball was the last time it actually won one.
15 – There is theory that Javier Bardem’s character Raoul Silva is, in fact, the adopted son of Judi Dench’s M. His message to her – THINK ON YOUR SINS – anagrams into YOUR SON ISNT IN HK, which is where M believed Silva to be. It would also feed into M’s emotional reading of “Orphans make the best recruits”, as well as Silva’s constant referencing of her character as “Mother”. Food for thought!
Words – Rory Cashin