Daniel Craig in "Skyfall". Photo by Columbia Pictures.
After four long years, Bond, James Bond, is back in spectacular fashion with "Skyfall," opening wide this weekend. While there's plenty of the classic Bond formula to keep diehards more than happy, the addition of several new faces -- first and foremost being Oscar winning director Sam Mendes ("American Beauty" 1999) -- gives "Skyfall" a level of dramatic excellence rarely attained in any of the 22 previous Bond films. We all know "Skyfall" is a perfect way to celebrate 50 years of Bond, but here are five seven fun facts about the film you might not know.
Daniel Craig in "Casino Royale". Photo by MGM/Columbia Pictures.
1. Not only is Daniel Craig returning for his third stint as Bond, his abs are returning as well! Yes, for those of you who like Adonis perfection, in "Skyfall," Craig takes what is sure to become another famous dip, much like he did in his first Bond appearance "Casino Royale" (2006). "I was being objectified, but actually that's not a bad thing to feel," Craig recently told Parade about his now famous dip. And it's not a bad thing for auction prices either; last month, Craig's light blue La Perla Grigio Perla swim trunks fetched $72,000 at a charity auction in London. In case you were wondering, according to Dame Judi Dench's introduction of the item, the swim trunks were "unwashed."
Daniel Craig in "Skyfall". Photos by Columbia Pictures.
Bond of Burden
2. While there will always be debate about who's the best Bond ever, it's safe to say that Daniel Craig is the best Bond now. However, according to a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Craig may not really want the job at all, even though he's signed on for two more Bond films after "Skyfall." "I've been trying to get out of this from the very moment I got into it. But they won't let me go, and I've agreed to do a couple more, but let's see how this one does, because business is business and if the [bleep] goes down, I've got a contract that somebody will happily wipe their ass with." Fortunately, if the overseas box office numbers are any indication, this film will do just fine.
3. Before it's even opened in the United States, "Skyfall" is already a legitimate blockbuster, having made nearly $300 million worldwide. By grossing $59.86 million dollars, the film broke the United Kingdom 7-Day box office record and is on pace to become the highest grossing Bond film to date, ahead of "Quantum of Solace" (2008), which grossed $586 million worldwide. Check out the above exclusive clip from "Skyfall" to get a good sense of why audiences are so excited.
Adele. Photo by David Weiner.
Adele Belts Bond Tune
4. There's a reason Adele's "Skyfall" theme song sounds like it's straight out of a classic Bond film; long-time Bond producer Barbara Broccoli purposefully sought out a singer who could somehow compare to Shirley Bassey, the Welsh singer behind three quintessential Bond tunes: "Goldfinger" (1964), "Diamonds are Forever" (1971), and "Moonraker" (1979). Broccoli's idea paid off, as Adele's "Skyfall" not only seductively opens the film, but the song opened at No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100, the Grammy Award winner's highest debut ever. While many are calling "Skyfall" the early Oscar favorite for Best Song, the inclusion of Monty Norman's iconic "Dr. No" (1962) theme may prevent its eligibility.
Bonding with Oscar
5. Speaking of Oscars, "Skyfall" boasts a slew of Academy favorites, all of whom contribute to a level of dramatic craftsmanship that rivals any Bond film yet. Joining six-time nominee/one-time winner Dench, who returns for her seventh go at Bond's boss M, you've got best director winner Mendes, best supporting actor winner Javier Bardem, five-time nominee Albert Finney, and two-time nominee Ralph Fiennes. You can see all the Oscar favorites in the "Skyfall" theatrical trailer above.
Sam Mendes directs Judi Dench on set of Columbia's
6. While boozing at Hugh Jackman's birthday party one night in 2009, Craig offered Mendes the directing gig, even though Craig didn't really have the power to do so. Mendes said yes on the spot, and Craig had to sheepishly call the producers to explain what he'd done. "Well, I was drunk," Craig told Entertainment Weekly. "So if it hadn't worked out, I could have blamed it on that. I was writing checks I didn't have the money for." Fortunately for all, it worked out just fine.
7. Bond's formula of sex and violence may seem fine by today's standards, but when Bond was first introduced, not everyone was so pleased. Two such opponents were Ralph Feinnes's parents. "My mother disapproved of Bond, to the extent that she had my father tear up my copy of 'The Man with the Golden Gun.'" Feinnes discusses the incident in the Bond 50th Anniversary Vlog above.
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