‘Skyfall’ Set Photos & Video: Iconic Bond Location Under Siege

Published 2 years ago by , Updated September 18th, 2012 at 8:52 am,

The mansion that has been set ablaze in these photos and the video is, in actuality, James Bond’s ancestral home, which is called Skyfall Lodge. Bond himself is an orphan, of course, and according to previous continuity, his parents – a Scottish father and a Swiss mother — died mountain-climbing while he was eleven.

Check out the photos, courtesy of The Daily Mail:

Now, check out the video:

We already know that M’s past comes back to haunt her in Skyfall, but will James Bond’s past also play a major role in the film’s plot? After all, the film, like Bond’s ancestral home, is called Skyfall. Doesn’t it seem unlikely that the film’s title refers exclusively to the burning of his house? There has to be more to it, because that’s probably a pretty common occurrence in Bond’s everyday life.

Talent aside, I’m probably most looking forward to finally seeing a major James Bond villain that can go toe-to-toe with 007. The last time we saw a Bond villain who was both physically and psychologically imposing (and lasted more than five minutes) was Sean Bean’s 006 – Alex Trevelyan.  That was six bond films and seventeen years ago!

That means that, for the past seventeen years, Bond has essentially been bulletproof. While Casino Royale fantastically showed us a Bond that was vulnerable in a wide variety of ways, there was never a character onscreen who had the physical means to intimidate him — and thus inspire anxiety in the audience. Thankfully, that’s about to change, because you can pretty much guarantee that Javier Bardem’s character will be kicking Bond’s rear end on more than one occasion.

Skyfall hits theaters November 9th, 2012.

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Follow me on Twitter @benandrewmoore.

Sources: The Daily Mail and Flynet Pictures [via Comic Book Movie]

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TAGS: james bond, skyfall

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  1. I’m all fired up for this one. Exploding with anticipation, as it were.

  2. this is on my list, but not very high up. still looking forward to it, but not as much as about 10 or so other films on my list.

  3. Swedish? You mean Swiss…

    • Yes, you’re correct.

    • incorrect, in thinking that there was a difference

      • What do you mean incorrect? As in Sweden and Switzerland being two totally different countries…

  4. Sure looks promising!!

  5. How can something we’ve never seen or heard of before be “iconic”?

  6. Wayne manor burned. Bond Manor burned

    • Knightfall… Skyfall

      • my two for 2012

  7. I’ll be more excited for this after I see Avengers, Prometheus, and Dark Knight Rises.

  8. Villain that went “toe-to-toe” with Bond physically? What about Renard in The World Is Not Enough? Brosnan got beat up pretty good in that one

    • Perhaps I’m alone in this, but Renard didn’t come off as particularly physically intimidating to me. It also doesn’t help that the film was generally pretty forgettable.

      • Very True, Renard wasn’t a huge physical guy but I think they tried that with the whole bullet in brain can’t feel pain gimmick to make him seem menacing. I just remember Brosnan get smacked around a lot in that film by the character.

  9. I’m assuming M has some connection to Bond’s past, he’s an orphan and she probably had some part or knowledge of his parent’s death, which was not known to him until it’s revealed or exploited by his enemies. If Fiennes is indeed playing Blofeld, then maybe he has a connection to both M and Bond’s parent’s death, which would be a good explanation of his and Bond’s mutual hatred for each other.

  10. I’m getting the feeling Skyfall will not only be better than Casino Royale but , in time, will be considered one of the quintessential Bond films.

    2012. What a year for great movies. The Hunger Games. TDKR. Prometheus. Skyfall!

    Bring it on 2012.

    • Amen to that.

  11. If this isn’t good, the Craig goes down as the worst Bond. I don’t like the idea of introducing elements of his past. All we ever needed to know was that he’s an orphan and that his parents had the luxury of dying in a climbing accident.

    • While I can’t agree that Craig is the worst Bond – putting aside his earlier movies, nothing can out-stink Roger Moore’s “View To A Kill” performance – I agree with you 100% that Bond’s past should remain simple and vague. I don’t want to find out that M, or Blofeld, or anyone else in the Bond canon knew anything about, or had anything to do with, the death of Bond’s parents. It’s unnecessary, and puts us at risk of having an increasingly complicated and expanded backstory, which, of course, will ultimately lead to his story being rebooted every three films, as seems to be a requirement now, whenever a new director decides “Oh, that’s so last trilogy”. In fifty years, there’s basically been one fixed episode in Bond’s life – his short-lived marriage – and it was tastefully acknowledged here and there afterward. (Not counting the abrupt disapearance of SPECTRE from the storyline, that is.) I like the fact that each Bond movie, up till “Quantum”, was basically a self-contained story with Bond being a main character that needed no re-introduction. I got over the whole “Casino Royale” reboot idea because it stayed basically true to the original story, and they kept the Bond character pretty much intact. I hope, after fifty years of success, that they don’t decide now to screw with the formula that they’ve perfected.

      I’m with you on your earlier comment, as well: I haven’t memorized any of the Bond books, though I have read all of them, and I have no memory of Bond ever referring to his “ancestral home”. If you haven’t heard of something enough to remember it, then I don’t feel it’s “iconic”. I assumed from the title that we were going to see a raid on MI6 headquarters.

      • @Gene;

        Totally agree with you about A View To A Kill. AWFUL! I really do love the earlier Roger Moore 007 films. But honestly, he should have retired after The Spy Who Loved Me.

        But the absolute WORST Bond film was Die Another Day. Ugh.

        I’ll take Moonraker over those 2 turkeys any day.

        • Moonraker is good fun, watch it with kids sometime and you’ll see it from a more enjoyable perspective. And For Your Eyes Only is underrated. Roger Moore made some decent movies and deserves much credit for not trying to imitate Connery…

        • I’d still take “View To A Kill” over most other action movies. I can’t say I’ve disliked any Bond movie. I grew up with Moore so, when I was younger, he was the one I was drawn to the most. But now, looking back, it just feels like he’s making goofy faces and bad jokes through most of the film. They’d gradually incorporated more, and sillier, humor as the Moore years progressed. “View” was a little too close to “Austin Powers” for my taste.

          “Die Another Day” was far from my favorite, but I don’t think it was the worst. Considering they’d made so much noise aout it being Bond’s 20th film, in the end it felt like they were hanging their hat on having Halle Berry as a Bond girl, rather than on having a great villain.

      • First of all, if this film is bad, and it won’t be, Daniel Craig will still have Casino Royale, which is one of the great Bond films ever made. Quantum Of Solace was meant to build upon that and it failed; Skyfall won’t make that same mistake. Second, if you’ve actually read the books you’d know that Fleming’s Bond stories picked up where the last one ended, instead of being stand alone stories. It’s ironic that you criticize A View To A Kill, because when the filmmakers stick closer to the source material, as in From Russia With Love, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, or Casino Royale, they make better, more emotionally complex and satisfying films. When they stick to the stand alone story formula and the one-dimensional Bond that relies on gadgets, women, and cars (not that there’s anything wrong with gadgets, cars and women), A View To A Kill or Tomorrow Never Dies is what you get. Third, any good writer knows that whether you reveal it to an audience outright or not, you have to write a character’s backstory in order to know and move forward with the character. My guess is that in doing so with Bond they decided they had something interesting enough to be put into the plot and hook of the story. Bruce Wayne’s backstory is a cornerstone of his legend, why wouldn’t James Bond have one too? He’s arguably just as big an icon, if not bigger.

        These writers are harkening back not only to Fleming’s original novels, which largely have yet to be mined, but they’re also reading John Le Carre and probably some Graham Greene, which is the best thing to happen to Bond in 50 years…

        • I have read Fleming’s books. While his stories may have been presented to have been occurring in sequence, with a defined timeline, he did not write many stories that continued a particular storyline. As I recall, that only happened with “On Her Majesty’s…”, which led into “You Only Live Twice”, which in turn led into “Golden Gun”. The last two mainly contained a point of transition; the bulk of “Golden Gun” did not rely on any past plot points. Essentially, each story was self-contained. In addition, this was Fleming’s character. He was one writer, writing a character he created. Not a sequence of many writers who potentially bring different ideas and opinions from film to film. Apples and oranges.

          You mis-read my comment about “View To A Kill”. I didn’t criticize “View” as a film, I specifically criticized Moore’s portrayal of Bond. He was treating the role more as though he were in a comedy, rather than an action film.

          And, as far as irony goes, it’s ironic that you want to applaud Fleming’s stories just before you contest that “any good writer knows…you have to write a character’s backstory in order to know and move forward with a character”. Fleming told adventure stories. It seemed important that Bond be an interesting character, and the story itself needed to be entertaining, but the lack of a detailed backstory didn’t appear to hurt his book sales any. And I would suggest that the lack of backstory hasn’t detracted from twenty-two movies, either. That’s a pretty good run. You could pick up any Bond book or watch any movie (apart from maybe “Quantum” or “Diamonds”) and not have your experience diminished by not knowing what came right before.

          In the end, my concern isn’t so much about what happens in “Skyfall”, but what it’s going to mean for everything that comes after “Skyfall”. We Bond fans have been able to accept that Bond is eventually going to “regenerate” like a Time Lord. We can adjust to different actors making the character his own, and then argue about which one is better than which. But, as long as the producers stick with tradition, we know we’re always going to get a new story. Once you have a writer that wonders how Bond’s parents died (and we don’t even know if that’s what we’re going to see yet, so this may all be over nothing), how long will it be before another writer comes along and says “Hmmm… Hey, what if his parents never died?” Reboot. “Wait, what if his parents were spies for the other side?” Reboot. “Wait, what if Bond was an American?” AWFUL reboot. “Wait, that sucked – let’s go back to the source!” Reboot. What if Bond becomes the next “Spider-Man” or “Batman”, where every time we get a new actor or director, we flush everything that’s been done down the toilet and start fresh? If Bond were Batman, we’d be up to five reboots by now, one for every actor since Connery. As a lifetime Bond fan, I’ve dreaded hearing only two things: “This will be our last Bond movie”, and – worse – “Here is our new take on the Bond character”. Adding a new dimension to a character as iconic as Bond at this late date, to me, seems like a slippery slope. (I’m looking at you, George Lucas.)

          • Having a lack of a back story worked for audiences in 1965, or 1978 or 1987. But I think Brosnan’s era could have been one of the better runs for Bond and turned out to be one of the worst, because they were sticking with a formula that was one dimensional, dated and outmoded and I think one could argue that audiences are more sophisticated and demanding now. A well executed backstory (Batman Begins) can be just as effective as a badly executed backstory. (yes, George Lucas.) I think the writers and Craig realized that Bond is essentially a cold blooded killing machine. How do you make that sort of character into a hero? Probably by giving him depth and motivation and humanity.

            Assuming this movie is as good as it ought to be, Daniel Craig will be signed on for five more movies. He’s got a lot at stake in making sure that they’re good films as well as box office hits, since this will probably be his defining role as an actor. Almost all the Bond films and books made tons of money, but there’s less and less of an excuse for campy half hearted Bond films anymore. Lots of humor and a lighter tone at times, sure. But this is the Cadillac of franchises (I hate that term, ‘franchise’). It ought to be setting the bar, not running to catch up.

            • I’m still not sold. “Casino Royale” was amazing. It was amazing because of the action, because of the story, and because of the acting. But it was basically the same Bond we’ve always known: “a cold blooded killing machine”. He’s a spy. He kills for Queen and country – that’s his motivation. I don’t want to see him killing bad guys to get revenge for his dead parents. That’s been done. He does it because he believes in the cause, and because he’s good at it. You make a character like that a hero by giving him a really convincing and dangerous villain that you want to see him take down. It all boils down to “good vs. evil” in the end. Bond’s stories are just more exciting than any others.

              I see what you’re trying to say about “Batman Begins”, but Nolan’s kung fu isn’t that strong with me. I didn’t need to sit through all of that business with Wayne’s father, the bats in the well, the Flowers of Craziness. Burton got it right, as far as I’m concerned: a couple of flashbacks, a little exposition provided by a couple of reporters, and we’re done. On the other hand, Nolan gave us absolutely nothing about the Joker’s background, yet who was the most interesting character in “Dark Knight”? Ledger gave a great performance, and his part was written well, and look how popular he was. He had no depth, motivation or humanity. He was just entertaining as hell. Bond movies should be about action and entertainment, bikinis and explosions, not thought provoking character studies. That’s not Bond, that’s “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy”. Which was a fantastic movie, but a different type of movie.

              You say that audiences are more “sophisticated and demanding now” – a suggestion that could spawn a much larger debate – and that was why the Brosnan era turned out to be “one of the worst”, but I don’t see what you’re basing that on. In the span of twenty movies, box office sales have always been up and down, but there was no discernable drop from where Roger Moore left off.

              We’ll have to agree to disagree on this one, I guess. Whatever angle they take with “Skyfall”, I’m rooting for them. I want Bond to go on forever, and (sorry, DrSam) I hope Craig stays in the role until he’s as puffy and winded as Moore was when he finally called it a day. And then I hope the next guy walks into the same Bond character we’ve always had, kisses a few girls, and kills a lot of henchmen. Without the need for a reboot, without the need for any handwringing about why he is the way he is, without the need for justification. Bond just is. (And you’re right, the word “franchise” doesn’t do Bond justice. Three films are a franchise, at least these days. Bond is an institution.)

              This has been a great discussion. I feel like I need to go blow the dust off of my Bond books now!

              • “But it was basically the same Bond we’ve always known”

                Minus the wit and charm.

                • I agree that the humor wasn’t as prevalent in the Craig films, particularly “Quantum”. But I thought the humor in “Royale” was well done when it was there. I can’t think of any other Bond wisecrack that can top “Now the world’s going to know that you died scratching my balls” (can I say that here?). That was certainly not a scene that I’d expected to get a laugh out of.

                  Dalton was a bit humorless in the role himself, though I’ve always chalked that up to his coming on the heels of some painful mistakes made in the last few Moore films. Moore himself felt a bit cranky in his first couple of films, I thought. I don’t know if it’s intentional, but each time they switch Bonds (apart from Lazenby, who played the part like a cheerful playboy), it seems like they start out a bit more serious, then loosen up as they go, though I thought Brosnan’s portrayal remained fairly consistent.

                  I think I read an interview with Craig a while back where he said that even he was hoping for a bit more humor and at least a hint of fancy gadgetry in his future outings, so maybe he’ll get them. Bringing back the Q character is a good sign. In the mean time, I just pretend that this is Bond before he grew into his wit and charm.

                  • As silly and cheesy as they often were, the puns and ridiculous one liners are such a huge part of Bond for me. They weren’t in the books obviously, they were pretty straight laced and at times sadistic, but the cinema Bond has always included an element of fun. He’s a larger than life character full of swagger and charm.

                    that’s what I miss. Craig could bring that to the part, there are elements of humour in Casino Royale that do work, not quite one liners but it proves this Bond at least has it in him to crack a joke if not a smile.

                    I too read that Craig wants this next one to include some more laughs and gadgets. I hope so. He has been fairly honest recently about the failings of Quantum, essentially admitting that he and the director were making scenes and dialogue up on set, which explains the highly uneven tone of that movie. But it doesn’t excuse it.

                    I really, really hope that Skyfall is a return to form, it has the elements, a better cast and a far superior director.

              • Cheers to that, Gene! :)

                • @Gene: I mean the agreeing to disagree, Bond going on forever yet not straying too far from what makes the character work, and blowing off the dust on your Bond novels. I think Daniel Craig’s Bond has plenty of good wit and charm for eight films total…!

      • There are some mentions in later novels, not by Flemming, that Bond’s actual ancestral home was a castle in the Scottish Highlands. And those Gardener/Benson novels are considered official canon.

        Some people loved that Quantum lead directly on from Casino. I didn’t. That’s part of the reason it failed, Bond’s should always be a self contained story. There’s nothing wrong with elements and characters crossing over. But they should be stand alone adventures.

        • I think Bond movies as stand alone adventures has more to do with a bunch of producers and marketing people deciding the best way to play it safe and milk the most money out of the series, rather than what’s best for the character, and has traditionally been what’s led the series to becoming a stale parody of itself. Whenever they decided to reinvigorate Bond they look back to the Fleming novels, which have a (admittedly razor thin) thread to their stories.

          • I thought that “Quantum” as a direct sequal to “Royale” was fine. It was interesting, and the first time it had been done, although you sort of had that type of connection between “OHMSS” and “Diamonds”. I wouldn’t want to see that done consistently.

            I think the movies were stand alone stories because the books were pretty much stand alone stories. While you had SMERSH or SPECTRE (and now Quantum) in the background to tie the stories together, they were almost all about diffeent villains. Like DrSam says, it’s great to have recurring characters like Leiter, Moneypenny, and Zukovsky (MAN, was I mad when they killed him off!). Not only does the existence of these characters provide the Bond story with some of the depth you’re looking for, but I think that actually having the same actor/actress in the role helps to get over the hurdle of a new Bond. I’m too young to have witnessed the transition as it happened, but I wonder if having the same Moneypenny, M and Q made it easier to accept Lazenby and Moore because of the presence of a familiar “family”.

            As far as Bond’s ancestry, I have’t gone back to look, but was there any discussion of that in “OHMSS”? I remember that he was under cover, but I thought there was still some discussion about his lineage there maybe?

            • I always hoped that Zukovsky survived.

          • Yes, a lot of the novels did have threads running through them. Bond’s poisoning by Rosa Klebb leads to him losing his memory and that leads directly into You Only Live Twice.

  12. Well, I am a die hard Bond fan ever since I was I kiddy, so I still love all the Bonds , good or bad.

    Best of the BEST:

    Craig- Well there’s no denying Casino Royale is top notch. The question now is can Skyfall top Casino.

    Brosnan- Goldeneye.

    Dalton- Tough call. A lot of Bond freaks love License To Kill because it’s very different than the previous films prior. I believe The Living Daylights to be the better Dalton movie.

    Moore- The Spy Who Loved Me.

    Connery- Most would consider Goldfinger. I’m going with Diamonds Are Forever. ( I know, I know… )

    Lazenby- Most James Bond purists deem On Her Majesty’s Secret Service to be one of the very best of the bunch. I’m one of those purists.

    • Craig – Casino Royale

      Brosnan – Goldeneye (or the first half of Tomorrow Never Dies)

      Dalton – Has to be The Living Daylights, although I love License To Kill

      Moore – The Man With The Golden Gun (Christopher Lee=Amazing) or For Your Eyes only, which was the first time to show an edge to Moore’s Bond.

      Lazenby – OHMSS is an amazing piece of cinema, had Lazenby gone on to do the original Diamonds Are Forever, with it as a proper revenge film ending in him murdering Blofeld in a salt mine, Bond history would have been very different.

      Connery – Thunderball

      • Craig – “Casino Royale”, though I’m hoping to change that to “Skyfall” soon.

        Brosnan – “Goldeneye” had the best villain of his bunch, as well as the best stunts.

        Dalton – I’ve always said “License To Kill” because I wasn’t originally in love with “Living Daylights”, but I think “Daylights” has aged better for me. Though one of my all-time favorite Bond sequences is that big truck chase at the end. Lupe was awful. This was my first experince with a Bond “regeneration”, and I fully expected to hate Dalton. Turns out that, for me, he’s a close second now to Craig.

        Moore – Tough call, although I’ll give him credit for “View To A Kill” being my least favorite. I’d have to go with “Man With The Golden Gun”, because I thought that was as close as he got to being Fleming’s Bond. And who doesn’t love Christopher Lee?

        Lazenby – I’m with DrSam. Death in a salt mine would have been more dignified that being dropped down a chimney by Moore while offering to buy him a delicatessen(?).

        Connery – Another tough one. He was very consistent, as was the quality of his films. I actually think I’d go with “Never Say Never Again”. It was an interesting take: having an older Bond meant they could do some different things with the character that wouldn’t interfere with the current incarnation. Plus, Klaus Maria Brandauer’s Largo still stands a my favorite Bond villain.

        • Ah yes the delicatessen. What a hilarious but utterly insane moment.

          I have never actually seen anyone say Never Say Never again was their favourite Connery Bond, but it is much better than Diamonds which had spread to the point of parody upon COnnery’s return, and also better than the terrible first half of You Only Live Twice.

          I often wonder how Flemming himself would feel about the longevity and changes to his creation.

  13. Well after all the hype I’ve been to see Skyfall. I think I have quite a pedigree on being able to comment have seen every single Bond movie at the cinema when first released. This was quite frankly a patchwork bore of an evening – totally frustrated at the lack of opportunity missed by Mendez it was bitty, disjointed and could have delivered so much more..Started off well but why have Bond dead only to pop back up at the first hint of a building being hurt in London – surely the ideal would have been to continue with the accepted death and let him work as a deeply imbedded undercover undercover agent….just a thought..as it were, him ‘dying’ served absolutely no purpose to the rest of the movie. As for the ‘worst Bond villian ever’??? He was painfully rubbish, couldn’t convince my self that it wasn’t David Walliams in a badly fitting blonde wig and this buffoon would never have been allowed to join the RN let alone the intelligence section from where 00 agents are recruited. As for the big secret in M’s past…it was so awful, I’ve forgotten what it was. Totally disjointed movie which appeared to be 4 different parts of different movies that never ever tied up in a credible fashion – imho the worst Bond movie, certainly since Daniel Craig took up the mantle and

    • …I’m sure M copped it in the end due to boredom, I know I almost did :(

    • I guess you saw a different movie than I did. The one I saw was good….”back story” and all.

    • Yep… was a very average bond film.
      David Williams initial monologe at the Japaese bad guy base was aweful. The pacing of his dialoge was rushed where he barely breathed between thoughts.
      Reboots need to have gritty realism, but there were so many OTT scenes, it just disconnected me from being able to empathise with the movie.

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