With Oscar-winning director Sam Mendes (American Beauty) and an exceptional cast – including Daniel Craig, Ralph Fiennes, and Javier Bardem as the villainous SilvaSkyfall is already shaping up to be one of the more interesting and promising James Bonds in 007 history.

Today, we have photos and a video from the set of Skyfall that depict some pretty disturbing developments at an iconic James Bond location (read on for spoilers), presumably by Javier Bardem’s villain character and his band of ne’er-do-wells.

[SPOILER ALERT! MEDIUM-TO-MAJOR SPOILERS ON NEXT PAGE!]

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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.

Follow me on Twitter @benandrewmoore.

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

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