What James Bond's Skyfall is about

  • AP, Istanbul
  • |
  • Updated: Apr 30, 2012 17:36 IST
  • Berenice Marlohe

    The latest installment of James Bond franchise Skyfall will introduce new Bond girl Berenice Marlohe. The French beauty will be starring opposite Daniel Craig.

  • Berenice Marlohe

    Berenice Marlohe is a French actor and model.

  • Berenice Marlohe

    She will play Bond girl Severine in the 23rd James Bond film.

  • Berenice Marlohe

    Prior to this, she acted mainly in French television.

  • Berenice Marlohe

    Marlohe aims to make a transition from television to the big-screen.

  • Berenice Marlohe

    Before Marlohe, it was rumoured that Brazilian model Ana Araujo was close to secure the part.

  • Berenice Marlohe

    The film, directed by Oscar winning Sam Mendes, was tentatively titled Bond 23.

  • Berenice Marlohe

    Daniel Craig will be seen as the British superspy.

  • Berenice Marlohe

    It's Craig's third performance as James Bond.

  • Berenice Marlohe

    The cast of the film include Javier Bardem, Dame Judi Dench, Naomie Harris and Berenice Marlohe.

The next James Bond movie, Skyfall, promises the usual action, exotic locations, scheming villains and beautiful women. For fans of the original novels by Ian Fleming, there's more: a journey into the troubled psyche of the iconic spy.

After all, the director of the 23rd film in the franchise, which spans half a century, is Sam Mendes, whose cinematic studies of personalities in emotional turmoil and even meltdown include American Beauty and Revolutionary Road.

"You always go back to the Fleming because the character Fleming created over a number of novels was incredibly complex," Mendes said Sunday at a news conference in Istanbul, where the crew of Skyfall has filmed.

Skyfall"Some people sometimes forget in the cliche of Bond, which is the international playboy, and someone who's always untroubled, and almost never breaks a sweat, that actually what (Fleming) created was a very conflicted character," said Mendes, who was joined by cast members, including Bond actor Daniel Craig.

Fleming created a secret agent who was sometimes frustrated and ambivalent about his job. Many Bond movies sidestepped the inner demons, showcasing instead a debonair 007 whose exploits were enhanced with gaudy gadgets and special effects.

In Fleming's last novels, Mendes said, Bond suffered from a "combination of lassitude, boredom, depression, difficulty with what he's chosen to do for a living, which is to kill. That makes him a much more interesting character, and some of those things are explored in this movie, because Daniel as an actor is capable of exploring them."

It is Craig's third portrayal of the spy, and he introduced a darker side to Bond in his earlier roles in 2008's Quantum of Solace in 2008 and Casino Royale in 2006.

Craig reread Bond novels as part of his preparation for Skyfall, and a delay in film production, caused when studio MGM filed for bankruptcy in 2010, allowed him more time to discuss the character with Mendes.

He said he had spoken to intelligence agents about their work, and has some inkling of the hardships they face.

"I've got the better job," said Craig, whose last movie was The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, the thriller adapted from the novel by Stieg Larsson.

Skyfall is due for release on Oct. 26 in Britain and in other locations shortly after that. Judi Dench returns as spy chief M and the film introduces English actress Naomie Harris as a field agent named Eve and Berenice Marlohe of France as a character named Severine.

Producers are enigmatic about the plot, though they have said the relationship between Bond and M is tested and MI6, the spy agency, comes under attack.

Skyfall includes scenes in London, Scotland, Turkey and China. In Istanbul, the crew filmed scenes with motorcycles at the Grand Bazaar, a covered market that dates to the early Ottoman period. The 1963 Bond movie, From Russia With Love, included scenes in Istanbul. It starred Sean Connery.

Fleming, whose experiences as a British intelligence officer in World War II helped him conceive the Bond novels, died in 1964.

Some things about the spy's image on screen (as well as in the books) won't change. Asked to describe Bond's love life in Skyfall, Craig smiled.

"It's very rich," he said. "We're making a Bond movie, so that kind of speaks for itself."


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