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Skyfall Launch - Barbara Broccoli and Michael G Wilson interview

Skyfall launch

Interview by Rob Carnevale

BOND producers Barbara Wilson and Michael G Wilson unveil the name and cast of the 23rd 007 movie, Skyfall, at a London press conference.

They also talk about the golden anniversary, working with new director Sam Mendes and a little about what to expect from the new adventure.

Q. It’s exactly 50 years to the day since Sean Connery was announced as the first James Bond in Dr No. So, this must make the new 007 movie that much more special for you? So, without further ado, the name is…
Michael G. Wilson: Well firstly, thank you all for coming, this is a great day. It’s the 23rd Bond and next year when we open the picture it’ll be within days of when Dr No opened 50 years ago. So, it’s our golden anniversary and we’re really looking forward to making a fantastic picture, we got a great crew and a great cast. And now I want to confirm the worst kept secret in London, the title of the film – Skyfall.

Q. So, what does Skyfall mean?
Barbara Broccoli: That’s a good question! [laughs]. It has some emotional context which will be revealed in the film. You have to wait and see.

Q. You’ve chosen Sam Mendes to direct. What appealed to you about him?
Barbara Broccoli: Working with Sam is a dream come true. Ever since I saw his theatre work, initially, and his films, I’ve just hoped that we’d be able to entice him to come and do one of these. And the enthusiasm and the enormous commitment he’s brought to this, and his sort-of boyish excitement, is really infectious. He’s assembled this extraordinary cast, so we’re thrilled.

Q. With the high pedigree cast and director, is there a sense of wanting to take the films in a new direction?
Michael G Wilson: With Casino Royale, we started down a path, and we’re sticking to that path, and it’s really the same kind of idea: and interesting story well written, with a great cast and plenty of action.

Q. Michael, are you surprised to have reached 50 years of the world’s most famous secret agent?
Michael G Wilson: Back in the early days when Dr No was going to be released no one really thought that we were going to get to 50 years of Bond, let alone 23 pictures. At that time, United Artists had a deal with Cubby and Harry for four pictures, and even then they thought that was stretching it. But no one contemplated this kind of success, and it’s really down to the public, they’re the people, the fans, that keep on supporting us and we’re really delighted.

Skyfall launch

Q. Given the current economic climate and the rumours that Quantum of Solace was very expensive to make, will there be any budget cuts for this one? Have you been forced to tighten the belt?
Barbara Broccoli: Does it look like we’re cutting back?

Michael G Wilson: It’s in the same range as the last film, and we really haven’t had to change anything in the script to get what we want, in fact we keep on adding. But no, we’re not feeling that we’ve had to sacrifice anything.

Barbara Broccoli: And it’ll all be up on the screen.

Michael G Wilson: All of our crews are back, the same effects crews, the same production crews, the visuals effects, stunts… everything is as it was in the last two films.

Q. Will any of the older films be re-released as part of the anniversary celebrations? Can fans look forward to a year of special events?
Michael G Wilson: Well, we’ve got a documentary in the process of being made that looks back across the history of Bond, and we have a lot of other things planned, but we’re not prepared to announce them yet. But certainly, Sony and MGM and ourselves are looking at a lot of opportunities to give the fans something to celebrate on the golden anniversary.

Find out more about Skyfall

Read our interview with Sam Mendes