Next week you need to know about . . . the new James Bond movie
He recently celebrated his 50th birthday, but middle age doesn’t seem to be slowing down the spy who loved us. Yes, James Bond is back, and from now until his latest globe-trotting escapade, Skyfall, hits cinemas, on October 26th, he is going to be almost unavoidable.
Coming half a century after Sean Connery introduced 007 to cinema audiences in Dr No, Skyfall is the 23rd instalment in the most enduring film franchise of all. It is also the third since Daniel Craig (right) stepped into the tuxedo in 2006, wielding that licence to kill with reckless abandon in Casino Royale.
After the disappointing response to the last film, the tedious and baffling Quantum of Solace, and following delays because of financial problems at studio MGM, the pressure is on Craig and the director, Sam Mendes, to deliver a hit. Mendes is an unusual pick for a Bond director, an Oscar-winning Hollywood darling rather than a reliable journeyman, and one with no experience of helming big-budget action films.
However, staples of the Bond series are present and correct: a bombastic, string-laden theme song, this time performed by Adele; an oddly coiffed, scenery-chewing villain, played by Javier Bardem; a bevy of new Bond girls, including Naomie Harris and Bérénice Marlohe; and a belated return for doddery old gadget master Q, now played by the not-at-all doddery and decidedly young Ben Whishaw. What would Ian Fleming say?