James Bond Fan Club News Letter May 2012

Newsletter                                                          May 2012
Sky High: Taking Bond to a New Level
Daniel Craig appeared at a special press conference and photocall held by the ‘Skyfall’ production team at a hotel in Istanbul on Sunday April 29. The main unit have been in Turkey since April 22, and have shot sequences in the seaside town and port of Fethiye, with further shooting due to take place in Istanbul itself. They have also shot some sequences on a luxury yacht called the ‘Regina’, near the port area of Fethiye. As many Bond fans know, second unit filming has already been taking place in Turkey over the last few weeks, in both the southern province of Adana and in Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar. The press conference, attended by members of the Turkish and international press, was held at the prestigious Ciragan Palace Hotel, a five-star hotel in Istanbul, which used to be the Sultan’s Summer Palace and retreat during the days of the old Ottoman Empire. In beautiful baroque-style surroundings, the conference saw Craig line up on stage to answer various questions from the media, alongside Ola Rapace (who plays a cold-blooded mercenary in the Turkish sequences), Berenice Marlohe (who plays ‘Severine’), Naomie Harris (who plays ‘Eve’), director Sam Mendes, and EON producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson. Sam Mendes, describing both his and Daniel’s approach to the character of 007, said he would not have made ‘Skyfall’ without Daniel Craig because of the complexity that Craig has managed to bring to the character. Mendes said: ‘What Fleming created was a very conflicted character. Some of those things are explored in this movie, because Daniel as an actor is capable of exploring them. That was a big thing for me, having a Bond who I believed in, who I felt could take the character to a new level’.
You Only Read Twice: Craig and Fleming
Speaking at the same press conference, 007 star Daniel Craig said he and Mendes worked closely together to develop the story for ‘Skyfall’, and to develop the character of James Bond even further. Craig revealed: ‘We were in continuous conversation, once Sam agreed to do it. We weren’t supposed to talk to each other because MGM hadn’t done the deal. But we couldn’t shut up. It was a chance for us to re-read Ian Fleming, and we started e-mailing each other, “What about this, and what about this?”, and that’s how it snowballed’.
At another point in the conference, the director Sam Mendes added that he had always wanted to direct a thriller, and he emphasised that the Ian Fleming books were indeed thrillers. He said Fleming’s Bond was complex and depressed about the whole job of killing others. He added: ‘If I didn’t feel I could have made something that was both part of the Bond story and at the same time personal for me, I wouldn’t have attempted the movie. I feel like we’ve found a story that speaks to me’. Answering questions on Bond’s romantic liaisons in the new movie, Daniel Craig said the film has a ‘very rich’ romance, and he also dropped tantalising hints that Bond may reprise some of the humour that has possibly been lacking in recent entries in the series. Interestingly, Barbara Broccoli, in her contribution to the conference, said that shooting in Istanbul was a deliberate choice to mark the 50 th Anniversary of the Bond films, and she described Istanbul as Ian Fleming’s ‘favourite city’. A short set of highlights from the press conference was made available in a new Videoblog on the official James Bond website,, on April 30.

Mendes Promises Thrills, Action and Emotion
Speaking to the new June, 2012 issue of Empire magazine, Sam Mendes went into some further detail about what we can expect in ‘Skyfall’. He referred to his original decision to accept directing duties on ‘Skyfall’, discussed some of the basic rules on a Bond movie, and also gave some reflections on the balance he intends to have between thrills, action and emotion in Daniel Craig’s third 007 movie. The magazine revealed that Mendes and Craig, who had first worked together on ‘Road to Perdition’, had bumped into each other again in 2009, when Craig was starring on stage on Broadway, alongside Hugh Jackman, in the play ‘A Steady Rain’. In a flash of inspiration, Craig had suggested that Mendes should consider doing the next James Bond movie. Uncertain at first, the idea had quickly grown in appeal for Mendes, and he signed up: ‘It was pleasing that it came from Daniel to begin with. One of the reasons I’m doing this is because I think, like a lot of people, Casino Royale woke me up again to the possibilities of Bond. It seemed for the first time to be a real person in a real situation. It felt anchored again’. Regarding the content of the new 007 movie, Mendes said that thrills and action are necessary, ‘and that’s what I intend to supply, as well as a kind of emotional engagement that maybe you haven’t seen before in Bond’. The plan was to see Bond ‘physically pushing himself’. The new June, 2012, issue of Empire magazine, with some other Bond-related articles, is on sale in the UK now, priced £3.99.
The Living Nightlights: New ‘Skyfall’ Locations Videoblog
Bond news came thick and fast during April. The official James Bond website,, released a new ‘Skyfall’ Videoblog earlier in the month, concentrating on the location scouting for the movie and on some of the second unit shooting carried out in the Chinese city of Shanghai. The new Videoblog contained some interesting behind-the-scenes footage of second unit Director Alexander Witt speaking about the movie, together with members of the production team scouting for Turkish and Chinese locations, preparing scenes, and shooting scenes on Shanghai’s main highways. Witt spoke briefly about shooting the arrival of James Bond at the airport, and called Shanghai an ‘amazing city’ to shoot in at night, as it is, he said, ‘amazing for the lens’. Michael Lerman, the First Assistant Director, reflected in the Videoblog on the challenges of location scouting and on trying to find the ideal spot for a sequence, and, like Witt, also praised Shanghai as a ‘special city’ with a great skyline. Similarly, Angus More Gordon, a Production Manager on the movie, also referred to the ‘rather unusual blue light’ found on the major highways in Shanghai. Another treat on the Videoblog was the inclusion of a long-shot of Daniel Craig as 007 sitting at a bar, with the Shanghai skyline in the background, a shot that was filmed at Pinewood Studios. From the brief evidence in the latest Videoblog, it is clear that Bond fans are in for a visual feast when ‘Skyfall’ hits the cinemas later this year.
Bond Is Back! William Boyd is New 007 Author
There was some major James Bond literary news in early April when, in a surprise move, the Ian Fleming estate announced that English author William Boyd is to write the next James Bond novel. He will follow in the footsteps of Kingsley Amis, John Gardner, Raymond Benson, Sebastian Faulks and Jeffery Deaver. In a press release issued to the world’s media, Boyd called it a ‘once in a lifetime challenge’, and said: ‘When the Ian Fleming estate invited me to write the new James Bond novel, I accepted at once. For me the prospect appeared incredibly exciting and stimulating’. Boyd revealed that he plans to set the new 007 adventure in 1969, and that it will represent a return to ‘classic Bond’. Boyd, who was born in 1952, added: ‘My father introduced me to the James Bond novels in the 1960s and I read them all then – From Russia With Love being my favourite’. Corrine Turner, the Managing Director of Ian Fleming Publications Ltd, commented: ‘William Boyd is a contemporary English writer whose classic novels combine literary elements with a broad appeal. His thrillers occupy the niche that Ian Fleming would fill were he writing today and with similar style and flair. This, alongside his fascination with Fleming himself, makes him the perfect choice to take Bond back to his 1960s world’.
Boyd’s Bond
Shortly after the news broke that William Boyd was the new Bond author, he spoke to various media outlets, including The Telegraph online. In the Telegraph interview, Boyd revealed that he has been very interested in Ian Fleming as a man for quite some time. Boyd said that he has written pieces about the Bond author, and: ‘I knew somebody who knew him very well, which gave all sorts of insights into Fleming’. Boyd said he saw his appointment as Bond author as an ‘exciting challenge’ and pointed out that he has already written two novels which deal with espionage, and also written about spy author John Le Carre. He had also carried out research on World War Two and the Cold War. He said he felt comfortable putting 007 into this world, and found the task ‘not daunting’. Turning to what readers can expect in his version of James Bond, Boyd indicated that there will ‘definitely be ladies’ in the novel and there has to be ‘at least two love affairs’, with very interesting and ‘possibly deadly’ women. That is part of the appeal, he said, and added that other key ingredients would be Bond’s relationships with ‘M’ and Moneypenny, Q section, and the various gadgets: ‘I would be a fool not to make use of these. They are what makes the world of Bond so beguiling’. Boyd also said that he was ‘very free’ to write his own novel, and was not required by the Fleming estate to copy the style of Ian Fleming. Reflecting more generally on 007, he also argued that, after 60 years, Bond is a now global figure and shapes global perceptions of Britain.
Boyd’s Bond with Fleming and 007
After living in Africa, and receiving his education in Britain, William Boyd became a lecturer in English at St. Hilda’s College, Oxford University, between 1980 and 1983. His previous novels have included A Good Man in Africa (1981) and Any Human Heart (2002), and his latest is Waiting for Sunrise, which was published in February this year. Interestingly, Boyd helped turn his novel Any Human Heart into an acclaimed four-part drama series for the British TV network ITV in 2010, and one of the characters in this was none other than Ian Fleming. As we noted in the JBIFC’s Newsletter back in December 2010, the hero of Any Human Heart, Logan Mountstuart (played in the TV version by former ‘Spooks’ actor Matthew Macfadyen), is recruited to British Naval Intelligence to train as a spy, and is briefed by both Ian Fleming and Fleming’s wartime boss, Admiral Godfrey. Mountstuart is also sent on a secret mission by Fleming (who was played in the TV drama by Tobias Menzies, the actor who was Villiers in ‘Casino Royale’ in 2006). In the JBIFC’s view, Menzies managed to capture the character traits of the future Bond author very well. Some further clues about Boyd’s version of Bond may come very soon, as he will be attending as a special guest at the famous Hay-on-Wye literary festival, held in Wales in May.

Broccoli Backs ‘Chariots’
James Bond movie producer Barbara Broccoli, currently heavily involved with the new 007 movie ‘Skyfall’, will honour the memory of her late friend Dodi Fayed when she brings a stage version of ‘Chariots of Fire’ to London’s West End. Dodi Fayed, who died in the car crash which killed Lady Diana, Princess of Wales, was an executive producer on the original Oscar-winning movie in 1981 after Barbara Broccoli introduced him to her movie contacts. Fayed developed a passionate interest in movie-making and was a big fan of the Bond movies, even at one point visiting a Bond set. ‘Chariots of Fire’ became one of the major hits at the British box office in the summer of 1981, alongside Roger Moore’s 007 movie ‘For Your Eyes Only’. According to a report in the London Evening Standard newspaper (April 19), Broccoli said the true-life story of the rival runners Eric Liddell and Harold Abrahams at the 1924 Olympics resonated with Fayed, especially the story of Abrahams, as he Fayed had a similar understanding of what it was like to be accepted in British society. Broccoli is working on the new play with Hugh Hudson, the film’s director, whose brainchild it was to produce it on stage. After a premiere at London’s Hampstead Theatre in May, it will then transfer in June to the Gielgud Theatre in Shaftsbury Avenue, in the heart of London’s theatre-land.
On Her Majesty’s Public Service
News emerged in April of a plan by the London Philharmonic Orchestra (LPO) to play the world-famous James Bond theme tune as they pass by the MI6 Headquarters in a boat. According to the UK’s Sunday Times newspaper (April 22), a boat carrying the LPO will play the iconic Monty Norman theme tune as it passes the British Secret Service building during the upcoming Diamond Jubilee river pageant. The music will be one of 15 individual compositions, each designed to suit a particular location along the River Thames, which runs through the heart of London. The 80-minute journey will take place on June 3. The newspaper noted that crowds of as many as 2m people have been forecast to line the banks of the Thames as the Queen’s barge proceeds down the river, which will be the highlight of a procession of about 1,000 boats. The 60 members of the LPO, who will sail on the Symphony barge as part of the procession, will perform various pieces along the River, including the theme tune to Chariots of Fire, and the music will be amplified by a special sound system. The LPO will start its journey at the Albert Bridge in West London. David Parry, the LPO’s conductor, told the newspaper that the choice of the James Bond theme was ‘perfect, we thought, as the music we will be playing throughout is consciously there to stir people’. As many Bond fans know, the famous MI6 building, located near Vauxhall Bridge, was first seen in ‘Goldeneye’ in 1995, and also played a significant role in ‘The World Is Not Enough’ in 1999. It will again be a key feature in ‘Skyfall’, which includes an explosion on Vauxhall Bridge.

Scotland Leaves Surrey
Work began in late March on taking down the Scottish ‘Skyfall’ sets at Hankley Common, near Elstead in Surrey, after filming ended there on March 25. A small army of workers moved on to the site to begin dismantling the main Skyfall Lodge, plus a nearby outhouse. They also dismantled a ground-level entrance to some secret underground stone steps, various artificial trees which had been dotted around the landscape, the Bond family chapel, and a stone-walled entrance at the top of the valley. The JBIFC had a regular observer at Hankley during the filming and just after, and paid a final visit to the Hankley Common set on March 30. The dismantling of the Skyfall main Lodge by workers and two mechanical diggers was in full swing, while the Bond family Chapel further across the valley had been reduced to a ghostly metal frame, glinting in the bright sunshine. The JBIFC understands that the film-makers were pleased with how the Hankley Common shooting for ‘Skyfall’ went overall. The original plan had been to use the sets for filming up to March 30, but in the end this was not necessary. The Bond filming, and especially the final big explosion at the Lodge on the Sunday night, was covered locally in newspapers such as the Surrey Advertiser, and was still making the local news a few days after the filming was completed. The Farnham Herald, for example, reported that locals had heard the big explosion as far away as Boundstone, which is a few miles away from Elstead!
Did You Know?
New Bond author William Boyd’s novel A Good Man in Africa (1981) was later made into a movie with former 007 Sean Connery, and the two men became good friends. In fact, Boyd has carved out a secondary career as a screen-writer and film director. When he adapted Joyce Cary’s Mr. Johnson for the big screen, Boyd also became friends with former 007 Pierce Brosnan, who took the title role in the movie. Boyd’s first film as a director was The Trench, and he became good friends with its star, current 007 Daniel Craig.
Bond Bits: Brief News Items You May Have Missed
Samantha Bond, who played Miss Moneypenny in the four Pierce Brosnan Bond movies, is one of the stars in a new stage version of Joe Orton’s ‘What the Butler Saw’, directed by Sean Foley, and at the Vaudeville Theatre in London’s Strand during May. By coincidence, this is not far from where some of the last central London scenes for ‘Skyfall’ were shot on March 31-April 1...
The latest book by historian and James Bond expert Ben Macintyre, ‘Double Cross: The True Story of the D-Day Spies’, appeared at the end of March, published by Bloomsbury Press. Some of the amazing true-life episodes he describes read like a 007 novel...
According to the UK’s Independent newspaper (April 28), Giles Foreman, the former drama teacher of Greek actress Tonia Sotiropoulou, who was recently chosen to play a part in the Turkish sequences in ‘Skyfall’, reckons she is ‘a classic Bond girl – exceptionally beautiful with great sensuality and a kind of flow. She’s spellbinding, which is what Bond needs’...
The same newspaper recently carried a profile of Michael Apted, the director of ‘The World Is Not Enough’ (1999). Now 71, the Essex-raised director recently finished the latest instalment in his ground-breaking ‘Seven Up’ documentary series. The acclaimed series, which first started in 1964, traced the lives of 14 British children over time, and is seen as one of the first ‘reality’ documentaries. The latest instalment caught up with the original fourteen as they all reached the age of 56...
Robert Carlyle, who played the villain in ‘The World Is Not Enough’ (1999), was profiled in the BBC’s Radio Times magazine on March 31. When asked about his favourite TV programmes and what he would like to bring back, he said: ‘Cracker, without a doubt. It’s never been replaced’. The ‘Cracker’ crime series, which starred Robbie Coltrane (who also starred in two Bond movies), gave Carlyle his first big acting breakthrough, with his acclaimed acting performance in the first episode...
Rock group ‘Garbage’, who sang the theme song to ‘The World Is Not Enough’ (1999), but split up about seven years ago, have reformed and are releasing a new album, ‘Not Your Kind of People’, on May 14...
Next project for the ‘Skyfall’ villain? Reports suggest that Javier Bardem, who plays the devious Silva in ‘Skyfall’, is set to join his wife, Penelope Cruz, alongside Brad Pitt and Michael Fassbender, in ‘The Counselor’, a new movie set on the Mexican border about a lawyer who ends up dabbling in the cocaine trade...
Despite being sworn to secrecy, Helen McCrory, who plays a British politician in ‘Skyfall’, dropped a few hints about her role to the London Evening Standard on April 3: ‘I am in the film but I wouldn’t call myself a Bond girl. I am in Bond and I am a woman. It’s great, and I am enjoying it tremendously. I can’t reveal too much about my part but I think there is a lot of writing now for women who are in their sexual prime in their forties’...
Dame Judi Dench, who has made it very clear that she has no intention of allowing her eyesight problems to hold her back, is to return to the London West End stage in late 2012. She is to play in an as yet untitled play based on ‘Alice in Wonderland’, scripted by John Logan, who co-scripted the screenplay for ‘Skyfall’...
The UK’s Sunday Times (April 15) devoted a whole page to a discussion of the issues raised by the appointment of new Bond author William Boyd, entitled ‘Sequels Are Forever’. It noted that copyright on the character does not run out until 2034 – at which point anyone will be able to pen a Bond story...

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