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Kevin Spacey was considered for a role, but declined due to scheduling conflicts. It is believed that director Sam Mendes originally offered the role of the villain to Spacey, the part in the film played by Javier Bardem. Spacey worked with this Mendes on American Beauty. Interestingly, in this movie Kevin Spacey's character complains to his wife that by attending his daughter's cheer-leading dance he is "missing the James Bond marathon on TNT."
Director Sam Mendes used to be in a relationship with actress Rachel Weisz who was once rumored to going to be cast in this movie. Weisz is now married to the actor playing James Bond, Daniel Craig. Weisz has also starred in espionage films such as The Bourne Legacy and The Constant Gardener for which she won an Academy Award (Oscar) for Best Supporting Actress.
The number of individual Academy Awards totaled from this film's cast and crew is as follows. Crew: Director Sam Mendes (1 win), cinematographer Roger Deakins (9 nominations), first draft of script by Peter Morgan (2 nominations), final script by John Logan (3 nominations), composer Thomas Newman (10 nominations), Designer Dennis Gassner (1 win & 3 more nominations), and Chris Corbould on special effects (1 win). Cast: Javier Bardem (2 nominations, 1 win), Ralph Fiennes (2 nominations), Albert Finney (5 nominations) and Judi Dench (5 nominations & 1 more win) making at least 41 nominations, and 5 wins.
Danny Boyle was once erroneously touted in the media as having being asked to direct this film prior to Sam Mendes. Ironically, Boyle ended up directing the James Bond short with Daniel Craig and Queen Elizabeth II which opened the 2012 London Olympics Opening Ceremony
The film's "Skyfall" theme song sung by Adele is the first Bond Song to share the same name as the film's title since Madonna's Die Another Day and the first Daniel Craig Bond film to do so. A 90 second version of the song was leaked online (but perhaps this was a marketing teaser) not long after Adele officially announced on Twitter that she was the artist singing the film's title song though other leaks and rumors had been surfacing for several weeks. Initially hesitant about performing the title song for a 007 film, Adele was later thrilled to become a part of Bond history when she co-wrote and recorded the song at London's Abbey Road Studios backed by a full orchestra.
The film was influenced by The Dark Knight Batman film series of director Christopher Nolan according to the film's director Sam Mendes. A number of the early reviews of 'Skyfall' likened the mood of the film to that of The Dark Knight Rises. Interestingly, a recurring line of dialogue in The Dark Knight Rises was "Permission To Die" - this is also the title of a 1989 James Bond comic book released in the same year as the Bond film Licence to Kill. Shots in 'Skyfall' of Bond ('Daniel Craig') standing on-top of a building looking-out over London with a flag of England evoke Batman perched on roof-tops looking-out over Gotham City. Mendes has said: "In terms of what [Nolan] achieved, specifically The Dark Knight, the second movie, what it achieved, which is something exceptional. It was a game changer for everybody...What Nolan proved was that you can make a huge movie that is thrilling and entertaining and has a lot to say about the world we live in, even if, in the case with The Dark Knight, it's not even set in our world... That did help give me the confidence to take this movie in directions that, without The Dark Knight, might not have been possible." Nolan has often stated that the classic James Bond films have been an influence on his "Dark Knight" trilogy. As such, one can say that Bond has inspired Batman and that Batman has inspired Bond.
With his casting, Javier Bardem becomes the second Academy Award (Oscar) winner to play a major Bond villain. The first was Christopher Walken in A View to a Kill who had won an Oscar for The Deer Hunter. Both Academy Awards were for Best Supporting Actor, Bardem's statuette was for No Country for Old Men. Bardem is not the only actor in 'Skyfall' to have a Best Supporting Acting Oscar, Judi Dench has one for Shakespeare in Love.
Bond Girls in the movie are played by Naomie Harris as Eve; Bérénice Marlohe as Sévérine; Tonia Sotiropoulou as Bond's Lover; and Elize du Toit as M's Assistant Vanessa. Actresses Freida Pinto, Olivia Wilde, Rachel Weisz, Esti Ginzburg, Margarita Levieva, Alice Eve, Ana Ventura, Emilia Fox and Ebru Akel were rumored and/or considered to appear as Bond Girls in the movie.
James Bond actor Daniel Craig said that he was worried by the delays in the production of 'Skyfall' and was eager to get back into the role because, at the age of 43, he feels he is already getting too old to cope with the extreme physical demands of playing James Bond. Craig starts preparation for a Bond movie about six months prior to filming and works-out for about two hours each day of principal photography after shooting has wrapped.
M (Judi Dench)'s house in the film is the former home of the legendary Bond composer John Barry. The filmmakers thought it would be a lovely tribute to the late composer who composed many of the James Bond film scores and defined the signature theme music in the series, his work being a core inspiration for the modern Bond music composed by David Arnold. John Barry passed away in 2011. Thomas Newman's score for 'Skyfall' has been said to pay tribute to Barry.
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