James Bond is back with a double-O bang in Skyfall. The first 007 installment in four years, Skyfall (out Nov. 9) is a different kind of Bond film. It reaches back to the past, nodding to classic bits of Bond lore like Monty Norman’s original Bond theme and the Aston Martin DB5 from Goldfinger, and looks to the future, as 007 and Judi Dench’s M grapple with being dinosaurs in a world that’s speeding past them. There’s also a new director (Oscar-winner Sam Mendes), a new Q (Ben Whishaw), a pair of new Bond girls (Naomie Harris and Berenice Marlohe), and a new villain who’s so flamboyantly nasty that he immediately vaults to the top tier of Bond baddies (Javier Bardem). In other words, it’s the ideal film to cap Bond’s first 50 years — and make fans bullish about the next 50.
In this week’s Entertainment Weekly, we sit down with Bond himself, Daniel Craig, to discuss the role that’s changed his life for better and worse. He tells us about his reluctance to take on the role back in 2005 when he was first asked to replace Pierce Brosnan, how he roped Mendes into directing the film (here’s a hint, it included booze and Hugh Jackman), and what it was like working with a costar even more famous than he is — Queen Elizabeth II — during his now-famous skydiving skit for this summer’s Olympics opening ceremony. “My first reaction was, ‘How many people will be watching? A billion and a half?! I guess I’m doing this.’ She was great, a really good sport. When they brought it to me, they’d already told her that I’d be doing it. I didn’t have much of a choice. It was literally a Luca Brasi situation from The Godfather — an offer I couldn’t refuse.”
Craig, who recently signed on for two more Bond films, also talks about the future of the franchise and where he’d like to see it go. “Everybody always moans, ‘Where’s Bond gone? Where’s all the jokes?’ Well, give us time! I always had a master plan in the back of my head that with the third movie — if I ever got there — it would be time to take the gloves off and bring the gags back in.”
Read more about Skyfall in the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, on stands October 26th. And remember, it’s for your eyes only.