NEW YORK – When it comes to the various plot twists and startling secret revelations contained in “Skyfall,” the 23rd super-spy adventure in the James Bond franchise (set to open Nov. 9), the film’s producers maintain that loose lips may sink blockbusters.
Before a preview media screening and during pre-hurricane press interviews recently conducted at SoHo’s Crosby Street Hotel, representatives of Metro Goldwyn Mayer cautioned movie writers to closely guard the film’s crucial plot secrets. Among several game-changing twists is one involving a central figure in the Bond mythology.
“On behalf of the filmmakers and cast, Sony Pictures and MGM request that you are respectful of audiences who have yet to see the newest James Bond adventure,” said a blanket email distributed to press members attending the junket. “PLEASE do not spoil their enjoyment and entertainment of ‘Skyfall’ by revealing any major plot points or reporting the climax of the film in the media or personal networking sites.”
But keeping secrets in this twittering, blogging, emailing, iPhoning, gossip-mongering age of instant social media is easier said than done.
During a day of press conferences with the filmmakers and cast, enthusiasm for the lore of 007 often overwhelmed reticence and secrets slipped into public statements. Even the savvy, highly literate director Sam Mendes and veteran producer Barbara Broccoli (who grew up in the world of Bond as daughter of legendary 007 major domo Albert R. “Cubby” Broccoli) let slip frank interview statements about the new film’s secrets. But both quickly caught themselves and uttered the equivalent of “Oops! Don’t print that.”
Far more on task with their tight-lipped vows were cast members trotted out for interviews.
Naomie Harris, who plays Bond’s wet-behind-the-ears field-agent partner, deftly deflected one probing question about the family background of her character.
“I can’t answer any of those questions, I’m afraid,” she said brightly. “Sorrrry.”
Javier Bardem, the movie’s silky, sinister villain Silva, likewise demurred at one question that would have revealed classified information on his character.
“I don’t think I should answer that. We don’t want to spoil things,” he responded. “I mean, of course you have to do your job. But there are certain things that you don’t want to spoil because it’s not fair for the audience. That’s my take on this. I’m sorry I disappointed you but I think it’s good to bring people to the movies when they have the surprise to see certain things.”
But leave it to the man himself, Daniel “James Bond” Craig to reinforce the point most bluntly. When asked about the secrecy surrounding the “Skyfall” script, he said:
“Just to make a point on that – someone gave a really good speech in London just before the screening. They said, ‘you (the media) get the chance to see the movie before anyone else does. You get that privilege.’ It rarely happens these days that people go see a movie and they have no sum of the plot. And what was said was, ‘give your readers a chance as well.’ And that was something we felt very passionate about. We know it’s going to happen, you know, the story is going to come out eventually, But we want to give the audience as much of a chance as possible to experience the movie in a blank way.”
So when it comes to revealing spoilers from the intricate plot of “Skyfall,” our lips are sealed.
- Dennis King