In 23 James Bond films, the world's greatest secret agent has always gone wherever danger takes him, to the world's most exotic locales — and he's taken audiences with him. “Skyfall,” the 23rd James Bond film that opened Friday nationwide, is no exception, even as the danger hits closer to home than ever before.
Key overseas locations in Skyfall include China and Turkey.
In choosing Shanghai, screenwriter John Logan said, “What we were looking for was opposition to London. We wanted exotic locations that seem so unlike the world that he grew up in, the world that he functions in — in a way, trying to find places for Bond to be uncomfortable.”
Second Unit Director Alexander Witt and the second unit traveled to Shanghai to shoot establishing shots and driving sequences. The crew worked nights in the busy week leading up to the Chinese New Year to capture the exhilarating, ever-changing metropolis that is one of the most dynamic cities in the world.
The production also traveled to Turkey for the pre-title sequence. When Bond realizes that vital information has been stolen from an injured MI6 agent, he chases the assailant through the crowded and vibrant streets of Istanbul. The production then moved to Adana, as the chase continues on a passenger train, and then Varda Bridge, an hour outside Adana, for the climax.
However, in “Skyfall,” the villain Raoul Silva takes the fight to MI6 — and much of the action takes place in and around London itself.
“It's my hometown,” said director Sam Mendes. “I focused on giving it a mythic scale — I tried to give it mood and atmosphere and a sense of a threat.”
“We wanted to see parts of London that we hadn't seen before, to use the city in ways that would be impossible in most movies — but Bond's name opens a few doors,” said actor Daniel Craig, who plays James Bond. “London has a real character and that excites me because I love this city and I think it is so rarely represented well on film. We were aiming to capture the madness, the mystery, the danger and the glamour of London.”
Nine different London locations were used around the city. The climax of the film takes place in Scotland. In the penultimate James Bond novel, “You Only Live Twice,” Fleming gave Bond a sense of family background, writing that Bond's father was from Glencoe, which has one of the most iconic landscapes in Scotland — the mountains contain some of the oldest sedimentary and volcanic strata in the world.