Neal Purvis still remembers the anxious thoughts he and his writing partner exchanged when it came to crafting the difficult narrative for Bond 23, which would eventually be titled Skyfall, even after working on James Bond films with screenwriter Robert Wade for over 25 years. Given that the mammoth project — and Daniel Craig’s third Bond movie — was dealt a body blow early in the creative process when studio MGM’s financial difficulties placed the movie on hold for ten months, it is simple to understand the writers’ emotions at the time.
From that point on, the business press made predictions about the impending demise of James Bond with one doomsday tale after another. Thankfully, Skyfall and its tuxedo-clad hero would overcome this very public financial setback by making the greatest Bond movie premiere ever on Nov. 9, 2012, with $88.4 million at the North American box office. Additionally, with over a billion dollars in revenue, Skyfall is the highest-grossing movie of the Craig period (another Bond first). Wade and Purvis are bringing The Hollywood Reporter behind-the-scenes of the production of one of the most recognizable Bond movies in the franchise’s 60-year history as Skyfall celebrates 10 this week.
The Bond series was rapidly approaching its 50th anniversary at the time of publication. Along with veteran Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson, Purvis and Wade took great care to make a film in time for the 50th anniversary while also living up to the fans’ high expectations.
Purvis explains that “Daniel wanted someone who was equal to Bond.” Ironically, Bardem had long captivated the authors, who wanted to see him bring his distinctive acting abilities to the realm of Bond.