Daniel Craig is settling in as Bond and is being allowed to do a lot more of his own stunts. For example, Daniel performed the stunt of leaping and sliding down the escalator rail and the signature roof-top fight on the top of a moving train traveling at 50 kph (31 mph) during the film’s opening sequence. Producer Barbara Broccoli has said: “Daniel contributes a great deal to designing the action and the fights in particular and he’s the one who really pulls it off, because he wants to do as much of it as he possibly can. We were in Turkey for the train sequence and I had my heart in my mouth the whole time; he and Ola were fighting on the roof of a moving train and the moves that they were doing were just heart stopping. Daniel’s the reason why the action works as well as it does because he sells it, he’s up there and I think audiences know that.”
The film was influenced by Batman Begins (2005) and The Dark Knight (2008) by 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 (2012). Interestingly, a recurring line of dialogue in The Dark Knight Rises (2012) was “Permission To Die” – this is also the title of a 1989 James Bond comic book released. A shot 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.
Ironically enough, I also picked The Dark Knight (2008) for Best Movie Stunt over the last James Bond film Quantum of Solace. Stunt-man and Bond stunt-double Andy Lister performed the opening sequence’s fall from the bridge into the river. Riggers were set up a crane on a train carriage to hold a safety line. Andy then reacted to the gun shot by limply diving backwards off the 300 foot (92 m) drop. This jump stunt is a typical Bondian ‘Skyfall’ jump stunt synonymous with the series. Skyfall jumps having appeared regularly since The Spy Who Loved Me(1977), with others in Moonraker (1979), For Your Eyes Only (1981), Octopussy (1983),A View to a Kill (1985), The Living Daylights (1987), Licence to Kill (1989), GoldenEye(1995), Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), The World Is Not Enough (1999), Die Another Day (2002) and Quantum of Solace (2008).
Stuntman Gary Powell and other members of his family have worked on every EON Productions official series Bond movie since Dr. No (1962). Father and uncle Nosher Powell and Dinny Powell worked on all the early 60s and 70s Bonds with Sean Connery and George Lazenby; brother Greg Powell worked on the 70s and 80s Bonds with Roger Moore and Timothy Dalton whilst Gary has worked on all the 90s and 00s Bonds with Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig as well as ‘Skyfall’, the first Bond movie of the 2010s.
A total of twenty Honda CRF250R motorcycles were used for the opening motorcycle chase. The sequence is notable for being performed on narrow rooftop tracks and without any helmets or heavy-duty protective gear. The ‘Police’ and ‘Street Merchant’ bikes seen were ridden by stunt riders and due to the high speed of the chase, the stunt crew teams filming it also rode the bikes carrying the cameras. For the film, the Honda motorbikes were modified especially for the stunt sequence by the special effects team of Chris Corbould.
Skyfall was directed by Sam Mendes for Eon Productions.
Check out our new Book, 100 Years of the Best Movie Stunts!
Things to look up (go to IMDB page ):
- Sam Mendes
- Chris Corbould
- Daniel Craig
- Andy Lister
- Gary Powell
- Nosher Powell
- Dinny Powell
- Greg Powell
- Eon Productions