For fans of the James Bond series that have stuck by 007's side through five decades and six actors, "Skyfall," the latest adventure and the third to feature the current Bond, Daniel Craig, will strike them as both old and new, classic yet modern.
"Skyfall" strikes this careful balance by keeping the more emotional, wounded Bond from "Casino Royale" and "Quantum of Solace," but from there, it begins to bring him back to his roots.
"We tried to bring back all that is great about Bond," Craig told MTV News during a press day for the film. " 'Casino' and 'Quantum' were all about trying to push away, trying to reset things a bit, take some of the corniness out of it, but I think there's a lightness of touch in this movie. There's an emotional kick. The action is still as hardcore as it ever was. It's all in there."
Academy Award winner Javier Bardem plays the villainous Silva, who himself is a prime example of the mixture of old and new in "Skyfall." The evil mastermind has his own island to plan out his elaborate plot, much like Dr. No, but at all times, there is an undercurrent of discomfort about him that clashes with the typical hubris of a Bond villain.
Despite this unconventional villain role, Bardem explained the appeal that "Skyfall" has for lifelong fans simply. "I think they have a great story that works on different levels and is beautifully made and beautifully shot, and I think it's fun also to see," he said. "Everything that [fans] expect about a James Bond move is what it has."
While "Skyfall" and its themes of technological advancement and the obsoleteness of the man-on-the-ground spy are all placed firmly in 2012, Craig maintained that any effort to bring the Bond of old back to the 21st century was not the main concern.
"You try not to make it too up-to-date. You don't try to make something that is self-consciously about something that is happening in the world," Craig said. "What I like is the idea of the government cutting back and not risking people's lives by sending drones and sending satellites to look at people. Bond is like, 'No, you have to send human beings because without human beings, you'll never know the truth.' That gives you the sense that somebody will stand up and defend you. It's that kind of clash of two worlds."
With such an excellent cap to the first 50 years of the James Bond series about to hit theaters, the future of the character has never looked brighter, but what the next half-century holds is not so clear. Craig just hopes to see him successful and still fighting. "That's all I care about," he said.
What do you think the future holds for James Bond? Tell us in the comments!
Check out everything we've got on "Skyfall," out November 9.