For the past several months we’ve been not-so-patiently awaiting a film called Skyfall. Though it’s unassuming name might not indicate as much, Skyfall is the twenty-third official movie centered on Ian Fleming’s super spy James Bond. As with the previous two Bond films (Quantum Of Solace and Casino Royale), Skyfall stars Daniel Craig as the debonair British agent. Unlike previous Bond films however, Skyfall’s marketing push and pre-release hype machine make this the “biggest release ever for a James Bond film.” Oh, and today marks its official public debut.
None of that is news, but what is interesting is that despite the film having only just been released, the people behind Skyfall are already working on its sequel. The film (which currently lacks an official title and is colloquially known as Bond 24) currently resides in what the UK’s Daily Mail describes as “pre-pre-production.”
According to that Daily Mail piece, screenwriter John Logan has been tapped to write the script for Bond 24. Though Logan is largely unknown, he was brought in to re-write the Skyfall script by director Sam Mendes and EON Productions during that film’s production phase. Though Logan has yet to complete his script for Bond 24, he has created an outline for the story that has been seen by very few people. Producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, as well as star Daniel Craig have all seen it, and apparently it meets their high expectations for a future James Bond movie as Bond 24 is now scheduled to start shooting toward the end of next year. Barring any unforeseen catastrophes that would put the film in theaters in the Fall of 2014.
Speaking of Daniel Craig, we’ve known since September that the actor had signed a contract to appear in both Bond 24 and the inevitable Bond 25. In that same piece we mentioned that EON Productions (the rights-holder behind the cinematic incarnation of the James Bond character) wanted to start pushing future Bond movies into production at a much more rapid rate than they have been over the past decade. The last Bond film (Quantum Of Solace) debuted four years prior to Skyfall, thus news of Bond 24 entering pre-pre-production just as Skyfall hits theaters seems to corroborate this scheme.
Of course, all of this could be derailed if Skyfall doesn’t perform as expected at the box office. As we mentioned above, it’s being heralded as the biggest Bond film to date, and studio executives are estimating an opening weekend take of just over $32 million. That seems a relatively small figure, but keep in mind that these estimates are based entirely on the 587 theaters showing Skyfall in the UK this weekend. Whether Skyfall manages to top that figure or not, it should pull in quite a bit more money here in America, the land of oversized sugary drinks, exorbitantly expensive popcorn, and ludicrously huge box office revenues.