ShortList is supported by you, our amazing readers. When you click through the links on our site and make a purchase we may earn a commission. Learn more

15 Things You (Probably) Didn't Know About Skyfall

15 Things You (Probably) Didn't Know About Skyfall

15 Things You (Probably) Didn't Know About Skyfall
24 December 2014

One of the most exciting, if not slightly over-egged, announcements of last year was for the next Bond film, now called Spectre. But it has big, expensive, scuffed up shoes to fill. Bond's last outing Skyfall was not only the most commercially successful 007 adventure but also one of the best.

Check out 15 things you probably didn't know about the film. Obvious spoilers ahead.

(Images: Rex features, All Star)


The scene in the film where Eve, aka Moneypenny, played by Naomie Harris gives 007 a shave led to a 405% increase in the sales of cut-throat razors, according to an online retailer.


When Daniel Craig first heard Adele's Skyfall theme, tears were shed. "I cried," he said. "From the opening bars I knew immediately, then the voice kicked in and it was exactly what I'd wanted from the beginning. It just got better and better because it fitted the movie. In fact the more of the movie we made, the more it fitted it."


There was an initial discussion about having Sean Connery playing Kincade, the character ultimately played by Albert Finney, but the idea was nixed by director Sam Mendes, for understandable reasons. "I think that's problematic," explained Mendes. "Because, to me, it becomes too ... it would take you out of the movie. Connery is Bond and he's not going to come back as another character. It's like, he's been there." 


While the film was a decent success in America, it was huge worldwide pushing the $304 million US gross up to a whopping $1.1 billion. It's now the 9th biggest film of all time globally.


Skyfall is the most Oscar-nominated Bond film of all time, with five nominations, including two wins, for Best Sound Editing and Best Original Song.


Thanks to the large amount of screen time in the film, Judi Dench's portrayal of M is the second most common reccuring character in the entire Bond series.


One of the crazier fan theories surrounding Skyfall is the belief that Javier Bardem's blond villain Silva is actually M's son. The unlikely source of this is Yale law professor Stephen L. Carter who is convinced that Silva's cryptic message to M. 'THINK ON YOUR SINS', is actually an anagram for 'YOUR SON ISNT IN HK'. He believes that she possibly adopted him, trained him and then abandoned him, which is why he has so much rage towards her. He thinks a key reveal was then cut from the film. The full theory can be read here.


Sam Mendes was editing Skyfall while the 2012 London Olympics were happening and he claims that the spirit of the games inspired the patriotism that runs the film. "There was a feeling around London and England that changed the way I cut the movie," he explained. "It fed into it in an interesting way."


In our memorable interview with James Ellroy, he expressed his distaste with a lot of things (hipsters, liberals, Obama, The Wire) but singled out one thing that he loved: Skyfall. "It’s fucking brilliant and it’s the only profound James Bond movie," he told us. "They’re usually boring and overlong; the books are boring and racist. The stories are shoddy and sloppily plotted. But Skyfall is about the defence of the West..."


The film didn't please everyone though, with long-time 007 fan Quentin Tarantino expressing his distaste. "To me, it felt more like an action movie than a Bond movie,” he claimed. "I don’t think that is the one you should be rooting for.”


When the film was released in China, it arrived in cinemas heavily censored. Unsurprisingly, the scenes set in China were affected the most with the Shanghai-based murder of a security guard in the lobby of a skyscraper and any references to Bardem's villain Silva being tortured by Chinese authorities failing to make the cut.


The mystery over M's real name was solved by eagle eyed fans who spotted a split-second during the scene when Bond is given a box containing a Royal Doulton bulldog wrapped in a British flag, that usually sits on M's desk. The inscription reads: ‘From the Estate of Olivia Mansfield Bequeathed to James Bond’.


The film helped Scotland to be named the top tourist destination of 2013 by CNN, beating out Rabat in Morocco. The justification read: "Anyone who saw the 2012 James Bond thriller Skyfall walked away wishing they too could race through Scotland's dramatic countryside and hide out in its misty highlands." 


The shocking death of M during the film's climax was actually the starting point for the writers. “We’d all agreed to kill Judi Dench and that gives you this amazing hook,” explained Robert Wade, one of the film's writers. 


Javier Bardem revealed that he'd been offered a part in a Bond film before. "I don't remember what movie it was for," he confessed. "But yeah, it just was not that time. I didn't feel that it was the time for me to do something like that. And also, I was doing something else, so I passed."