Secrecy surrounds new James Bond movie "Skyfall"

Thu Nov 3, 2011 12:49pm EDT
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By Mike Collett-White

LONDON (Reuters) - Daniel Craig will be back dodging bullets and vanquishing villains from China to Turkey in the 23rd installment of the James Bond film franchise, but the stars and director of "Skyfall" are keeping the who, what and how under wraps for now.

As previously announced, Oscar-winning director Sam Mendes directs his first Bond adventure, which celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2012 when Skyfall is released.

One of the few details Mendes revealed to more than 100 reporters from around the world at the film's London press launch were his cast and the locations of the blockbuster, which starts production on Monday.

Bond regulars Craig and Judi Dench, as his stern spymaster M, return to their roles, Spanish actor Javier Bardem plays the villain and French actress Berenice Marlohe and Britain's Naomie Harris are Bond girls.

All five were at the press briefing, where they were joined by Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael Wilson.

In addition, Mendes said the latest installment in one of cinema's longest and most successful film franchises will feature Ben Whishaw "who will be playing a part I can't tell you about in scenes I can tell you nothing about.

"And Albert Finney, who will also be playing a part I can tell you nothing about in scenes that I can't really tell you about and Ralph Fiennes, who, similarly, I can give you very little information about."

Asked whether he had not named all of the characters the leading actors would be playing because Bond fans might recognize them, the "American Beauty" director replied: "They might do. On the other hand they might not."   Continued...

<p>Daniel Craig poses while launching the start of production of the new James Bond film "SkyFall" at a restaurant in London, November 3, 2011. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor</p>