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30th November 2019

MI6 looks back at the teaser trailers of the Daniel Craig era so far

MI6 logo By MI6 Staff
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The Daniel Craig era of teaser trailers ushered in a new format for the first look at a James Bond film. Out were the witty and cleverly written setups, in were dialog sequences from prominent characters taken (almost verbatim) from the film to frame the sequence of short clips. Also introduced in Craig's era were the now all-too-common slow fade to black transitions between shots, before the inevitable montage of sharp action bursts at the end.

Aside from James Bond himself, no character is perhaps as prominent as M, and the early teasers lean heavily on dialog from Dame Judi Dench until her departure from the franchise. The job was later handed over to Mr. White and Moneypenny.

Casino Royale

M: This may be too much for a blunt instrument to understand: any thug can kill. I want you to take your ego out of the equation.
Bond: So you want me to be half monk, half hitman?
M: I knew it was too early to promote you.
Bond: Well, I understand double-o's have a very short life expectancy.

Opens: The daring choice of using black and white for Bond's qualifying 'two kills'. What did audiences think of this back in 2006?

Closes: Daniel Craig breaks the fourth wall and looks directly into the camera in a shot especially captured for the teaser.

Notes: The short dialog sequence sets the audience up that this James Bond is just starting out his career as 007. Craig's close up then switches to the gunbarrel and the action montage becomes full colour. The principal cast is here, although you would be forgiven for thinking Solange was the primary Bond girl in this film. Almost nothing from the third act is shown.

Quantum of Solace

Mr. White: I was always very interested to meet you. I heard so much about you from Vesper. If she hadn't killed herself, we'd have had you too.
Bond: Are you going to tell us who you work for?
Mr. White: The first thing that you should know about us, is that we have people everywhere.
M: I thought I could trust you. You said you weren't motivated by revenge.
Bond: I'm motivated by my duty.
M: I think you're so blinded by inconsolable rage that you don't care who you hurt. When you can't tell your friends from your enemies it's time to go.
Bond: You don't have to worry about me.
M: Restrict Bond's movements. Put a stop on his passports. Find Bond.
Bond: How long have I got?
Felix: Thirty seconds.
Bond: Well that doesn't give us a lot of time.

Opens: Mr. White's interrogation scene from the post-titles sequence, although a shot of Craig brooding and sitting in wait actually comes from the final coda of the film. 

Closes: Once again a special shot of Craig is used for the trailer, this time emerging from the rocky horizon (shot in Panama) in his Casino Royale finale costume - which makes no sense in terms of continuity. A large 007 logo joins him for the final shot to remind everyone that this obscurely titled film is a James Bond film.

Notes: Black and white is used again briefly for the flashback of Vesper drowning, and for a rogue slow-motion shot of Bond reloading his gun in the hotel elevator in Bolivia. An on the nose selection of dialogue makes it clear to audiences that Bond's out for revenge and he's going rogue to get it done. The trailer cleverly uses the '30 seconds' line just as the last 30 seconds of action montage kicks in. Mr. White is set up as the main protagonist, with Dominic Greene only featured in a group shot. This is the longest teaser in the Craig era, which is ironic as it's the shortest film. With accidental franchise foreshadowing, M alerts audiences that Bond's career as an MI6 agent may be short-lived afterall.

Skyfall

Dr. Hall: Country
Bond: England
Dr. Hall: Gun
Bond: Shot
Dr. Hall: Agent
Bond: Provocateur
Dr. Hall: Murder
Bond: Employment 
Dr. Hall: Skyfall... Skyfall
Bond: Done.

Bond: Some men are coming to kill us. We're going to kill them first.

Opens: Oddly, on one of the final shots of the film with Bond looking over the London skyline. A trimmed version of the psychological test is used to frame shots of Bond getting back in shape. 

Closes: A silhouetted Silva walks from the burning Skyfall building before the fade-in of the title treatment. 

Notes: An early shot of Bond getting back in shape running through Regent's Park never made the final cut. There is no hint at what the story could be about, other than the vague set up of a cat and mouse game. A bombastic arrangement of the James Bond theme is missing this time, due to David Arnold no longer being the series composer. Lots of shots from the final act are scattered throughout the action montage. There are no links to the previous films this time.

SPECTRE

Moneypenny: Forensics finally released this.
Bond: What is it?
Moneypenny: Personal effects they recovered from Skyfall. You've got a secret. Something you can't tell anyone. Because you don't trust anyone.
Mr. White: I always knew death would wear a familiar face. But not yours.
Bond: I was at a meeting recently and your name came up.
Mr. White: I'm flattered London is still talking about me.
Bond: It wasn't MI6.
Mr. White: You're a kite dancing in a hurricane, Mr. Bond.
Blofeld: Welcome James. It's been a long time. But finally, here we are.

Opens: The damaged MI6 building emerges from the slow fade-in linking this film directly to its predecessor. Is this Skyfall 2?

Closes: A gunshot through glass causes cracks that form a rough outline of the SPECTRE logo as the title treatment appears. This would have been a nice reveal had the logo not been so prominently shown on the ring 30 seconds earlier.

Notes: Everything in Bond's world is now sepia. The teasers opening dialog used between Moneypenny and Bond was from the longer apartment sequence reshot later in production. One could speculate that the scene's late re-write had a trailer in mind. Although shown mostly in silhouette, Christoph Waltz's voice is unmistakable in the shots of the 'not MI6' meeting Bond references, clearly indicating this is a SPECTRE meeting. The gig was up that Waltz was, in fact, playing Blofeld, despite EON's protestations to the contrary. Blofeld's line could be seen as a knock on the fourth wall, winking at the audience that this setup has been a long time coming. There is no adrenaline-charged quick cut of action scenes. M does not appear. Madeleine Swann does not make the cut, either.  

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