Sony has released the first official teaser trailer for Sam Mendes' Skyfall, the third James bond film with Daniel Craig in the lead, which is due out in November. It looks serious!
It looks serious because that's what the Daniel Craig Bond movies are. Just as when Christopher Nolan came along and darkened up Batman with Batman Begins, Martin Campbell's 2006 Casino Royale rebooted a popular but oftentimes deeply goofy (seriously silly?) franchise, making it something more grownup and almost thoughtful. There's an argument to be made that Royale and the grim followup Quantum of Solace, and Nolan's Batman films, ultimately succeed far more in style than they do in actual substance, but they're certainly still far more mature than most action pictures.
And so after a four-year delay having to do with MGM's bankruptcy, Skyfall soon arrives to continue this darker Bond saga. This teaser doesn't provide much in the way of information — Bond undergoes some kind of psychological review, there's a haunted look on his face, M (Judi Dench) looks on dispassionately — but it' elusiveness makes it all the more appealing. Just as Nolan's movies teased us with ominous, foreboding promos (e.g. the current Dark Knight Rises trailers, so gloomy and effective), this brief Skyfall clip reel promises hard, bracing action mixed with some pseudo-philosophizing about duty and death and all that.
Joining Bond on his adventure is the great and underemployed Naomie Harris as a love interest of some kind, and Javier Bardem and Ralph Fiennes in more secretive roles. Bardem is said to be the film's villain, but the nature of Fiennes' character is still a mystery; he and Bardem don't appear in this trailer (ETA: Oops! Fiennes is in there, very briefly). Which, again, makes us all the more curious. Whether the actual film lives up to this so-far canny and enticing marketing will, of course, have to remain to be seen. But if the previous installments are any indication, Skyfall will be rugged, muscular entertainment that is perhaps at times a little too self-serious. We're still not sure we love this new hardened, never winking Bond, but maybe the third time will be the charm.