Why Sam Mendes really regrets this shot from Skyfall

Tom Davidson
2 min readNov 9, 2022

Believe it or not it has been ten years since Skyfall — Daniel Craig’s best James Bond film and one of two directed by British Oscar-winner Sam Mendes (the less said about Spectre the better).

Daniel Craig’s James Bond overlooks London from the roof of Whitehall (a PR image)

As part of the anniversary, the Hollywood Reporter has had a chat with Mendes about Skyfall’s success — and why MGM almost going bust actually helped the final product. (I really recommend reading the full piece).

But, pointedly, he’s also asked if he has any regrets about how the film turned out given it was such a huge critical and commercial success.

He replied:

“I would think twice about having Bond stand on the rooftops of Whitehall, with the Union Jack flags in the breeze, given the last 10 years of serial incompetence from [London’s] conservative government.

“We look back at that time as sort of a bizarre golden era. And Skyfall was very much of its time as a movie, and very much influenced by the fact that there was a genuine national pride about the country at that point.

“And it was also the 50th anniversary of Bond — there was Bond jumping out of a helicopter with the queen at the Olympics that year. So I think that pride, and the excitement around that, filtered and found its way into the movie.”

How the shot actually looks in the finished film

This author agrees — there’s not much pride to be had in the UK at the moment.

And the last thing the world needs is another discussion about how 2012 (and specifically the bloody London Olympic Opening Ceremony) was apparently this high water mark for UK culture…

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Tom Davidson

31-year-old journalist living in south westLondon trying my hand at some film writing as and when