In the constant battle being waged over moviegoers’ dollars, IMAX has been a decidedly less frequently used gimmick than 3D to generate a few extra bucks for studios and theater chains. But with the recent success of Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol in IMAX theaters, and before that Avatar and The Dark Knight, studios are starting to get that if they’re paying higher-than-normal prices, audiences like seeing a clear, unobstructed image on the big screen. And nothing is as clear and as big as an IMAX screen. Of course, like 3D, that doesn’t mean filmmakers will necessarily shoot their movies in 65mm just for IMAX, and so many of the films that wind up getting projected in that format will likely just get embiggened in post.
That is at least going to be the case for the next entry into the James Bond franchise, Skyfall. In a joint statement with IMAX Corporation, EON Production, and MGM Studios, Sony Pictures announced that Bond’s 23rd trip to the cinema would also pop the character’s IMAX experience cherry, which stands to be the only time audiences will ever get to see such a seminal moment for the character happen on screen. But, as alluded, director Sam Mendes and his cinematographers are not shooting any scenes for Skyfall in 65mm, as opposed to those aforementioned IMAX hits. So it will be interesting to see if the digital transfer is as detrimental to the viewing experience as post-production 3D has been. Interesting for those of you who like to waste your money; not for me. I’m not paying extra for a gimmick, unless that gimmick is a bucket of beer.
Until then, we can at least take a look at some good, old fashioned high-definition Skyfall video and photographs that have been released. I don’t know about IMAX, but they’re good enough to sell the standard theater experience, that’s for sure. First, there’s a behind the scenes clip hosted by Sam Mendes, speaking about his decision to make a Bond film in the first place, while some pretty and pretty intriguing footage from the movie plays between talking heads. It’s not quite the mini-epics that Peter Jackson produces for his jaunts through Middle-Earth, but Mendes is off to a pretty good start:
Below are the initial slate of promo pics from the movie’s website, the most recent a behind-the-scenes shot of Mendes and Judi Dench on set. Dench’s M is said to play a much larger and integral role in this installment.
And finally, in all his HD glory, Craig’s Bond in the midst of utilizing his license to get wet, which is certainly as relevant to the plot as Honey Rider’s bikini:
Skyfall will be released on November 9 in the U.S., and on October 26 elsewhere; including, if you’re a sucker, in IMAX.
Rob Payne also writes the indie comic The Unstoppable Force, tweets on the Twitter @RobOfWar, and his ware can be purchased here (if you’re into that sort of thing). He thinks the IMAX projection could make Skyfall look as distorted as an ill-fitting desktop background, and it would still be better than 3D.