When it comes to the James Bond franchise, titles to the 22 previous cinematic incarnations basically have gone one of two ways. One, short and sweet. Goldfinger, Dr. No, Thunderball. Even License to Kill. Brief and helpfully obvious. The other favorite option has been wordy tediousness, titles that sound more like perfume names than spy thrillers. For Your Eyes Only, Tomorrow Never Dies. And, yes, Quantum of Solace. Though even some of the most flowery Bond names are drawn directly from Ian Fleming’s pen, I lean towards simplicity — perhaps only because those titles seem to better reflect the depictions of Bond as “blunt instrument” that I prefer.
So I have to say I was encouraged to read the recent Internet scuttlebutt that the next Bond film might be called Skyfall. The whispering began after Sony reportedly registered several Internet domain names that included numerous combinations of “James Bond” and “Skyfall.” Though Sony and EON wouldn’t reveal whether Skyfall would be the title of Bond’s next adventure, they didn’t deny it either. Their silence shouldn’t be misinterpreted as confirmation, yet I’m already looking forward to learning what Skyfall might represent in the Bond universe before the film arrives in American theaters on Nov. 9, 2012.
Even without knowing whether Skyfall is some rogue space satellite or the newest thrill-ride at Six Flags, I like it. It’s much better than Carte Blanche, another Internet rumor back in August. Skyfall has some verve to it, and I’m already more inclined to see it than I was to see Quantum of Solace on title alone. Silly, I know, but historically, audiences seem to feel the same way. Of the 22 previous Bond films, the ones with one-word titles have averaged the most money at the box office, when adjusted for inflation. One-word titles are good for $294 million, on the average, significantly more than two- ($177.4), three- ($168.5), or four-word ($234.5) Bond titles. (Don’t waste our time, six-worder The Man With the Golden Gun!) Brevity might be the soul of wit, but it’s also apparently the color of green.
Does Skyfall feel like a Bond movie to you? I give you carte blanche to sound off about it.