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This week's cover: Bond is back -- Daniel Craig on the new 007 film, 'Skyfall'


James Bond is back with a double-O bang in Skyfall. The first 007 installment in four years, Skyfall (out Nov. 9) is a different kind of Bond film. It reaches back to the past, nodding to classic bits of Bond lore like Monty Norman’s original Bond theme and the Aston Martin DB5 from Goldfinger, and looks to the future, as 007 and Judi Dench’s M grapple with being dinosaurs in a world that’s speeding past them. There’s also a new director (Oscar-winner Sam Mendes), a new Q (Ben Whishaw), a pair of new Bond girls (Naomie Harris and Berenice Marlohe), and a new villain who’s so flamboyantly nasty that he immediately vaults to the top tier of Bond baddies (Javier Bardem). In other words, it’s the ideal film to cap Bond’s first 50 years — and make fans bullish about the next 50.

In this week’s Entertainment Weekly, we sit down with Bond himself, Daniel Craig, to discuss the role that’s changed his life for better and worse. He tells us about his reluctance to take on the role back in 2005 when he was first asked to replace Pierce Brosnan, how he roped Mendes into directing the film (here’s a hint, it included booze and Hugh Jackman), and what it was like working with a costar even more famous than he is — Queen Elizabeth II — during his now-famous skydiving skit for this summer’s Olympics opening ceremony. “My first reaction was, ‘How many people will be watching? A billion and a half?! I guess I’m doing this.’ She was great, a really good sport. When they brought it to me, they’d already told her that I’d be doing it. I didn’t have much of a choice. It was literally a Luca Brasi situation from The Godfather — an offer I couldn’t refuse.”

Craig, who recently signed on for two more Bond films, also talks about the future of the franchise and where he’d like to see it go. “Everybody always moans, ‘Where’s Bond gone? Where’s all the jokes?’ Well, give us time! I always had a master plan in the back of my head that with the third movie — if I ever got there — it would be time to take the gloves off and bring the gags back in.”

Read more about Skyfall in the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, on stands October 26th. And remember, it’s for your eyes only.

Is Javier Bardem playing the first gay Bond villain in ‘Skyfall’? Bardem and director Sam Mendes weigh in
New ‘Skyfall’ trailer glows with Adele’s theme — VIDEO
‘Skyfall’ action clip: James Bond catches his train in style

Who has been the best 'Saturday Night Live' host so far this season? -- VOTE

For a guest host of Saturday Night Live, the day after the show can be cruel. Or awesome. The public’s reception is rarely in between extremes. Either a host was incredible, awesome, hilarious, the best ever! Or they were brutal, excruciating, painful, the worst! It’s part of the risk of stepping on the stage at Studio 8H, live, in front of millions of people who are waiting to see if the magic they’ve seen before in a guest’s movies, TV shows, or music videos is the real deal. Sometimes, judging by Twitter, it seems like we’re waiting for these brave souls to fall on their faces, but what we really want is something special, something we can hold up as greatness in 10 years when we whine again that the show used to better way back when.

Last year, EW began tracking the Saturday Night Live hosts in a less myopic way. Sort of. Thumbs up or thumbs down is no longer an option — rather, who was the best host of the season? In May, voters named Jimmy Fallon the first-ever Mr. Saturday Night. Now that we’re five episodes in to this season, it’s time to take a closer look at who delivered laughs so far and who choked on silence. Bruno Mars performed double-duty last night, but how did he compare to Seth MacFarlane and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, or Daniel Craig and Christina Applegate?

I don’t have to tell you that this is serious business. Deadly serious. Don’t let the fact that Fallon’s “victory” didn’t even warrant a mention on his Wikipedia page. You know he holds the nonexistent trophy close to his heart, and that whenever he bumps in to Melissa McCarthy or Will Ferrell, he casually mentions, “You know, you should host SNL some day.” Ouch. But he earned it. He earned it with his Bieber impression and his low-rent War Horse stage performance, and it’s why he’s at the top of many fans’ lists for who they want to see return this season.

The rules are simple: Who was the best host? It shouldn’t be a popularity contest, but rather, who killed it? Who had you giggling until Wednesday? Whose hilarious sketch did you bookmark online and watch over and over and over? Below, I’ve embedded one clip for each of the five hosts, just to remind you of their recent performances. Vote below, and the host with the least support will be eliminated, and the other four will advance to compete against Louis CK on Nov. 3. Ultimately, we’ll eliminate the less memorable hosts and crown a new Mr. or Mrs. Saturday Night. Watch and vote below. READ FULL STORY

Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem on their flirtatious scene in 'Skyfall'

For 50 years, James Bond has been a heterosexual icon, a dashing, promiscuous charmer who rubs elbows — and other body parts — with gorgeous women with names like Pussy Galore and Honey Rider. Yet there’s a scene in Daniel Craig’s latest outing as 007 that adds a new wrinkle to his legendary sexuality.

Craig returns as Bond in next month’s Skyfall, which will see the MI6 agent tangle with Javier Bardem’s feathery-haired villain Silva. The actors were on hand for two separate press conferences yesterday, where they each discussed a charged scene in which Silva runs a hand down Bond’s chest while he’s bound to a chair (see the photo above). 007 takes the caress in stride, responding, “What makes you think this is my first time?” READ FULL STORY

'Saturday Night Live' recap -- Daniel Craig hosts a show that's shaky, not stirred

Maybe the SNL gang is still exhausted from its Thursday night Weekend Update specials. Maybe they simply wanted to dust off a few evergreen sketches that ended up working better on the page than on the stage. Whatever the reason, last night’s episode was weirdly inert and un-topical — though host Daniel Craig did try his best to bring some life to the proceedings. The fact that the season’s third episode is already rerunning fake commercials says a lot — even if that commercial is the very funny “Undecided Voters”.

The show never really recovered from its toothless debate cold open, which pictured Jason Sudeikis’s Romney droning on while Jay Pharaoh’s Obama worried, via voiceover, about missing his wedding anniversary and getting altitude sickness. Though comedians like Jon Stewart have been merciless about skewering Obama’s lackluster debate performance, SNL‘s own sendup was way too easy on both Obama and Romney — even if it was nice to see Chris “Dr. Spaceman” Parnell stop by to play Jim Lehrer.


Daniel Craig hosts tonight's 'Saturday Night Live': Talk about it here!

Is Daniel Craig funny? If you had asked me on Monday, I probably would have shrugged and changed the subject. I have a vague memory of Craig tossing off a few one-liners in Munich — that lighthearted romp — and the way his Bond responds when asked whether he’d like his martini shaken or stirred (“Do I look like I give a damn?”) induces a smile, if not a laugh. But generally, Craig isn’t much known for his sense of humor. He can smolder, he can fight, he can even bring some gravitas to an ill-fated adaptation of a beloved fantasy book — but it’s unclear whether he can tell a joke, or at least spend just one evening not taking himself very seriously.

Then again, the SNL promos Craig filmed with cast member Taran Killam earlier this week prove that the actor might have a silly side after all.  READ FULL STORY

Daniel Craig and Taran Killam's 'SNL' promos are double-o-heaven -- VIDEO

Taran Killam tweeted that filming a set of Saturday Night Live promos with this week’s host, Daniel Craig, made for the “greatest day ever.” After watching their video, you’ll see why. At first, the clips focus on Killam’s futile efforts to impress and, uh, make out with the guy who plays James Bond. Then, apropos of nothing, there’s a completely charming montage of Killam and Craig wearing wigs, rocking out on air guitars, and eating cupcakes together — you know, just normal guy stuff. Who knew craggy Craig had such a silly side?

I’d be totally happy if Saturday’s episode ends up just being 90 minutes of these two goofing around together. In the meantime, let’s watch the promos on an endless loop:


Daniel Craig plays Bond for Heineken ad -- VIDEO

The announcement of Heineken’s partnership with the new James Bond movie Skyfall was met with mixed emotions: It’s a beer, but, it helped finance the movie. Let the debate begin again as Daniel Craig’s first commercial as Bond begins airing Friday. It involves a train, a protegé, and Bond Girl Berenice Marlohe. Watch it below. READ FULL STORY

Welcome Seth MacFarlane and Daniel Craig. Who else do you want to join the 'Saturday Night Live' host club?

As we learned again last year, hosting Saturday Night Live is the ultimate test for a performer. It’s live television with no place to hide. But if you can make it there, as the Sinatra song goes, you can make it just about anywhere, and it’s always fascinating to witness a performer take that leap for the first time. Melissa McCarthy, fresh off an Emmy win and a scene-stealing turn in Bridesmaids, knocked it out of the park when she hosted last October. Similarly, Jason Segel and Daniel Radcliffe felt like part of the cast, like they belonged. (Channing Tatum and Charlie Day? We still like you, but better luck next time.)

And as much as I hope there is a next time — for McCarthy and even Tatum, as well as sure-things like Alec Baldwin and Mr. Saturday Night Live 2012 Jimmy Fallon — I’m already anticipating who will headline this season’s crop of first-timers. This morning, NBC announced that Seth MacFarlane will host the season premiere and Daniel Craig will parachute in — figuratively, I assume — on Oct. 6, marking their SNL hosting debuts.

But who else is on your first-timer wishlist? I’ve got a few ideas… READ FULL STORY

This Week's Cover: EW Celebrates 50 Years of James Bond -- plus Sam Mendes on 'Skyfall'


What is the most appropriate gift you could give Brit super spy and martini aficionado James Bond to celebrate 50 years of big screen 007 adventures? A cake in the shape of a gun? A gun in the shape of a cake? A new liver? Or…How about an entire issue of Entertainment Weekly devoted to the half century of espionage-themed pleasure the Bond franchise has given the world since Sean Connery defined the role of 007 — and Ursula Andress defined the ideal way to wear a bikini — in 1962’s Dr. No?

Within the pages of this week’s magazine you’ll find a gallery of rare, behind-the-scenes photographs annotated by longtime Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson, a guide to all 22 official James Bond movies, a round-up of Bond’s greatest gadgets, a map revealing every place 007 has visited on planet earth (and elsewhere), an interview with “Unsung Bond” George Lazenby, and an opening essay by 007 nut Ben Svetkey who explains why his many Bond set visits on EW’s behalf were not just all expenses-paid boondoggles — they were all expense-paid boondoggles which helped make him the man he is today.

But, wait, there’s more! Having stirred you with tales of Bond movies past we will also hopefully shake you with fresh news about the latest 007 adventure Skyfall, which opens Nov. 9. That intel comes courtesy of the film’s Oscar-winning director Sam Mendes who emerged from his editing bunker to talk Daniel Craig hotness, Bond girl nudity, and the onscreen evil-osity of Javier Bardem’s villain.

Remember, though, folks: All this is for your eyes only!

For your complete guide to 50 Years of Bond, pick up the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, on stands Aug. 3.

Read more:
‘Skyfall': ‘Mommy was very bad’ and other curious clues in the new James Bond trailer
‘Skyfall’ first look: Ben Whishaw is the new Q! — EXCLUSIVE
First ‘Skyfall’ teaser poster unveiled

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