Director Sam Mendes and star Daniel Craig may be the big marquee names of Skyfall, but the real driving forces behind the Bond franchise have long been Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson. The half-siblings are the daughter and stepson, respectively, of late producer Albert R. “Cubby” Broccoli — the man who, along with producer Harry Saltzman, first brought Ian Fleming‘s now-iconic spy to the silver screen in 1962 — and have been involved with the series since the Roger Moore era.

At a recent Skyfall press day in New York, I got to speak with the pair about what Mendes brings to the franchise, the advantages of having Craig on board, the importance of interesting female characters, and whether perennial fan favorite Christopher Nolan might ever direct an installment. Hit the jump to read on.

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This eclectic edition of Sequel Bits covers everything from the Lifetime Channel to Machete Kills. After the jump:

  • Javier Bardem says he was offered Bond way back when
  • Carrie Fisher would be interested in doing Star Wars VII
  • Melissa Leo and Octavia Spencer join Lifetime’s Five 2
  • Spy Kids star Alexa Vega is all grown up in Machete Kills
  • See Luke Evans as Bard the Bowman in The Hobbit
  • Here’s where you can watch The Hobbit in 48 fps 3D

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You’ve probably noticed by now that Sam MendesSkyfall is building some seriously amazing buzz, with ecstatic praise heaped on everything from the cinematography and action choreography to the acting and storytelling. On the plus side, that makes the film’s impending release that much more exciting. On the not-so-plus side, all that hype just makes November 9 (or October 26 for you lucky Brits) seem that much farther away.

For those hankering for an early Bond fix, we have some fun bits of B-roll to share with you today after the jump. The videos show stars Daniel CraigJavier BardemJudi Dench, Naomie Harris, Ralph Fiennes, Albert Finney, Ben Whishaw, and Bérénice Marlohe shooting various key scenes, from quiet conversations to splashy action setpieces. Check them out after the jump.

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An almost ridiculous amount of information about Terrence Malick‘s latest film, To The Wonder, has made its way online and if it was for almost any other film, I’d advise you to look away. Why would you want to spoil yourself? But this is Terrence Malick, and even if you know the entire plot, musical accompaniment and more about one of his films, odds are nothing can come close to ruining the surprises he has in store once you sit down in the theater.

To The Wonder will have it’s world premiere this weekend at the Venice Film Festival and stars Ben AffleckRachel McAdamsOlga Kurylenko, and Javier Bardem. After the jump, read a detailed plot description, a reason why that might not be important at all, the soundtrack listing and much more. Seriously, it’s an embarassment of Terrence Malick riches. Read More »

James Bond’s ability to fill out a tux is the stuff of legend, as is the beauty of his many female associates. All of which should make it very easy indeed for the Skyfall marketing team at Sony to put out one sharp-looking ad campaign. A new banner and series of posters feature stars Daniel Craig, Bérénice Marlohe, Naomie Harris, and Javier Bardem, all dressed up and doing their best Blue Steels in front of a stark black and white 007 logo.

Meanwhile, the vibe behind the scenes looks a little more relaxed. Photographer Greg Williams got on set to capture images of the Skyfall team at work and play, and has assembled the pictures into a gorgeous coffee table book called Bond on Set. Check out the new posters and preview Williams’ book after the jump.

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We’ve seen quite a few stills from the new James Bond film, Skyfall, but even after those and a couple set visits that have revealed some details of the film’s plot, the crew promoting Sam Mendes‘ first take on the Bond franchise has kept the big details quiet. The teaser trailer has been seen only at CinemaCon so far, and will hit the web on Monday May 21st at 8.30am BST.

In advance of that reveal, the film’s first teaser poster has gone online today, and in well-established teaser mode, it doesn’t reveal much. It does feature the classic Bond rifled gun barrel, with Daniel Craig strolling forward in a composition that echoes the fact that part of the film takes place in the tube tunnels beneath London.

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After he finished The Tree of Life, director Terrence Malick shot a film that was referred to for quite some time as The Burial. The romance features Ben Affleck, Rachel McAdams, Olga Kurylenko, Javier Bardem, Rachel Weisz, Barry Pepper, Michael Sheen, Amanda Peet, and Jessica Chastain, and has been the subject of much speculation, as is often the case with Malick’s films.

Now we’ve got one new detail: thanks to the MPAA, we know the film is now called To the Wonder, and has been rated R for “some sexuality/nudity.” Read More »

As Ridley Scott‘s The Counselor approaches its June start date, the cast list is undergoing some last-minute adjustments. According to a new report, Cameron Diaz has just been brought in to replace Angelina Jolie, who was circling a strong supporting role last month and was said to be “very likely” to board.

The Cormac McCarthy-penned project has already attracted more than its share of A-list talent. Man of the moment Michael Fassbender is set for the lead, with Brad Pitt, Javier Bardem, and Penélope Cruz rounding out the cast. More details after the jump.

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