Shooting on the latest James Bond movie starts Monday, Daniel Craig revealed at this morning’s press conference for Skyfall, the 23rd 007 movie. Producer Michael G Wilson scotched UK tabloid rumors that the budget for the latest Bond film has been slashed by $100 million. “We’re in the same budget range as the last film. We haven’t had to change anything in the script. In fact, we keep adding things — everything is going to be just as it was,” he said. Director Sam Mendes also denied he was making a downbeat Bond with fewer action sequences. He would be directing action sequences himself. “There will be plenty of surprises,” Mendes promised. “The action needs to be balanced with the drama.” Mendes said he was open to directing another Bond installment, “if I still feel that it’s as much fun in six months’ time, then the answer is yes.”

The filmmakers were giving little away at this morning’s presser: In Skyfall, Bond’s loyalty to M is tested as her past comes back to haunt her; MI6 comes under attack, and Bond must track down and destroy the threat. While confirming Deadline’s scoop that Javier Bardem would play the villain, Mendes was coy as to whether Bardem would be playing Blofeld, as screenwriter John Logan has hinted. What is known is that Skyfall will be mostly shot around Whitehall, London (the government district), Scotland, Istanbul and China. Eon Productions used this morning’s event to unveil latest Bond girl Bérénice Marlohe, playing a character named Severine. Other cast members confirmed include Albert Finney, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Whishaw and Naomie Harris, playing a secret agent named Eve. Sony will release Skyfall in North America on November 9 2012, following its UK/Ireland premiere on October 26.

Mendes said he wanted to do Bond because he’d been a fan since going to see Live And Let Die in the cinema. “Plus I thought that Daniel playing Bond opened up all sorts of fantastic opportunities for the character,” he said. Broccoli would not comment on speculation that Brit pop star Adele will sing the theme song: “We’ve been considering various people for the theme tune,” she said. Mendes added that Skyfall was not a continuation of the previous two Bond outings, which had a running storyline. Producer Barbara Broccoli also revealed that Craig would be playing Bond for at least one more time. Personally, I can’t help but feel Skyfall is a lame title for a James Bond movie; even Everything Or Nothing, a James Bond video game title, would be better.