The first two movies of the rebooted Bond-franchise were at the start of Bond's career (when he was likely in his late twenties/thirties), but when does Skyfall take place in relation to other things going on with Bond?

  • 2
    I think you're confused. All the movies occur in the order they were filmed, they also, apart from a few instances, don't refer to each other. Thus each movie can be viewed as it's own individual 'canon'. The most recent movies can be viewed as a series of closely bound events but they still occur in the order filmed and spaced apart about as long apart as the films are in real time. This is part of the beauty of the Bond films. May 20, 2013 at 7:54
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    @APaleShadow "Thus each movie can be viewed as it's own individual 'canon'." - This doesn't hold for the Craig-movies, though, but otherwise correct comment.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    May 20, 2013 at 9:01
  • Related: movies.stackexchange.com/q/9035/49
    – Napoleon Wilson
    May 20, 2013 at 9:02
  • An interesting plot device for the craig era films was used in the ps3 game james bond:007 legends - at the beginning of the game he gets shot off the bridge as in skyfall ,whilst he is unconcious he recalls and relives his missions from 5 classic bond films as if they had happend in the 3 years between quantum of solace and skyfall .
    – howler
    Oct 31, 2013 at 9:35

4 Answers 4


Timelines and James Bond don't go hand in hand, he's an ageless character and will always continue to be up to date regardless of when the stories are set.

Having said that if you're determined to answer the question, there are a few clues we can divine.

  • He has acquired the Aston Martin, therefore it must be after Casino Royal
  • The Aston has an ejector seat and machine guns which were fitted for GoldFinger
  • It's Judi Dench's M character final mission therefore it must be after all of the Brosnan Bonds
  • Q mentions the exploding pen which was last seen in GoldenEye

If you put these facts together Bond has most likely completed the missions in all the other films, however as I suggested at the start Bond and chronology questions are always going to be very hard because of the nature of the franchise.

For example in GoldenEye M is the new head of MI6 and meets an experienced 007, in Casino Royale that same M promotes him to the 00 section!

  • 1
    Meh, those clues are rather pointless (as you even state yourself in the rest of your answer): (1) It's not the one from Casino Royal. (2) It is the old one from Goldfinger, but not from that actual Bond mission, but just a little nod to the old days/movies. (3) Brosnan doesn't have anything to do with it, it's a complete reboot, with only Craig being James Bond ever. (4) That was just a small ironic nod, not neccessarily referring to the actual GoldenEye mission.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    May 20, 2013 at 15:53
  • @ChristianRau - I agree, I don't think the question can really be answered because of the structure of the films. They're not chronological. However, if you were to consider them as a history of a character these are the best clues I could think of.
    – Liath
    May 20, 2013 at 16:19
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    "However, if you were to consider them as a history of a character these are the best clues I could think of" - But as the rest of your answer says, you're just not supposed to do that and those clues lead the reader onto a completely wrong track.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    May 20, 2013 at 16:20
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    I think you could argue it either way... the original question referred to the Bond history, not just the reboots. I didn't see the point in answering them simply saying "Film 3 comes after 1 and 2)
    – Liath
    May 20, 2013 at 16:22
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    But the fact that the last three are actually reboots of the whole franchise makes the them the sole "Bond history" (considering actual movies). The other movies just don't exist, because Casino Royale was a reboot.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    May 20, 2013 at 16:27

First of all, the James Bond movies (or rather the pre-Craig movies) don't adhere to an actual realistic timeline that goes through all of the movies. Without some small exceptions (Bond's wife and her death) there aren't any major cross-movie story developments and any Bond movie can be seen as rather stand-alone, even if some small comments and allusions to previous movies are made here and there (e.g. at the scale of Brosnan making a small remark about the jet-pack from Thunderball, but nothing serious or story-relevant).

But this is slightly different for the Craig-movies. First of all they're actually a reboot. Whereas all the previous movies didn't really care that much about their respective prequels, Casino Royale was the first to actively reboot the whole franchise and introduce James Bond as a completely new character recently promoted to 00-status. This means that any previous movies, in contrast to merely being ignored, don't actually exist in the world of this rebooted franchise.

On the other hand this new rebooted franchise comes with a much tighter cross-movie development and the individual movies' stories are interweaved much more tightly (especially noticable with Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace, though less with Skyfall). So while it is rather pointless to come up with an actual timeline for the pre-Craig movies, the Craig-franchise indeed has a sequential timeline with the movies happening in the order they came out and roughly at the timescales they are released. It has to be seen how far this is kept on with future Craig-movies, but since rather important story developments happened to major characters in Skyfall (especially M), I'm pretty sure the next movie will not just ignore those but rather reference them, be it only slightly.

So to answer your actual question, Skyfall likely takes place a couple of years after Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace and any other Bond adventures known from other movies didn't actually happen in this rebooted universe.

  • What about the Aston Martin with the machine guns? Where did that come from? May 28, 2013 at 10:33
  • @APaleShadow Meh, that was just a small nod to the old movies, say a meta joke. In the context of the movie it was just an old MI6 prop that James somehow got his hands on, it doesn't need to imply that he (this particular James Bond character) himself used it 50 years ago. I don't see much point in desperately interpreting actual plot-relevance into such small gimmick scenes.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    May 28, 2013 at 10:45

There is some continuity between films. It is best seen in some of the supporting characters.

It is complicated because the early films were made in the roughly reverse order that the books were written. So for example Quarrel is first met in the early book Live and Let Die and then dies in Dr No. For the film Live and Let Die they called him Quarrel Jr.

Felix Leiter's character is similarly distorted but there is some continuity within the books and within the films but never between the books and the films.

The Craig era films are best considered a reboot as they would have had to set Casino Royale in the 1950s to preserve continuity with the older films.


The Craig series takes place before all the other movies. In Casino Royale, Bond first gets his 00 license. At the end of Skyfall, the new MI6 office is identical to the one from the old movies and Moneypenny begins working as M's liaison. It's all in the last 60 seconds of the movie so it's easy to miss.

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    Since the Craig series is a reboot then the ending could be developing the new bond series with elements the past series had. But in modern times.
    – user6953
    Nov 30, 2013 at 1:09
  • So you mean after the 21st century comes the 1960s? Our physical reality doesn't seem to agree with you.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Feb 12, 2014 at 13:18
  • @NapoleonWilson Maybe they'll give to JJ Abrams and the next film can be a time travel (Doctor Who crossover?) piece. ;-)
    – Dronz
    Mar 3, 2018 at 5:10

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