While Daniel Craig’s debut in Casino Royale was based on the Ian Fleming novel of the same name, screenwriters Neal Purvis and Robert Wade naturally added in some of their own characters in updating the story. One was Solange Dimitrios, the ill-fated wife of Alex Dimitrios, who is killed after her brief involvement with James Bond.
As nearly all of the Fleming novels and short stories have made their way in some shape or form into the films, the screenwriters are left with the unused sequences, ideas and characters. As Purvis and Wade most recently commented when discussing the upcoming Bond 22, ‘there’s a few morsels but you’d have to say the carcass has been pretty stripped. There are still a few details from the short stories that it would be nice to use.’
Looking back at the 1960 short story From A View To A Kill and 1963’s 007 In New York, one can see where the name Solange could have possibly come from.
In From A View To A Kill, the name is only mentioned once very early on in the story. As Bond sits in the French cafè thinking about his recent failed assignment on the Austro-Hungarian border, he decides to give Paris one more chance in the hopes of finding a girl and taking her to dinner…
To clean the money-look out of her eyes–for it would certainly be there–he would as soon as possible give her fifty thousand francs. He would say to her: ‘I propose to call you Donatienne, or possibly Solange, because these are names that suit my mood and the evening. We knew each other before and you lent me this money because I was in a jam. Here it is, and now we will tell each other what we have been doing since we last met in St Tropez just a year ago. In the meantime, here is the menu and the wine list and you must choose what will make you happy and fat.’
Ian Fleming’s From A View To A Kill
In the very brief short story 007 In New York, the name is mentioned several times as Bond awaits his rendezvous with the female Secret Service agent. Bond first decides to stop by at Abercrombie’s (where Solange is employed in the indoor games department) to make a date with her for later in the evening…
Then there was the question of lunch. Dinner with Solange would be easy–Lutèce in the sixties, one of the great restaurants of the world. But for lunch by himself?
Were the Americans becoming too hygienic in general–too bug-conscious? Every time Bond had made love to Solange, at a time when they should be relaxing in each other’s arms, she would retire to the bathroom for a long quarter of an hour and there was a lengthy period after that when he couldn’t kiss her because she had gargled with TCP. And the pills she took if she had a cold! Enough to combat double pneumonia.
Ian Fleming’s 007 In New York
While such elements as the name of Solange having appeared once before on this page or that page are indeed minor, it is nonetheless interesting to see the connections between the current films and Fleming’s original adventures.
From A View To A Kill is the first short story included in the 1960 short story collection, For Your Eyes Only. 007 In New York can be found in the recent Penguin editions of the Octopussy And The Living Daylights collection.