Almost a full month since it was released in theatres, Quantum of Solace has proved there are still many ways to shake up the James Bond film formula.
Dropping the famous lines, shooting in more locations around the world than any other 007 film and acting as a direct continuation to Daniel Craig’s debut as Bond in Casino Royale are just a few of the hallmarks of change in Marc Forster’s contribution to the series.
Daniel Craig is James Bond
In a new interview with Rotten Tomatoes, Craig discussed his approach to his second 007 entry and exactly what went into making a decidedly very different James Bond film with Forster.
Fast-paced is a description that applies not only to the film’s storyline, but also the production schedule from the very start. As a result of the writers’ strike, the filmmakers ‘had a script but not the script they wanted’ and had to begin shooting while script writing continued.
‘We had lots of conversations,’ said Craig regarding his work relationship with Forster on Quantum of Solace. ‘Both of us agreed that we wanted to capture something about the early movies. The style of those movies was just innate. If you look at a film like Goldfinger it is kind of ridiculous but is beautifully stylish. Everyone looks fantastic and if we can achieve a little bit of that in a modern setting using modern facilities then we would have achieved that which makes it a Bond movie.’
‘They put the money up on the screen and we continue to do that now.’ –Daniel Craig
Craig continued: ‘Dr No, From Russia with Love and Goldfinger are all stylish movies. They went on location. They put the money up on the screen and we continue to do that now. We go on location. It’s up there and you know you are watching a movie that has cost money because hopefully it has been spent in the right place.’
He went on to explain the new approach taken towards the typical “Bondian” lines in Quantum of Solace as well as the interactions between his Bond and the women he encounters.
‘I love those lines and I think they are absolutely valid but we have to find a new way of doing them. We owe it to Bond. If you drop them in just because a member of the audience thinks that it is not a bond movie without them, they are bad gags. With good writers, and good actors we can find a way. We did it a bit with Casino and we did it a little bit with Quantum of Solace.’
‘I do think Quantum of Solace is the end of this sort of intensity. The next version of the intensity we will come from a different angle.’ –Daniel Craig on what lies ahead for 007
As for the Bond girls, Craig said: ”The days of the misogynistic Bond are sort of over It doesn’t stop him from being misogynist at times but if he comes into contact with strong people, not just strong women, but strong people, it is just sexier. It is more interesting if someone challenges him and it is a woman.’
Dame Judi Dench is ‘M’
One particular relationship stressed in Quantum was that between Bond and Dame Judi Dench’s ‘M’, a character Forster felt was absolutely crucial to the storyline.
Craig agreed. ‘We felt if we got this right it would make the movie,’ he said. ‘She doesn’t trust him because her bosses are telling her to figure this guy out. She is in a dilemma because she thinks that she can trust him but has been ordered not to. I am really happy where we got it to and I hope we do get to make another one because that relationship is really solid.’
Acting opposite Dame Judi for his second time has been a pleasure once again, Craig added. When asked about her sense of humour he laughs that he has ‘known dirtier senses of humour but hers is pretty dirty. I have never worked with her before. It has obviously been a dream of mine to do so and this dream has been fulfilled. Maybe we will do something serious one day but this ticks all the boxes.’
He also commended the performance of Rory Kinnear, who debuted in role of Tanner in Quantum of Solace. ‘He plays it beautifully and gives a brilliant performance in this. He has a really small role but he does it pitch perfectly, the way he plays off Judi. It is a very subtle performance going on in the movie.’
However, the actor did acknowledge the strong desire of many fans to see the regular allies return, specifically Miss Moneypenny and Q.
‘We should give Q to a good actor,’ he said. ‘We should find an actor and find out what they think and find a good story. If we just drop it in there and then go to the basement and there is Q with exploding bananas, it is not going to work. Q has been done and it has been done brilliantly and with great humour. We have to find a way to bring Q into it properly. I think we owe it to the franchise.’
‘If we just drop it in there and then go to the basement and there is Q with exploding bananas, it is not going to work.’ –Daniel Craig
As for his own interpretation on 007 and what lies ahead in Bond 23, Craig said: ‘I don’t dislike him I just don’t want to judge him really. I think he is totally morally ambiguous as a character; he kills people for a living. If I start judging him or taking the piss out of him, which would be the worst thing to do, then it is all over and there is no room to go. I think it would be nice to get to know him a bit more in the next movie. I think he could be relaxed. I do think Quantum of Solace is the end of this sort of intensity. The next version of the intensity we will come from a different angle. It won’t be so balls to the wall. It will hopefully be something that we can slowly come into and explore in a different way. Also, there will be a lot more gags.’
Let the countdown begin.
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