1. Marc Forster: Creating His Own James Bond

    By Devin Zydel on 2008-10-11

    It may be hard to believe, but less than three weeks from now will see Quantum of Solace hitting theatres around the world.

    Director Marc Forster

    Director Marc Forster

    While the many months of waiting for the 22nd James Bond film may have been hard for 007 fans, it’s director Marc Forster–who speaks about the film in a new Star eCentral interview–that faced the really difficult task: fitting into the framework of the series, while still creating his ‘own Bond’.

    ‘My first reaction was that I didn’t want to do the movie. I wasn’t interested,’ said the Swiss filmmaker. ‘I only did the meeting out of courtesy to the studio. I like Sony, and I’d worked with them before and eventually when I sat down with them I thought Barbara and Michael were very charming and interesting, and I felt like they were very director-driven.’

    ‘And I felt that, yes, there is this framework of the Bond world and one has to make the movie within that, but at the same time I felt like I could have the space to create my own Bond.’

    And judging by the numerous changes in the crew working on Quantum of Solace, it’s evident that Forster was set from the beginning in accomplishing that goal by getting the people he felt best suited the job.

    Panama: One of the many location stops in 'Quantum of Solace'

    Panama: one of the many location stops in Quantum of Solace

    Like any other Bond film, the locations in Quantum of Solace prove that there are no limits to where 007 travels. Panama, Chile, Italy, Austria and the UK were all visited during the shooting schedule.

    ‘It was the longest shoot I’ve ever done, and we did a lot of six-day weeks, so it was tiring,’ said Forster. ‘But now it’s all done, I’m feeling great about the movie and in good spirits.’

    He continues: ‘Actually, one of the reasons why I took it was because I wanted to see how an action film is made. It was a challenge but it was a lot of fun too. I think what I realised is that shooting action is not as difficult as writing action. The key to really good action is writing it. It has to be there on the page so you can figure it out. Because shooting action ultimately is executing what is on the page, and it has to be really detailed.’

    Dame Judi Dench is 'M'

    Dame Judi Dench is ‘M’

    The director also praised the film’s supporting cast in addition to Daniel Craig, commenting first on the return of Dame Judi Dench as ‘M’ in her sixth Bond film.

    ‘Judi Dench is one of the greatest actresses living today,’ he said, ‘and I felt that she was always slightly underused in the other films. I felt like they didn’t give her a large enough part, and personally I could watch her read the phone book. So I wanted to make her part bigger and give her more scenes and have her interact with Bond more because she is the only woman Bond doesn’t see in a sexual context, and I find that really interesting.’

    Forster went on to explain his approach for the film’s hard to classify lead villain, the eco-driven Dominic Greene,’ portrayed by Mathieu Amalric.

    ‘Mathieu Amalric is one of the most brilliant actors working today, and I wanted someone who had this very innocent, friendly and soft demeanour because you know the interesting thing about villains these days is that it’s not like it was during the Cold War, where there were clearly defined good guys and bad guys.’

    Daniel Craig is James Bond

    Daniel Craig is James Bond

    ‘Now the good guys and the bad guys are mixed up and there’s not someone who is just bad or just good. You know, Bond can be as bad as the bad guy can be good,’ he added.

    As for the requisite Bond girl, Forster aimed for a counterpart to 007. And he found Olga Kurylenko perfectly suited for the job. ‘The idea with casting Olga was to find someone who is a mirror image, a counterpart to Bond, who also has lost someone and understands what that feels like and is looking for someone who took the loved ones from her. And at the same time her character is someone who has the same emotional unavailability that Bond has. Because Bond is someone who obviously struggles with expressing his emotions, we wanted to find someone who was like that.’

    ‘We wanted someone who is very physical and strong and knows how to handle a gun. And Olga was just fantastic.’

    ‘And so was Gemma,’ he said. ‘She plays an MI6 agent stationed in Bolivia. Her Agent Fields is the opposite of Camille’s character. Her character feels more quirky and light and funny and vulnerable.’

    ‘The important thing about casting those two is that you see Bond reacting with both of those girls and you can see how he is in both of those situations.’

    Keep your eyes on the main page for most up-to-date and complete coverage of Quantum of Solace.