I didn’t mind the Alicia Keys/Jack White combo on the QoS intro, but I’ve always wanted to use a Reverend song for a Bond intro and I think I finally found my opportunity. And by “don’t mind” I mean that I’m not compelled to riot and overturn cars every time I hear Alicia Keys croon “shoot ’em up bang bang.” Minor, manageable rage only. Instead of that nonsense, let’s get our Rockabilly on.
This is the 22nd essay in a 23-part series about the James Bond cinemas. I encourage everyone to comment and join in on an extended conversation about not only the films themselves, but cinematic trends, political and other external influences on the series’ tone and direction.
Quantum of Solace, a Study in Mehssimism
by James David Patrick
“On Quantum, we were fucked.”
Any conversation about Quantum of Solace must return to the WGA strike. It’s not just that the strike left production with a script found lacking – it’s that there wasn’t a script so much as a bare-bones outline. The “script” for Quantum of Solace has become such a scapegoat in the supposed failure of the film that its ribald villainy overshadows the film’s actual villain, Dominic Green (Mathieu Amalric). So what happened with that screenplay?
Let’s start with what we know.
1. At least four screenwriters had a hand in the Quantum cookie jar: Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, Paul Haggis, and Joshua Zetumer.
2. Production scrapped another outline developed by Paul Haggis when Foster signed on, causing a last-minute rush to develop a new screenplay. But I’ve also read that Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli nixed the Haggis concept. If that were the case one would assume the story wouldn’t have been abandoned and rewritten at the 11th hour.
3. Zetumer arrived on the set during production to do polishes immediately following the resolution of the Writer’s Guild strike but does not own a credit on the film.
4. Their experience on Quantum caused 5-time Bond scribes Purvis and Wade to state that the film would be their last Bond film, but Purvis and Wade haven’t to my knowledge discussed publicly what happened. Craig and Forster don’t acknowledge them in the process. If you read the interviews around the release of Quantum of Solace, you’d never know they were involved, if not for the credits. They talk only about Zetumer and Haggis.
5. In more recent interviews (during Skyfall pre-release press), Craig and Forster have said that they developed the final concept on set during filming based on a second narrative outlined by Haggis and turned over hours before the strike. This is a shift from their statements in 2008 that claimed the script was “fine,” prior to the start of filming of Quantum.
6. Nobody seems to agree publicly about how the Quantum of Solace shooting script came to be. (more…)
The poster for Quantum of Solace created one of the most striking images in the entire Bond franchise. It’s only natural then that an image that became immediately iconic of Craig’s Bond begat a legion of imitators and parodies.
Original Quantum of Solace poster:
The Best of the Quantum of Solace Parodies:
Fools Gold and Pools of Blue: Color Symbolism in Quantum of Solace
by Array Jackson (@ArrayJackson)
Beyond the surface is my unknown
I could fall
But could I reach the elusive destination?
If I stepped inside would I ever know I was there?
Is it possible to transcend
to crack the surface
to submerge the impenetrable barrier
Into your vibrant pools of blue…
My love letter to Daniel Craig ~ Array Jackson
I can’t get the image out of my head. Larger than life. Vast. Deep. Breathtaking… The most amazing shade of blue. Can it be only a coincidence? I don’t think so. I’m flooded with theories about Quantum of Solace.
I honestly can’t remember if I saw Quantum of Solace in the theater; it’s more likely I first picked up bits and pieces on cable. So when I sat down to watch it in preparation for this essay, I knew I’d already seen something of it, and unfortunately I’d heard a lot—a whole lot of negative. But I went into this project positive, determined I was going to find something in the film of immense richness, digging below the surface if necessary. If you will, I was questing for gold. And I found it. As a matter of fact about a quarter of the way into the film I was overwhelmed with gold. And then black. And suddenly that vibrant, poetic blue. I asked myself: what the heck does all this bold color have to do with the plot? My ultimate answer: everything. (more…)