James Bond producers defend maligned series entry Quantum of Solace. The direct sequel to 2006’s Casino Royale found Daniel Craig’s 007 out for revenge after the death of his lover Vesper Lynd.
Unfortunately while Casino Royale was almost universally praised, Quantum of Solace found itself being battered by critics and Bond fans alike, and is now the consensus pick for worst movie of the Craig era of Bond. Indeed Craig himself recently talked about the disappointing Casino Royale follow-up, calling the process of making it a “s—tshow.” Thankfully the Bond series would recover with the critically praised blockbuster Skyfall, followed by the financially successful Spectre.
Quantum of Solace may be something of a black sheep among Craig-era James Bond films but not everyone is lining up to bash the movie. In fact, Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson recently spoke up to defend the work, explaining to /Film why they think the movie is an important one in the development of Craig’s Bond portrayal. Broccoli said:
“I’m really proud of the movie. I think it’s part of the whole evolution of Bond. And I think after ‘Casino Royale,’ when he shuts down emotionally, the next step was going out for revenge. I think the story of that film is that revenge is an empty challenge. You don’t get any benefit from revenge. So I think it’s important in the whole history of the evolution of this character. I’m very proud of it for sure.”
Unfortunately for Broccoli the intended meaning of Quantum of Solace may have gotten lost amid the so-called “s—tshow” the movie ultimately became. A catalog of exactly what went wrong on the Casino Royale follow-up of course begins with the unfortunate fact that the film went before cameras without a polished script due to the writers’ strike going on at the time. Fans have also pointed to the movie’s revenge angle as a problem – despite Wilson and Broccoli apparently thinking the revenge plot was actually a good idea. Another issue that crops up in discussions about Quantum of Solace is that Mathieu Amalric’s villain is a weak one compared to other Bond baddies. It can also be argued that Marc Forster was a poor choice to direct the movie, especially after Martin Campbell did such a solid job on Casino Royale.
It is also interesting that after Quantum of Solace the Bond franchise did undergo several adjustments, including the arrival of Sam Mendes to direct Skyfall, and in Spectre the introduction of a tweaked version of classic Bond villain Blofeld. So it’s clear that while Broccoli and Wilson may have personally liked the direction things were taken in Quantum of Solace, they also recognized the need to change course in subsequent movies. Which just goes to show that the stewards of the Bond franchise are plenty wise when it comes to reading audience reaction and making needed changes. And thanks to these adjustments, the Bond series was able to build to the big climax promised in the about-to-be-released No Time to Die. So Quantum of Solace may be a black sheep among Bond films, but its failure at least taught producers some valuable lessons they were able to use later, making the Bond series better overall.