As November 14th continues to inch closer and closer — quite literally — by the day, the one man that is one almost every movie fan’s mind is Bond, James Bond. I know that I, personally, am more excited to see Bond return to the big screen in Quantum of Solace than I am about any other movie from here until the end of the year. According to early reports, this Bond is going to be the bloodiest, the most intense and the most visually exciting of the entire 22 film series. And if it comes through on those claims, those will just be more marks on the belt, because as various news stories have proven today, this Bond is unique in a lot of ways — some potentially good and some potentially bad.
First up is the revelation that at 106 minutes, Quantum of Solace is to be the shortest of all the Bond films, the first in the series to clock in at less than two hours since 1997’s Tomorrow Never Dies. For fans, this could spell a sigh of relief, especially considering the fact that 2006’s Casino Royale was the longest Bond film in history, clocking in at an almost gruesome 144 minutes. But as Quantum director Marc Forster explained to Cinematical, this new film skips all of the Bond-brooding and reflection:
“…you know, like in the middle of Casino [Royale] they had a very long card game which, which was, was … and in this movie it’s shorter and doesn’t have that type of card game where you sort of reflect more because the story didn’t require it. So the movie is, you know, a little over an hour and forty minutes, so it’s much of a more compact emotional intense journey than Casino, which, I think, had more reflective moments maybe.”
Fair enough, I will take the phrase “more compact emotional intense journey” as Forster eluding to more action, and that’s a good thing.
As well, the kids over at MI6 have uncovered the cover to the film’s CD Soundtrack, the top half of which can be seen below. You can see all of it by giving it a click.
I will admit that while I was impressed with the beats put together by Jack White on the new theme, entitled “Another Way to Die,” I was not a fan of the vocal mix between White and Alicia Keys. The song, to say the least, was a let-down — hopefully the rest of the soundtrack doesn’t follow suit.
And finally, according to British outlet The Independent, the 106 minute runtime of Quantum of Solace will leave no room for Bond to drop his signature catchphrase, “Bond, James Bond.” As Marc Forster explains, it wasn’t an intentional slight against the Bond lineage, but a matter of feasibility:
“There was a ‘Bond, James Bond’ in the script. There are several places where we shot it as well, but it never worked as we hoped. I just felt we should cut it out, and [producers] Barbara Broccoli and Michael Wilson agreed, and Daniel agreed, too. It’s nice to be open-minded about the Bond formula. You can always go back to them later on.”
Will this upset the 007 fan community, one which has roots all over the world? According to Ajay Chowdhury, editor of Kiss Kiss Bang Bang magazine (via CommanderBond.net), that’s doubtful:
“The producers have been mixing and matching the famous Bond tropes—such as the theme song and the gun-barrel sequence,’ he said. ‘But this time there is a theme song by Jack White and Alicia Keys. If this line of script is not in there it’s not going to undo the foundations of Bond. The fans didn’t miss Moneypenny or Q. Bond is the only British character with worldwide resonance now, apart from Harry Potter. The producers are paying more attention to psychology and relationships, as well as adventure. Quantum of Solace picks up from Casino Royale, which was a really good thriller first and a good Bond movie second.”
I would have to agree with Chowdhury’s assessment — it seems that Bond fans are a bit more civilized and open minded than say, Star Wars fans. Though, I believe Star Wars fans have plenty of reasons to be upset — Bond fans have 21, going on 22 films in the franchise. They’ve seen ups and downs, rights and wrongs over the course of the past 40+ years of films. And I’d say that they would be more than willing to sacrifice one classic Bond trope for the current upswing in quality. And don’t worry fans, as you can see from the picture to the right, Bond still drinks his Vodka Martinis — which we can assume is shaken, not stirred.