Bond is Bourne Again: ‘Quantum’ is Owning International Markets

I’m a Bond fan going back to The Spy Who Loved Me in 1976. It was the first Bond film I saw at the theaters, and it will always be my favorite. It inspired me to read Fleming’s novels and urged me to see every subsequent film on the day of release.

I thought Bond and I were all done after License to Kill. But then Goldeneye became my second favorite Bond film of all time. I had great expectations for the following Pierce Brosnan installments, and was mostly let down. By the time I saw Die Another Day, I thought I was all done with Bond again.

Some time that same year, I saw The Bourne Identity. I remember thinking, “This is what Bond should be. A really smart guy who can handle a gun and kick the shit out of a dude when necessary.”

But that Bond hadn’t existed since the Sean Connery days. Bond had become a comic book character. While it’s expected he should be larger-than-life, the series had gotten totally out of hand–far too dependent on gadgets and stale shtick, and bereft of soul.

A submersible Lotus is cool. An invisible Aston Martin is ridiculous.

I have to wonder if the Bond producers didn’t come to a similar epiphany while watching the first installment of the Bourne trilogy. Shortly after Die Another Day, Brosnan was summarily dismissed from his MI6 duties. The rest is history. Casino Royale was released, it was awesome, and Daniel Craig officially became the definitive 007.

Still, I was prepared to be disappointed by Quantum of Solace. I mean, first of all… that title.

It looks like I needn’t have worried. The early reviews are positive and, if the film’s opening in just three markets is an indicator, it looks set to break all sorts of box office records. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Solace raked in $39 million on a limited number of screens, putting it on the fast track to kick some serious box office ass. I wouldn’t be surprised to see it beat Casino Royale’s half billion dollar worldwide gross.

The bad news for the U.S. is we don’t get to see the latest Bond adventure until November 14. But I suppose that’s only fair. James Bond is a product of the U.K., so it’s fitting they should get first dibs. As Alec Trevelyan said in Goldeneye, “For England, James.”

But there’s a fourth Bourne movie on the way. That one is all ours. And I can’t help but think that part of the credit for the new kick-ass Bond has to go to Bourne.

What do you think? Has Bourne had an effect on Bond?

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