Several online writers went to London recently to take part in a roundtable interview with some of the key people involved in Quantum of Solace. Three bits from their collective reportage leapt out at me.
This is a continuation, but I think the story kind of completes here. I think you know we had a lot of unanswered questions at the end of CASINO ROYALE, and this story just kind of completes that cycle and will go on to other different stories from now on. . . .
And remember, CASINO ROYALE ends with “The bitch is dead.” And you know that his heart’s broken, and we don’t really believe him when he says that. So this is sort of his journey to understanding what happened and putting it to rest.
So it sounds like the first two Daniel Craig films will be pretty closely linked, but any further films will revert to the more episodic formula that characterized the franchise prior to the reboot.
I really made the movie I wanted to make, so if the movie doesn’t work it’s really my responsibility because they gave me the tools and the freedom to do whatever I wanted to do. They supported me and fought for my vision to the end, and the great thing is why I put myself in this situation because before in all my films I had creative freedom, I had final cut, control; on this film they, on that size of film – over 200 million dollar movie – the great thing is about that they basically are the ones I’m dealing with. Usually on that size of movie I’m dealing with the studio and the bureaucracies of the studio and a room of executives asking me questions and, because it’s about so much money that there’s the anxiety and the pressure is so much higher. Here in this situation I’m just dealing with Barbara and Michael, and basically they’re dealing with the studio, but it’s their sort of the family franchise, and that’s makes it much easier because [if] I have an issue I can’t get done, I said ‘Look I need this, I need this, I need this, can you get it for me?’ And they say ‘Okay, let us look at it, we will try to make it.’
Finally, IGN.com reports that the film will be only 106 minutes long, and thus it “looks to be the shortest but most action-packed Bond movie yet.”
That’s interesting, since Casino Royale was the longest of the Bond movies to date — so they’ve gone from the longest film in the franchise to the shortest film in the franchise, just as they have gone from the oldest director in the franchise to the youngest director in the franchise.
And just for the record, here are the previous Bond films — including the “unofficial” films that were not produced by the Broccoli family! — with their lengths as reported on the backs of their DVD covers:
1962 — Dr. No — 110 minutes
1963 — From Russia with Love — 111 minutes
1964 — Goldfinger — 110 minutes
1965 — Thunderball — 125 minutes
1967 — Casino Royale — 131 minutes
1967 — You Only Live Twice — 117 minutes
1969 — On Her Majesty’s Secret Service — 142 minutes
1971 — Diamonds Are Forever — 120 minutes
1973 — Live and Let Die — 122 minutes
1974 — The Man with the Golden Gun — 125 minutes
1977 — The Spy Who Loved Me — 126 minutes
1979 — Moonraker — 121 minutes
1981 — For Your Eyes Only — 128 minutes
1983 — Octopussy — 131 minutes
1983 — Never Say Never Again — 133 minutes
1985 — A View to a Kill — 131 minutes
1987 — The Living Daylights — 131 minutes
1989 — Licence to Kill — 133 minutes
1995 — GoldenEye — 130 minutes
1997 — Tomorrow Never Dies — 119 minutes
1999 — The World Is Not Enough — 128 minutes
2002 — Die Another Day — 127 minutes
2006 — Casino Royale — 144 minutes
For what it’s worth, I do think it’s interesting that the two films in which Bond has had his most serious relationships to date happen to be the two longest films in the history of the franchise.
I also think it’s curious that, with one exception, the 1960s spoof version of Casino Royale was longer than any of the “real” films until the 1980s. Don’t comedies normally err on the side of brevity?