Thursday, January 24, 2008

A Clamor Over “Solace”

We’ve been referring to the next James Bond film simply as Bond 22. But it seems we can now use a real name for that picture, scheduled for release in November. It’s Quantum of Solace. Yep, you read that right, even if you haven’t a clue why anyone would choose such a bizarre title for an action movie.

Evidently, the name was revealed this morning at Pinewood Studios near London, where the 22nd entry in the Bond franchise--again starring Daniel Craig as Agent 007--is being filmed. Reuters reports that Quantum “sees the super spy out for revenge on a mission that takes him to Austria, Italy and South America.”
According to the synopsis, Bond girl Camille, played by Ukrainian-born Olga Kurylenko, leads the secret agent to Dominic Greene, member of a mysterious organization and a ruthless businessman, seeking to control huge natural resources.

Greene is played by Frenchman Mathieu Amalric, who starred in the Oscar-nominated “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.”

The plot follows on directly from “Casino Royale,” as Bond aims to uncover the truth about Vesper [Lynd], the beauty who betrayed him, and discovers that she had been blackmailed.

“James Bond is after revenge, and Camille is after revenge and they have slightly different goals, but in the end they are going to have to collaborate,” Kurylenko told reporters. has an ITV News clip that offers a few more details about this film.

If you’re wondering where that clunky title comes from ... well, it’s writer Ian Fleming’s fault. “Quantum of Solace” is the name of one of the five short stories contained in his 1960 collection, For Your Eyes Only. And it’s far from the first of those abbreviated tales to be have its moniker stolen by Hollywood. As Wikipedia explains,
The title story of the collection lent its name to the 12th official James Bond film in the EON Productions series, For Your Eyes Only. Released in 1981, it was the fifth film to star Roger Moore as the British Secret Service agent, Commander James Bond. The film used elements and characters from the short stories “For Your Eyes Only” and “Risico” from this collection. “From a View to a Kill” lent its title to the 14th Bond film, A View to a Kill (1985). Plot elements from “The Hildebrand Rarity” were incorporated in the 16th Bond film, Licence to Kill (1989).
And now comes Quantum of Solace, which bears scant resemblance to the story from which its title was filched. That original tale was not even a spy story, but had to do with a wife’s infidelity in Bermuda, and Commander Bond wasn’t a major character in it.

Despite its honest provenance, not everyone is thrilled with the name of this forthcoming Bond film. As critic David J. Montgomery put it earlier this morning, “I think that is quite possibly the worst title I have ever heard. They should just call it ‘New James Bond Movie.’ That’s all anyone cares about anyway.”

READ MORE:Bond and His Quantum of Solace (or Not),” by Karen Meek (Euro Crime Blog); “James Bond Book News,” by Karen Meek (Euro Crime Blog).

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