When Daniel Craig said Quantum of Solace began shooting without a script, and the director wanted to quit

Hindustan Times | By
Jun 06, 2020 08:11 PM IST

Daniel Craig’s second James Bond film, Quantum of Solace, had a rocky road to production. Here’s what went down behind-the-scenes.

Quantum of Solace may be a sour patch on Daniel Craig’s run as James Bond, and with good reason. The film was made with ‘the bare bones of a script’, and the director, Marc Forster, almost quit.

Daniel Craig in a still from Quantum of Solace.
Daniel Craig in a still from Quantum of Solace.

In a 2011 interview to Time Out, Craig said, “On Quantum, we were f**ked. We had the bare bones of a script – then there was the writers’ strike and there was nothing we could do.” He explained further, “We couldn’t employ a writer to finish it. There was me trying to rewrite scenes – and a writer I am not. Me and Marc Forster were the ones allowed to do it. The rules were that you couldn’t employ anyone as a writer, but the actor and director could work on scenes together. We were stuffed. We got away with it, but only just.”

Also read: Lisa Ray recalls auditioning for Quantum of Solace with Daniel Craig, says Gal Gadot was also in contention

Forster offered up his own account of the events in a 2016 interview to Collider. He said, “It was tricky because we didn’t have a finished script… Ultimately at that time I wanted to pull out. Ron Howard pulled out of Angels & Demons which Sony was about to do and they sort of shut down, and at the time I thought, ‘Okay maybe I should pull out’ because we didn’t have a finished script. But everybody said, ‘No we need to make a movie, the strike will be over shortly so you can start shooting what we have and then we’ll finish everything else.’ I said ‘Yeah but the time crunch’…”

He continued, “So ultimately I said ‘Okay’. The idea was to make a follow-up to Casino Royale and ultimately I felt like, ‘Okay worst case scenario the strike goes on, I’ll just make it sort of like a 70s revenge movie; very action driven, lots of cuts to hide that there’s a lot of action and a little less story. To disguise it.’”

Also read: In Defence of Quantum of Solace: Before Daniel Craig retires as 007, revisit his most underrated Bond film

Quantum of Solace is the direct sequel to Casino Royale, which launched Craig as the iconic British spy. Forster said that the pressure to replicate the success of Casino Royale was on. He said, “It was pretty crazy because you’re under incredible pressure, especially doing a Bond film, and especially doing the follow-up Bond film to Casino Royale which is the best book Ian Fleming ever wrote, I feel, and was the best Bond movie in a long time... Then ultimately you have a follow-up with an incomplete script based on no book and you have to deliver. At the same time, we only had five or six weeks to cut the movie once we finished principal photography. You have six weeks to edit before the movie actually then goes into sound and comes out.”

While not quite the critical and commercial success that Casino Royale was, Quantum of Solace ended up making almost $600 million worldwide. Craig returned for two more films -- Skyfall and Spectre -- and will conclude his run as Agent 007 with this year’s No Time to Die.

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