Cinematical (along with a few other select sites) was lucky enough to visit London, England this past week where we enjoyed several James Bond-related activities -- stuff that comes attached with the phrase, "Once in a lifetime experience." I'll be sharing all that with you over the next couple weeks (teaser: I drove an Aston Martin at 150mph!), but first up: James Bond himself. Remember how we asked you to give us questions for Daniel Craig and director Marc Forster regarding Bond and the upcoming film Quantum of Solace? Well, we chose a couple for each and here's what they had to say:
Of Note: Marc Forster revealed to Cinematical that the running time for Quantum of Solace is just over an hour and forty minutes, making it the shortest Bond film ever. Also, read on to find out why Forster won't direct another one.
Cinematical: (From Joe P.) Sean Connery once said the secret to playing Bond was to make everything seem effortless. This Bond is not that way at all, what changed and why?
Daniel Craig: It's a different movie and that's a simple answer to that. That's a different movie. We've based the first one and we based that more in reality and running up scaffolding and making it look effortless ... it would just be pointless. It's just, it doesn't tie into where we put it. They may develop some of that -- I don't think we've gone that far, maybe we've gone a little further in this one. But sort of the straightening of the tie after the hundred and fifty foot drop is just not my style. I can't make that my style, I can't force a kind of an idea of what Bond is on my version of it. If it comes out of something -- those sort of jokes and that kind of lightness of touch -- it comes out of the fact that something fucking awful has just happened -- there's been a huge explosion, there's just been this, just been that -- and there's a kind of relief of pressure because something funny happens. Because it's just like, 'did you see that', but that's for the audience to sort of like to see. Making it totally effortless ... it's of a different and, you know, the edges will get smoother, they will get smoother, but since this is a direct sequel to Casino Royale, we've certainly taken up the same pace in Quantum of Solace and we have to continue that. Next time round he'll lie on the beach for about half the movie.[LAUGH]
Continued after the jump ...
Cinematical: (Jack P.) If you could bring back any Bond villain from the past to face off against, who would it be?
DC: Well I think Robert Shaw (Donovan "Red" Grant in From Russia with Love) is my all time favorite. I think you kind of genuinely felt fear for Bond in that situation because, quite frankly, Rob Shaw was a scary human being, I think. And I think that he just brought a level of menace that was, you know, that was just -- like that double bit they do at the beginning when they have the guy with the mask and he shoots him and so all that and you kind of go, 'oh my god it might have happened.' [LAUGH] And if we could ever bring, you know ... I think he was my favorite. I think that's a simple answer. I mean I love the character and the kind of disappearing seats and all that -- I mean it's not great ... it was just much more visceral.
Cinematical: (Gabe F.) How is Quantum of Solace different, stylistically, from Casino Royale? What did you bring to the table?
Marc Forster: Um ... it was important for me to sort of, you know, on one hand when I realized if I'm doing a Bond film, I'm working the Bond framework, and I felt like I'm almost like a filmmaker working on a political regime with extreme censorship [LAUGHS], and with within that extreme censorship you can find a very creative way to really create your own story and really still incorporate yourself, and I felt that it was really, really key for me. So I felt like on one hand that I have to, you know, bring my entire crew with me, and basically the most -- except for David Arnold, the composer -- pretty much everybody was replaced and never worked on a Bond film before ... from all the key creative positions. And that would already make a huge difference, and then I've, I basically started scouting before I had a script and started choosing locations, and created my own look. The only thing I took from Casino Royale was Bond's emotional state at the end of the movie, which I think I wanted to cross over into this, but I didn't really want it to aesthetically match that type of film because it's a different director and I wouldn't be able to even copy that. So it was important for me just to create my own movie as a continuation, and that's what I did. I approached the movie like an art film, really, because I felt like it's about Bond, it's almost gonna be a character driven movie, and yes you have the action pieces, but all the commercial infrastructure is already in place, and action will bring the entertainment, but the key thing is that we connect with Bond, where we're gonna leave Bond, how we can connect with him more, how can I bring him further ... and so that's how I approached the movie, and I really just approached it not as a big machinery or big franchise, I just approached it as a small art movie and just that's how I made my choices and it was always choices which I felt are artistically the right choices. And we will see hopefully that commercially they were the right ones too, but I mean primarily I always was thinking artistically I have to make a beautiful interesting engaging film which connects me with Bond.
Cinematical: (John T.) In saying that, how do you go about topping the action scenes in Casino Royale?
MF: It wasn't ever for me to top the action sequences, just because the opening sequence in Casino Royale was pretty spectacular, and I felt like I'm not really here to top that. But I felt like for me it was important, the more intensity within an action sequence I can create with Bond, the stronger it will become, and the more the audience will be connecting with Bond in that action sequence, the more powerful it will become. So I basically created ... like at the opening I think there are two very strong sequences, a shorter one before the opening car chase and then afterwards a chase, and I think both of them are very powerful and I think speak for themselves. I don't know if they top Casino Royale, but I think they work for Quantum of Solace, and throughout there's a certain intensity that's created that the movie I feel is really a ride and it's a ride with Bond and it's I think an intense one. So I hope, you know, like in the middle of Casino 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.
Cinematical: Would you direct another one?
MF: No. At this point I'd rather go back to doing something smaller and, you know, it was a good experience and they've been very generous in saying I would love to do the next one with you, but it's just, you know, it takes like a long time and it's exhausting and I think it's important to live life as well and, you know, but I did enjoy it, yeah.
For more from Craig and Forster, check out the following websites:
Ain't It Cool News
Quantum of Solace hits theaters on November 14.