Daniel Craig Talks about the Script Problems on QUANTUM OF SOLACE; Says Why He’s Encouraged for SKYFALL

     December 7, 2011


Daniel Craig is currently making the press rounds for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo so it’s only natural that people want to talk about the next James Bond film, Skyfall.  But in a recent interview, Craig explained why the script for Casino Royale is what brought him to the franchise and then how the writer’s strike is what caused Quantum of Solace to be so terrible.

Hit the jump for more including what Craig says he finds encouraging about Skyfall, which opens November 9, 2012.

quantum-of-solace-movie-poster-01In his recent interview with Time Out [via The Playlist], Craig explains what happened with Quantum of Solace:

Time Out: It seems that the script is sometimes an after-thought on huge productions.

Craig: ‘Yes and you swear that you’ll never get involved with shit like that, and it happens. On “Quantum”, we were fucked. We had the bare bones of a script and then there was a writers’ strike and there was nothing we could do. We couldn’t employ a writer to finish it. I say to myself, “Never again”, but who knows? There was me trying to rewrite scenes – and a writer I am not.’

Time Out: You had to rewrite scenes yourself?

Craig: ‘Me and the director [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. It was never meant to be as much of a sequel as it was, but it ended up being a sequel, starting where the last one finished.’

I guess the solution was: “Do more chase scenes.”  I guess at no point did Foster pipe up and say, “Yeah, I’m not really good at shooting those.”

Craig says he was grateful that the movie turned out to be a commercial success, but he wasn’t as happy with the final product as he would have liked to be.  However, with Skyfall, he seems more excited, especially since he had more say in choosing the director. He explains why he chose Sam Mendes (American Beauty) for the gig:

He’s English, he’s Cambridge-educated, he’s smart. He’s lived with Bond all his life, he grew up with Bond the way I did. We grew up at exactly the same time, and I said to him, “We have to do this together, we have exactly the same reference points, we both like the same Bond movies and we both like the same bits in the same Bond movies we like.” We sat down and we just rabbited for hours about “Live and Let Die” or “From Russia with Love”, and talked about little scenes that we knew from them. That’s how we started talking about it. That’s what we tried to instill in the script. He’s been working his arse off to tie all these things together so they make sense – in a Bond way.’

Craig is also enthused that they’ve got cinematographer Roger Deakins on board (as well he should be).  Hopefully with more lead time, more talent behind the camera, and certainly even more talent in front of it (Craig co-stars with Javier Bardem, Daniel Craig, Judi Dench, Naomie Harris, and Ben Whishaw), Skyfall will be another great Bond movie.

  • Kropes

    Craig co-stars with Daniel Craig? I must see these twin Bonds.

    • Zach

      haha yea. Sometimes its a mystery whether or not these guys create these postings with a blind-fold on. Proof-reading takes all of 5 seconds and even a 5th grader has stronger grammar abilities.

    • twinstick

      It’s the Bond and the Anti-Bond. When they come into contact with each other, you get Skyfall…

  • I cry u smile

    Can’t wait! XD

  • ccraw13

    Am I the only one that thinks that as a straight action flick Quantum was really enjoyable. Including the chase scenes, I actually saw everything unlike in a Bourne sequel. I did not care for the movie when I saw it in theater. But recently watched it again. It is a very solid, enjoyable action film.

    • tenrec87

      I’m with you. I really like Quantum of Solace, it has almost a throwaway feeling about it that is very enjoyable. Like Craig says in the interview it is a direct sequel or like a coda to Casino Royale, and doesn’t have to carry all the expectations of a ‘big event’ Bond movie.
      And, of course there’s Olga Kurylenko.

    • aaronsullivan

      I’m with you, too. Intentionally or not, Quantum of Solace seems to be shot for the home screen not a theater screen. When I can see the whole screen at once the cuts are clear and exciting and the editing of the action scenes is fantastic to my eyes. In the theater I was fighting to keep up with the visuals and it definitely detracted.

      I found the whole movie very compelling but I understand why many are disappointed in it. Glad to hear this story about the situation they were in. Explains how sparse the dialogue was at times.

    • Edmund Charles Davis-Quinn

      Just saw it. Thought it was total and utter crap that didn’t make a lick of sense. I feel like * is generous.

  • Michael

    the problem ccraw13, is that while Bond movies always invariably have their fair share of chase sequences and action in general, they made the mistake of turning Bond into a killing machine and the movie into an endless string of action scenes.

    Unlike Casino Royale, where character was as important as action, it felt like they screwed character big time. I love the Bourne films for what they are, but Bond is not Jason Bourne and if felt like they were trying to go for that kind of pacing and action.

    It also didn’t feel like Marc Forster was able to do those action scenes very well. I was always mystified about him as a Bond director.

    But now we see that the final product was really hampered by the strike. I guess in learning this, I can give the movie a pass due to unusual circumstances.

  • AndyBirch

    I think the problem isn’t so much that it wasn’t a decent action film, it’s that it wasn’t a decent Bond film. Bond has to be the right balance between seriousness and camp – too far one way and he becomes parody (several of the Roger Moore films), too far the other and he just becomes a generic action hero (as in ‘Quantum’, ‘License to Kill’).

    • Northern Star

      The problem with ‘Quantum…’ was the fact the producers wanted to rush the movie out eighteen months after ‘Casino Royale’, leading to original director Roger Michell leaving the project, saying later he felt pressured trying to prep a huge movie without having even a script at that point. When Marc Forster came on board, he jettisoned the initial Purvis/Wade script and started a new one from scratch, less than five months from production- and then the writers’ strike kicked in, meaning they couldn’t hone and refine the final screenplay to the extent they wanted! Had ‘Quantum…’ always been scheduled for a November 2008 release (two years after ‘Casino…’), Michell probably would have stayed onboard, the original Purvis/Wade script would’ve been polished by Paul Haggis in good time before the strike curtailed the process, and we all would have got a better, more rounded, and a more satisfying movie, but alas, we’ll never know for sure…

  • Sal

    been dissrespectful to our audience are we Craig?
    I know the movie was crap but coming from you makes it even worse.
    You couldn’t say that to the director? “hey man besides the awful title the movie kinda sucks. do you want to change it a bit?” now its too late…

    PS are you gonna say the same about aliens and cowboys in a couple of years?

    • Michael

      I don’t think he’s being disrespectful Sal. Unlike other movie stars like Shia LaBeouf who pretty much runs every movie he’s been in under the bus, this one at least has a reason.

      The movie wasn’t really very good, and now we know that when you leave your director and movie star (who are not writers) to write a good chunk of the movie, your probably not going to get the very best product.

      Had the script been finished by an excellent writing team, my guess is that the film would have been much better. Disrespectful is not telling the fans the truth.

  • Adam

    @ccraw13: I agree. While not a great Bond film, I did not hate it after viewing it at my house. I was not overly impressed at the theater, but it grew on me.

    The action sequences seemed a bit off though. Could be the fact that they had the director of Stanger Than Fiction and Kite Runner behind the camera. Neither of those films have any action. Now, with Mendes, thing could be different.

    One thing Craig forgot to mention, he wanted to work with Sam because Sam used to be married to the most attractive woman in the world. He wants to know how to…

  • Kyle

    This is interesting to hear but my biggest problem with this film was that Marc Forster could not direct a comprehensible action scene to save his life.

  • RIC

    You are all right. Like ccraw and adam, I was initially disappointed with QOS when I saw it in theaters. Once I saw it again on DVD, it immediately grew on me. But like you all of said, it’s not a great bond movie. It’s a fun action movie hampered by a lame story and script. With these new circumstances coming to light, I can say overall that the follow up to arguably the best film in the franchise (although From Russia or Goldfinger will always be the true classic) could have turned out alot worse than it did. And now we all have skyfall to look forward to.

  • gerard kennelly

    finding neverland
    monsters ball

    Marc Forster is an actors director

    but he is NOT an action director

    sam mendes did some great shoot outs in ROAD TO PERDITION

    he will make a great bond film i think :)

  • Carson Dyle

    Haw haw haw! More ignorant witless snark from Goldberg.

    The guy who did the bulk, if not all of the action sequences for QoS was the second unit director, Dan Bradley, the guy who did the Bourne films as well.

  • tarek

    Quantum of Solace wasn’t that bad. It was a solid sequel. I enjoy re watching it every now and again.

  • David Lee Evans

    Loved the fact that “Quantum of Solace” was so tied into “Casino Royale”. From the beginning scene(a hellious car chase scene) to the interrogation of Mr. White it all felt so comfortable, so familiar; like slipping into a pair of old slippers. Throw in capitalist-terrorist and super secret organizations. The writing, the set locations, the acting, it all just felt so right. Can’t wait until Skyfall opens up.


  • SaschaD

    I think QOS def grew on me as well. The action was really well done and I didn’t mind that it was a continuation of CR at all. However, I really hope they bring back some up to date Bond gadgets.

    I mean, ok ok I get it. No one wants a laser coming out of a Watch but with iphone and ipads now these days, the writers surely could think of a way to come up with a cool sorta “woa no way” kinda gadget.

  • Jeff

    in Quantum a car accident in a garage leads to an entire hotel exploding. stu. pid.

    • Tarek

      you mean when the villain shot the gas container ? with a flammable icon on it ? yes it is weird. ^^

  • GeeBer

    One thing I’ve missed in a lot of recent Bond films: the great, over-the-top Bond villain: Dr. No, Goldfinger, Blofeld, etc. I can’t even remember the villain in Quantum of Solace.

  • dark knight

    I’m not a film critic,but i think quantum was pretty good,a few steps behind casino royale but pretty enjoyable at last.

  • Co Co

    I really liked Quantum. I actually thought that it felt different enough from Casino Royale minus the beginning. I liked the action.

    I liked seeing Bond all pissed off and paranoid. I’m really going to enjoy Javier Bardem in Skyfall though…I want to see Q in it too! Its the 3rd movie and no Q? Lets hope not.

    John Clease, are you listening?

  • Barbara Broccolli

    I wanted to see Daniel Craig nearing retiredment in this to be his final outing as James Bond 007 for the last time, I met Daniel Craig while filming and myself co-producing Skyfall to told him any plans for more 007 he told me the real truth in private not to tell this to anybody he just doesn’t want to be James Bond again and he lied to the public that he will sign up for five more Bond films it would’ve worked better if Clive Owen was the new Bond stepping in Daniel Craig’s shoes the right minute.

  • Sean

    The last thing I want to see is more “James Bond the Thug”.

    I enjoyed the humor and the romance of previous Bonds.

    If I want to see eye-gouging in fight scenes, I’ll watch some dreck with Van Dame or Vin Diesel or whoever.

    Bond should be above that.

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  • Edmund Charles Davis-Quinn

    Just saw it. Thought it was total and utter crap that didn\’t make a lick of sense. I feel like * is generous.

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  • Jimmy

    For me the only in Quantum of Solace is the continuation. Out of 23 Bond movies it was the only film scripted as a sequel, it was a goofy idea because all other Bond films started with a fresh look new story and a new mission but this film was the continuation of Casino Royale. There was not any fault of Daniel Craig he proved himself a stylish 21st century iconic Bond in Casino Royale & Skyfall, he is one of the best actors i have ever seen…

    Jimmy Wilson from
    Bond Tuxedo Quantum of Solace