Complete transcript of the "Quantum of Solace" press conference held at Pinewood Studios with Wilson, Broccoli, Dench and Forster...

Quantum of Solace - Press Conference Transcript
25th January 2008

On Thursday 24th January 2008, press from around the world gathered at Pinewood Studios for the unveiling of the title for the 22nd James Bond film – Quantum of Solace. Producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, director Marc Forster and actress Dame Judi Dench answered questions in a panel Q&A.

Above: Producer Michael G. Wilson, Dame Judi Dench, director Marc Forster
and producer Barbara Broccoli

Where does the title come from?
MGW: It's from an Ian Fleming short story from the "For Your Eyes Only" compendium. It's uncharacteristic of most of Fleming's work. Someone at a dinner party narrates a story to Bond about a character, and he makes comments throughout. It's not typical of Fleming. It's a character study that doesn't involve any plots or anything with spies, but we thought it was an intriguing title and referenced what's happened to Bond and what happens to Bond in this film.

This is effectively a revenge movie. Is that right?
BB: No that's not right. It's not a revenge movie - it's much more complicated than that - but it is a follow on from Casino Royale. It has lots of action but it also deals with the inner turmoil that Bond is facing, following Casino Royale.

How is it for a German director to make a Bond movie?
MF: I always loved the James Bond franchise and the character of James Bond and what he stands for. Also, how it has changed and developed over the years. James Bond is a part of film history, and it that sense it's something really exciting and interesting to be part of that. In that sense I was very intrigued. Daniel Craig took the franchise in a different direction and he's such a superb actor that I saw the possibility to explore something with him that I was interested in.

Why did you decide to break with tradition by making a sequel?
MGW: I think the Bond's have been a series of films. It's true that this is a direct sequel, and it literally takes place an hour after the last film ended. It starts there. There were always references in the Bond films of one blending in to the other; in "From Russia With Love" there is a reference to "Dr No". It's been partly series, partly sequel. This is unique in that sense, but it's not too far off.

How does it feel to be back?
JD: It's good to be back, very good to be back indeed. For me the most exciting thing is when you do one part, and you get asked to do the antithesis of that part on the next thing you do. I've just played Miss Matty Jenkyns in "Cranford", and you couldn't get further away from that to playing M again. So, it's very, very nice to be back and part of that family.

Will you be getting your hands a bit dirtier in this film?
JD: Well, she does more...
MF: She's really kicking some ass!
JD: And you see a bit more of her flat too, which is very nice. Actually, 'house' I should say!

Above: Olga Kurylenko and Gemma Arterton

Why did you choose Marc Forster to direct this film, and how much is the budget for this film?
BB: We chose Marc because he happens to be one of the greatest directors around - he's a great filmmaker. He has brought some tremendous elements to this film, performance-wise, story-wise, action-wise... He's a great storyteller. We just wanted to work with him, desperately, and we were thrilled that he agreed. We were very honoured, and he's making an extraordinary film. And the budget... is too high! But not because of him.

Can you tell us about about M's relationship with Bond this time around?
JD: Pretty prickly, actually - and more of it!

Regarding the journey of James Bond becoming 007 - is it finished with this second movie for Daniel Craig, or will it go on into a third movie?
MF: I don't see this particular film, even though as Michael says it starts an hour after the last one ended, necessarily as a sequel because I think there's a story within it, which is self-contained. So in that sense, I don't see it that way, but I'm just directing this one so I don't know what the plans are for the future.... I leave that up to Michael and Barbara.

What is the secret of Bond's long-running success?
JD: Well the thing about James Bond is that it appeals to an incredible cross-section of people. The appeal for my grandson's friends is fantastic! And not only them, but also their father's too. He is a terribly appealing character, and you want to know about him, and it's wonderful to be part of it.

Is it true that Eva Green makes an appearance in this film in flashback?
BB: No, she doesn't appear in flashbacks, but she's certainly on Bond's mind.


Will there be any more of Daniel Craig in his swimming trunks in this movie?
BB: I wish! I'm still trying.
MW: Barbara's insisting!

When you came onboard was the script set in stone, or did you help develop it any further?
MF: No, the script wasn't set in stone. We developed it together until I was really happy with it. I've always loved action movies, especially action movies with stories. If you go back to films like "Aliens" and "The Terminator", I was always a big fan of those. I think that if action movies are told properly they can have some depth with something interesting to them and if you have an actor like Daniel Craig it's even more exciting. He's also a physical actor, he's not just purely a dramatic actor, and so you can have both aspects, which is very interesting.

Is it more satisfying appearing in this more serious interpretation of James Bond?
JD: No, it doesn't apply at all. Every one of them, and this is the sixth I've done, have been very, very different. It's just that I get more to do in this one, which is terrific. I'm just as frightened as I was with all the others! But, I've learned to use a few more gadgets and look like I'm running MI6, I hope.

How much more difficult does it become each time to come up with a new story, both in terms of the competition at the box-office but also with such rapidly changing world events?
MGW: It's always been a challenge. I don't think it's ever been easy. There are more films now that are in the action genre and are like our films. I think having Daniel in our minds when we wrote this story has been very helpful, and we've made the decision to make them more realistic starting with the last film. So that, in a way, gives us a line to go on - but it's always a challenge. I hope we can live up to it.

Above: Producer Michael G. Wilson, Gemma Arterton, Mathieu Amalric, Olga Kurylenko,
Daniel Craig, Dame Judi Dench, director Marc Forster and producer Barbara Broccoli

Do you think M should get a love interest soon?
JD: Well, I've got this very nice husband at home! There was a quick shot of him in the last one. You hear him in this one, but you don't see him. Who knows? I think she's getting a bit beyond it!

Is Daniel Craig more relaxed, more confident, coming in to his second film as 007?
BB: Daniel is a very focussed and accomplished actor and I think he just concentrates on the role. That's what he did on the last one, and that's what he's doing on this one. I think he's fantastic and people will love him coming back again.

What's more difficult, coming up with new storylines or new gadgets?
MGW: The storylines are the real challenge and making the stories interesting for people. The gadgets come out of the stories and the pre-production process with the art department and the director and the stunt team. They are a bi-product of the story.

Will Daniel do more Bond films after this one?
BB: We have talked about doing some more films with him and he seems very happy to do that, so we'll just do them one at a time.

Do you like M? Would you have her over for dinner?
JD: I never make my mind up about a character, ever, whether or not I like or dislike them. In all of us, there are things that are admirable and things that are reprehensible. If you are going to make up a person to be as real as you can possibly make them then they must be made up of both of those sides of a character. So, I don't think it's a good thing to make up your mind about a character. I don't make that judgement. I don't know whether I'd have her over for dinner... it would depend on whom else she was with!

Will there be a comeback for characters like Moneypenny and Q?
MGW: We don't have those characters in this film. We're still open to whether and when they could come back in to the series.

Above: Daniel Craig, Dame Judi Dench and director Marc Forster

Will "Quantum of Solace" be a more thoughtful and romantic film?
MF: I can't make that judgement. I think the audience has to make that judgement when they see the film. I'm trying to make the film entertaining, full of action, to have a certain depth to it, sensitivities, and also it should be fun. So, there are a lot of elements to it. Every time I make a film I have a certain vision for it, which I will pull through from beginning to end. It is sometimes dictated by the story or how I see the story in my mind.

There were apparently two ideas, which were turned down as being too expensive. Can you share what we are missing?
MF: Only two? [Laughs]
MGW: I don't think we gave up anything! [Laughs]
MF: No, they've been very good. Filmmaking is a compromise, but at the same time it's been a very creative way to find solutions so we can make a movie we'll all be very happy with.

What can you tell us about the gadgets in this film and how they will be bigger and better than the last one?
MF: Does bigger mean better? [Laughs]
MGW: There is much more action in this film. Compared to the last one there are probably twice as many action sequences. It's pretty much jam-packed. The important thing, which Marc has brought to it, in helping devise the script and in the shooting of it, is a sense of humanity to the characters and makes an intriguing story to go with the action.

How difficult has it been to keep the title under wraps?
BB: Well not easy with you lot around! [Laughs] It's already been on the Internet, apparently.
MGW: It was pretty easy this time because we just decided a few days ago! It wasn't like we had it under wraps for months and suddenly revealed it today. There always is a shortlist...
BB: But this one is an original Fleming title and that was very important to us, and it really suits the film so that's why we chose it.