Whatever Happened to Guy Haines?
30th January 2019
Greg Bechtloff poses the question and pulls at the loose threads
As we eagerly await the release of 'No Time To Die', many Bond fans have mulled over the various plot clues that have been revealed so far.
We keep hearing that No Time To Die will be Daniel Craig’s swan song in the role of James Bond. This new film will supposedly wrap up the entire Craig story arc that started with the series reboot in 2006’s Casino Royale.
Some of those plot points have been ret-conned, to borrow a comic book term. Retcon basically happens when a prior plot point is altered or bent to fit the current storyline.
For instance, Le Chiffre was commissioned by a mysterious criminal organization that was not named in Casino Royale. Only in the “direct sequel” Quantum of Solace was the organization revealed as Quantum.
Then, only after the McClory rights were brought back to Eon control was it really, really revealed that Quantum was in fact only an imprint of the larger organization called Spectre!
It turned out that Mr. White and Ernst Stavro Blofeld were villains in arms from way back when. No matter, it worked out relatively cleanly in the 2015 Bond film Spectre.
Mr. White did not survive Spectre. We have seen that Blofeld will make a Hannibal Lecter type appearance in No Time To Die. It's unclear whether or not Rami Malek’s character Safin is controlling the Spectre tentacles for Ernst while he is in the big house.
But whatever happened to Guy Haines?
If you recall from Quantum of Solace in 2008, Guy Haines was the shadowy power broker and special advisor to the British Prime Minister. Haines’ extracurricular activities included being a bigwig in Quantum which means that he was really a Spectre honcho.
Played by actor Paul Ritter, Haines’ character was a meta-reference to Guy Haines in the 1951 Alfred Hitchcock classic Strangers on a Train. In that film, Haines was played by mid-century star Farley Granger.
The writers have done this before on a Bond film by the way. Michael Madsen’s Falco in Die Another Day was named after a character called Falco in the 1957 classic Sweet Smell of Success. Falco in that film was played by Tony Curtis. If you are into taking connections further, Tony Curtis was Roger Moore’s co-star in the famous 1970’s television program The Persuaders.
So what is the point you ask?
The answer to that question lies in the mysteriously deleted ending of Quantum of Solace. It has been about twelve years since that film was released and yet we have never seen that footage. Curse you streaming services for destroying the DVD market!
MI6 ran a feature on the filming of that scene in 2015. A picture of Mr. White sitting in an armchair and pointing a gun at (presumably) James Bond can be seen in the soundtrack.
There is lingering confusion as to what happens in this scene. At the time of filming, the Bond cognoscenti believed the scene to be an attempt to replicate the ending of the novel From Russia With Love.
For the non-literary fan, at the end of the book From Russia With Love, James Bond “dies”. The set-up is the same as the film, but in the book, Bond is pierced by Rosa Klebb’s poisoned shoe dart. Bond falls to the floor and the book ends on a cliffhanger note of Bond apparently dead.
Ian Fleming had allegedly tired of the Bond books and had toyed with the idea of killing off James Bond. This obviously did not happen.
James Bond re-appears in the next book Dr. No having gone through a prolonged period of recuperation following the encounter with that toxic shoe.
MI6 Note: The Quantum of Solace videogame featured a version of the cut scene between White and Haines at the very end of the game (starts at 36:00).
Dropping the idea of a cliffhanger ending worked out since the gap between Quantum of Solace and Skyfall was so long. Having to wait four years to wrap up a cliffhanger ending is definitely pushing it.
As a side note here, could the idea of the cliffhanger ending of Bond “dying” perhaps be what may have happened in some version of the Danny Boyle Bond 25 script? Civilian journalists are probably not aware that Bond was sort of killed off by Fleming and that the films were just trying to use it. Another mystery to chew on.
As is stands though in the final version of Quantum of Solace, the allegedly big deal Quantum agent Guy Haines just faded away and was forgotten. Its a slightly annoying plot thread that was left dangling.
It is however nowhere near as ludicrous as the unresolved issue of Irma Bunt in the earlier iteration of the Bond series. If you recall, Irma Bunt actually was the one who blew Tracy away in OHMSS. The Bunt character was dropped by the next film. James Bond is bent on revenge against Blofeld but gave Irma a pass?
Oh well, it is just a movie. Maybe somewhere along the way Guy Haines did something to earn the wrath of Blofeld. Maybe Haines had to be taken care of by Spectre cleaner Marco Sciarra. We know that was supposed to be Mr. White’s fate until Bond wrecked the whole plan with that vacation he took to Mexico City.
Let’s just hope that No Time To Die wraps up the outstanding points from the Daniel Craig films. Let’s hope it is done in a clean and satisfying way and makes it easy for a new James Bond actor to take up the licence to kill unencumbered by past storylines.
But there is still that question of whatever became of Nick Nack...
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