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The Fate Of Mr. White

8th February 2015

A scene cut from the end of 'Quantum of Solace' has enabled Jesper Christensen to appear in SPECTRE and face 007 once more

MI6 logo By MI6 Staff
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The ending of "Quantum of Solace" left viewers with a few unanswered questions, one of which was the fate of the Quantum kingpin, Mr. White. Originally, however, his whereabouts were not to be in question, as filmmakers wrote and shot a scene involving both Jesper Christensen and Paul Ritter (Guy Haines) that would wrap this storyline up. The fact that the scene was left on the cutting-room floor opens the opportunity up to us for James Bond to confront Mr. White in Sam Mendes' forthcoming SPECTRE (2015). It has already been confirmed that Christensen - having last been on set of a Bond film some seven years ago - will be back for at least one more Bond adventure. But, today, MI6 rolls back the clock to examine what was missing from the end of "Quantum" and what might have been White's fate.

The cut scene was set to involve 007 confronting Mr. White and the traitorous Guy Haines; it was also to include the iconic "Bond, James Bond." delivery in a nod to "Casino Royale", wherein it was also delivered by Daniel Craig in the film's final scene. The scene was shot with Daniel Craig, Jesper Christensen, Paul Ritter (Haines) and Marc Foster on April 14th 2008 and came midway through the 103-day schedule that ran from early January to mid May. The decision to cut was finalised later in the post-production process, when reflecting on two key factors: the story as a whole and the future of the franchise.

Marc Forster and Jesper Christensen behind the scenes of Quantum of Solace
Above: Marc Foster and Jesper Christensen between takes on the set of a this famously cut scene from "Quantum of Solace".

The decision to cut what was to be the final scene in the picture seemed to hinge on whether to reserve the option to use Mr. White in future films and continue the Quantum story arc. This question perhaps came moot when EON Productions acquired the rights to Blofeld and SPECTRE from the McClory estate in 2013.

Marc Forster also added, at the time of production, that the ending of "Quantum of Solace" as it stands was a more natural conclusion to the story he wanted to tell.

"It was just felt that [this] other scene took you in another emotional direction and it felt like, where it [ends] now, Bond had found his quantum of solace and this storyline is completed. That final scene was more like a hanger-on..." - Marc Foster

A couple of versions of the scene were filmed: when Hanes realises he is not alone he demands, "Who the hell are you?" The answer to audiences was obvious, so Foster first felt he might leave us in suspense with Bond staring silently at the villain. A second option filmed by the first unit also has Craig uttering the "Bond, James Bond." line.

"In one way I think it's not a bad thing [that Bond doesn't deliver the iconic line]. The line will always be there and the line will return. The great thing about Bond is that Bond always gets reinvented. Turning things upside down isn't a bad thing..." - Marc Foster

Jesper Christensen in a cut scene for Quantum of Solace
Above: Jesper Christensen in the cut scene from "Quantum of Solace".

MI6 understands that the plan was to have 007 dispatch with both the villains, with the last shot seamlessly sewed into the iconic gun barrel motif that was saved for the end of the film. Whichever of the dual motivations was stronger, the move to cut the scene opened up the option for Mr. White to return in a third - and possibly final - 007 adventure. SPECTRE, it seems, will rise from the ashes of Quantum...

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