Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Bond 22: "Quantum of Solace"

Earlier this month, the title of the new James Bond movie was revealed. QUANTUM OF SOLACE is a title of a short story from the FOR YOUR EYES ONLY collection. I always thought that it would be used as a movie title even if it was an unusual one. The only other unused titles (now that all the book titles have also been used) are: RISICO (which I also believed would be used some day— it was the working title of Bond 22!) and THE HILDEBRAND RARITY (unusable) from FOR YOUR EYES ONLY; THE PROPERTY OF A LADY (from the OCTOPUSSY collection, and originally published in PLAYBOY; unusuable); BERLIN ESCAPE (the original title of THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS [OCTOPUSSY] from the PLAYBOY story, unusable); and 007 IN NEW YORK (which appeared in Fleming's travelogue book THRILLING CITIES, unusable). So they're really down to the end title-wise (maybe they'll use RISICO for Bond 23).

Word is that nothing of QUANTUM OF SOLACE will be in the movie (which follows CASINO ROYALE directly plotwise). I suspect, however, that somehow, something of the story will remain. The story itself, is actually pretty good, if atypical. It features Bond as a guest of Government House in Bermuda, having just completed a distasteful mission to destroy two boats that were bringing arms to Cuban rebels (distasteful since Bond feels sympathetic to the rebels). Bond is relaxing after a dreary party and dreading the last minutes talking to the Governor for fear the conversation will be dull, but surprised by a story the Governor tells of a young couple and his theory of the Law of the Quantum of Solace. The Governor explains: "....all relationships between a man and a woman... can survive anything as long as some kind of basic humanity exists between the two people. When all kindness is gone, when one person obviously and sincerely doesn't care if the other is alive or dead, then it's just no good. That particular insult to the ego— worse, to the instinct of self-preservation— can never be forgiven...." I wonder if Bond or some other character will give a speech describing the theory in the new movie.

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