The financial and critical success of Casino Royale proved to Bond producers, Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson that reinventing the 007 franchise was a necessary step in bringing Bond into the 21st Century. It was now an established fact that sacrificing the classic tropes such as gadgets, one liners and megalomaniac villains for a more grounded and humanistic approach was the way forward.
Casino Royale disproved many of the negative expectations that fans had regarding Craig’s performance and how it would impact the movie. Afterall, the character of James Bond is the most important factor in carrying the narrative. Craig was an instant success and many of the controversy surrounding his appearance was soon forgotten. Over the course of one movie, many were hailing him as the best Bond ever; steep claims for those who had only recently disregarded his announcement as 007 due to the colour of his hair.
It was without a doubt that another instalment in the series was going to happen. With the inevitable knowledge, viewers were intrigued to see if Daniel Craig could maintain the proficiency of his performance and not a one-hit-wonder. With this in mind, as well as the popular demand for another movie, Broccoli and Wilson were put under cracking pressure to deliver a better movie in a shorter amount of time.
This resulted in Quantum of Solace, the first direct Bond sequel ever made and a disappointing movie which failed to improve on the greatness of its predecessor. The real question is what went wrong with Quantum of Solace and many of the blame for the film’s failure can be credited to its production.
5. The First Bond Sequel
It only made logical sense for Quantum of Solace to be a sequel. Casino Royale was a reboot of the 007 franchise and therefore changing the timelines of the series wasn’t likely to dramatically influence the series more than it already had been. In the past, almost all Bond movies have had little to no connection with one another until Daniel Craig’s portrayal.
There were occasional references to previous movies such as Bond’s visit to his wife’s grave in For Your Eyes Only, alluding to his marriage during George Lazenby’s one movie career in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. On the subject of Lazenby’s movie, he cements the lack of continuity with the cringe inducing one-liner ‘This never happened to the other guy.’
This time, Quantum of Solace would take place directly after Casino Royale. More specifically, the movie would ‘pick up right where Casino left off’, a common saying spoken in relation to the timings of the movie. It follows Bond’s actions taken after the death of Vesper Lynd and his attempt to repress his desire for revenge. The movie sounded like an interesting concept. Very rarely had Bond sought revenge in the previous movies.
There were inklings of revenge scattered in some performances however most movies never strayed from the slapstick violence and unrealistic characters. Only Timothy Dalton’s time as Bond saw a full revenge plot take place in License to Kill and it was a very well received movie although financially, it failed to meet the quota of the other movies. This may have been because of the movies 15+ age rating - a rating that Casino Royale almost attained but was downgraded with a handful of cuts on the barge scene; a reasonable decision due to the nature of that segment.