— by CAM SMITH —
The James Bond series is built upon a constant series of peaks and valleys, where for every class act installment like “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” or “Goldfinger,” there is a ponderous, thumb-twiddling entry along the lines of “Diamonds Are Forever” or “A View to a Kill.”
2008’s “Quantum of Solace” fell sadly in the latter. A misfired attempt at following up the richly dazzling “Casino Royale,” “Quantum of Solace” drew considerable ire from Bondophiles for its nonsensical plot, shrieking girly-man villain and Bourne-esque, Rorschach test action sequences.
However, with the end of that Marc Forster film, there was a sense that the series was ready to lighten up its emphasis on Bond’s increasingly cumbersome psychological journey, from lunk-headed thug to card-carrying double-0-P.I.M.P., in favor of introducing some of the more beloved Bond-ian tropes and further exploring the ominous threat of the many-faceted QUANTUM terrorist group.
Well, in a new story straight from the tip of star Daniel Craig’s tongue — and reported by Variety — the yet untitled next effort may be scheduled to go before cameras sometime in late 2010.
Although I’m usually dubious of stories based solely on an off-the-cuff comment made by an actor at an unrelated public event — Craig casually divulged the tidbit to a fan while making his way out of the stage door after a performance of his current Broadway production “A Steady Rain” — the terse, almost defensive-sounding “No comment” response emanating from MGM seems to hint that the wheels of the Bond train actually soon be in motion.
Not that this is really a particularly surprising development, given the franchise’s continuously prolific run.
While the names of potential director candidates, not to mention the plot details of the Peter Morgan, Neil Purvis and Robert Wade-penned project, remain strictly marked “For the Studio’s Eyes Only,” the mystery of the impending movie’s moniker is possibly less murky.
With the producers turning to the titles of Ian Fleming’s 007 short stories for inspiration in naming Quantum, the next film, if this trend continues, will have “The Property of a Lady,” “Risico” or “The Hildebrand Rarity” to choose from. Personally, I’m hoping for the second choice, as the first dredges up unpleasant memories of a certain similarly-named Nicole Kidman costume drama snoozer and the last sounds about as enticing as televised city council coverage.
It would be pretty fun to watch them try to work the words “Hildebrand” and “rarity” into the lyrics of an opening credits number, though.
Follow Cam Smith on Twitter at http://twitter.com/camspcepisodes.