They’ve announced the title of the next 007 flick: Quantum of Solace. It’s an interesting choice, because it was the title of a short story that had nothing to do with spies, explosions, gadgets, or any of the staples of the James Bond series. In fact, his only involvement is as part of the frame story: a seemingly boring old man tells Bond a seemingly boring story–but after hearing it, Bond thinks his own adventures trite.
It is one of my favorite stories of all time, and certainly my favorite Ian Fleming story. I’ve always been a huge fan of the Fleming novels, but generally they’re just better-than-average adventure stories. Like a critic said, he churned those books out at a rate of about one and a half per year, and you could read them at a rate of about one and a half per night. But “Quantum of Solace” was different; it showed that Fleming had real insight into the nature of relationships, abusiveness, forgiveness, and how cruel even the most innocent of us can be. It showed that he could write more than mere pulp.
It will be interesting to see how they fit those themes into the movie, if they even bother trying. More likely they’ll just use the title. And here’s hoping they continue the one-movie-old tradition of not trying to cram the movie title into the theme song lyrics.
Part Two of this article will be out the day after the movie premieres in November.