Director Marc Forster, IN AN INTERVIEW WITH THE COLLIDER WEBSITE, says he considered quitting Quantum of Solace before the 2008 007 film went into production.
“Ultimately at that time I wanted to pull out,” Forster told Collider’s Adam Chitwood. “Ron Howard pulled out of Angels & Demons which Sony was about to do and they sort of shut down, and at the time I thought, ‘Okay maybe I should pull out’ because we didn’t have a finished script. But everybody said, ‘No we need to make a movie, the strike will be over shortly so you can start shooting what we have and then we’ll finish everything else.’”
The director said he and star Daniel Craig essentially wrote the movie. He also described to Collider the pressure he was under doing a follow up to the well-received Casino Royale: “Then ultimately you have a follow-up with an incomplete script based on no book and you have to deliver.”
In the end, Forster told Collider he had to make a “sort of like a 70s revenge movie; very action driven, lots of cuts to hide that there’s a lot of action and a little less story.”
There’s an element here of “when the legend becomes fact, print the legend.” To bring this up is like saying Ranse Stoddard didn’t really shoot Liberty Valance. But here goes anyway.
In a 2008 STORY ON THE ROTTEN TOMATOES WEBSITE, Forster played down the Quantum script problems.
The Writers’ Guild strike, which began just as Quantum of Solace was gearing up for production, did not impact the production as much as the industry trade papers had speculated. “The good thing is that Paul (Haggis) and I and Daniel all worked on the script before the strike happened and got it where we were pretty happy with,” Forster said. “Then we started shooting and the only problems I had with the script we were shooting in April, May and June so as soon as the strike was over we did another polish with someone and it worked out with all this stuff coming up. So I was pretty happy with all the work we’d done in January and February so [there won’t be any need for reshoots].”
Also, it was reported during production of the movie scribe Joshua Zetumer was doing rewrites during filming. In the Rotten Tomatoes story, Forster took credit for hiring Zetumer.
Regardless, Zetumer didn’t get a credit for the movie. That went to Paul Haggis, Neal Purvis and Robert Wade.
The “Forster and Craig really wrote Quantum” narrative was first offered up by Craig in 2011 interviews. And that story line has more or less taken hold since, with Zetumer’s contributions totally forgotten. Without their on-screen credit, Purvis and Wade would be in the same situation.
To be fair, one can understand Forster not wanting to play up the problems while trying to publicize the film eight years ago. The truth usually takes some time — often years — to emerge. SPECTRE was an unusual case because of the Sony hacks publicized pre-production problems on the 2015 007 film.
Still, there are elements of the “Forster-Craig” writing team narrative for Quantum that are more creative than the finished movie. The Quantum reality is likely far more complicated than that.
Print the legend, indeed.