USA Today visited the filming of the 22nd James Bond adventure, "Quantum of Solace," in Chile's Atacama desert last week and today published their extensive report of the action on-set.
The film is about halfway through shooting - Panama and Baja scenes are complete, Chile is about to wrap, with Italy, Austria and finally London's famed Pinewood Studios left to be shot.
The action sequence filmed Daniel Craig running at full speed along the rooftop of a long, narrow building firing a prop pistol into the mirrored skylights below. Bond will shatter the skylights and plunge down atop the fleeing villain - tycoon Dominic Greene (Mathieu Amalric). Not helping is an impending explosion that will kill various innocent lives.
The building itself, the resting quarters for scientists working at nearby Paranal Observatory, serves as an "eco-hotel" in the feature. This tropical oasis is designed to lure the rich and powerful with the latest environmental technology to help 'Save the Earth'. In truth though, it is a facade to hide the plans of Greene to seize control of part of South America's water supply.
Director Marc Forster says setting the climax in the wasteland of Chile's Atacama Desert fuses the plot with the internal life of Bond. "I chose the desert because it's isolated, you feel lonely, and that's what Bond is struggling with himself" says Forster. Much of the film is Bond coming to terms with his thirst for vengeance - whether he'll cross that line into becoming as cold-blooded a killer as the people he's after.
Craig says "He has his heart broken. The love of his life is killed, and he finds out she's not who she said she was. … He's out for revenge. But he's also out to find — and this is what the title is about — a 'quantum of solace.' Something has been taken away from him, and he's out to get that back."
Though largely separate from one another, Bond films have had some continuity in the past - most notably during Sean Connery's six film run. This however is a true sequel to 2006's "Casino Royale" with Bond working his way up the chain of command of the terrorists who blackmailed Vesper. It's been revealed that the organisation mentioned in 'Casino' now has a name - Quantum.
Producer Michael G. Wilson admits that they plan to keep the continuity going for now with an evolving Bond but sometime in the future filmmakers might go back to stand-alone plots. He also admits that there's no romance angle in the movie, with Bond only having a one-night fling with another MI6 agent (Gemma Arterton).
The main girl, vengeful Russian-Bolivian rogue agent Camille (Olga Kurylenko) does not hook-up with Bond it seems. Wilson explains "We felt Bond could not immediately fall into another relationship. And we needed someone who had her own agenda and probably could not form a relationship either because of her situation."
Finally, the reason for setting the action in Bolivia? The country has a history of water problems including privatisation of public water systems. Click either photo below for the full article with loads more quotes and some new pics: