One thing that I really liked about the first two films in the rebooted James Bond franchise was the slow uncovering of an organization known as Quantum that helps fund terrorist groups around the world. As a freshly promoted “00” agent, Bond (Daniel Craig) uncovers the existence of the group in Casino Royale (2006) and goes up against them again in the follow up Quantum Of Solace (2008). But by 2012’s Skyfall, the producers seemed to have dropped this particular plot thread and the announcement that next year’s Spectre would feature the return of that classic villainous organization to the Bond franchise after over a three decade absence seemed to putt he final nail in the Quantum story line coffin.
Or has it?
Although it wasn’t announced at last week’s big press conference announcing the commencement of production of Spectre, actor Jesper Christensen has confirmed that he will be returning to the Bond franchise for the new film in his role of Mr. White, the mysterious representative of the Quantum organization. Speaking to Euroman (via Empire), the actor stated –
I am looking forward to working with [director] Sam Mendes and Daniel Craig. It is a truly exciting script and a very capable team. So it’ll be fun…
While he gives no hint as to what he’ll be doing in the film, it is a fair bet to say that the producers wouldn’t be bringing him back to play a different character after having a fairy visible role in two previous films of the rebooted franchise. Also, it marks Christensen as the first actor to appear three times in the franchise in the same villain role.
The return of the Mr. White character does suggest a couple of story possibilities for the upcoming Bond movie. Has Quantum somehow morphed into SPECTRE, perhaps due to an internal power struggle following the events of Quantum Of Solace? Or are SPECTRE and Quantum rival organizations, whose attempts to destroy each other are a danger?
Of course, when Quantum Of Solace premiered, it seemed as if the Bond franchise producers were positioning Quantum to be a replacement for SPECTRE. That group first appeared in Bond creator Ian Fleming’s 1961 novel Thunderball, which was in part based on material the writer had developed with producer Kevin McClory for an unproduced James Bond film. The film rights to the organization and the character of Blofeld would go on to be legally contested by McClory and later his heirs and at first Flemming and then the producers of the bond films on and off for decades. The dispute only finally reached a conclusion in 2013.
Production on the film started today.