ANTOFAGASTA, Chile -- It looks like the surface of Mars. The rust-colored rolling hills of the Atacama desert appear alien, devoid of life -- just sand and dirt and rock baked into vast, barren slopes that stretch endlessly into the bruised horizon.
Against this unforgiving backdrop, Daniel Craig is exploring the merciless side of James Bond. Quantum of Solace is the 22nd film in the 007 franchise, Craig's second after 2006's blockbuster Casino Royale, and the first true sequel to a Bond film, picking up the story just minutes after the previous film ends.
The movie, opening Nov. 7, is about halfway through filming. They've been to Panama and Baja California, Mexico, with plans to shift next to Italy and Austria before returning to London's famed Pinewood Studios for more stage shooting.
The action sequence shot in the Chilean desert last week is a turning point for the embittered superspy, his chance to discover whether his thirst for vengeance will turn him into the same kind of cold-blooded killer as the people he is fighting.
"He has his heart broken," says Craig, who turned 40 during the shoot. "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."