Quantum is a fictional criminal organization featured as the antagonists in the James Bond films Casino Royale and its sequel Quantum of Solace. The organization exists in the shadows, and is known to contract third parties to avoid implicating itself. It is connected to the highest circles of government and corporate power in the world; among its known leaders, two are major business magnates, one a well-connected environmental activist, and one a special adviser to the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. It is ultimately revealed in the 2015 James Bond film, Spectre, that Quantum is merely a division of the much larger organization, SPECTRE.
Operating under the mantra, "We deal with the left and the right, dictators or liberators", the Quantum organization appears to be a New World Order power-cabal, composed of various plutocrats, wealthy technology magnates, and powerful members of the intelligence agencies of both the Western and former Eastern blocs (including the CIA, MI6, Mossad, and KGB).
Quantum is apolitical, primarily concerned with amassing more wealth and power, through various schemes ranging from serving as a third party source of funds for various terrorist groups, to illicitly buying up the rights to limited natural resources in third world countries (such as gaining a monopoly on the water supply of Bolivia). Quantum is capable of and willing to depose various dictators or legitimate governments to replace them with new heads of state that are more willing to pay off their organization. Quantum is not above conducting acts of terrorism directly, though these are for purely financial, and not political reasons, i.e. Le Chiffre planned to blow up a commercial airline flight, simply in order to harm the airline industry and thus influence stock market trends in his favor.
The USSR intelligence organisation SMERSH featured in the Casino Royale novel was no longer a feasible foe when the Daniel Craig movie was being developed, so Bond producers developed Quantum in its stead. Quantum subsequently became the mastermind organisation replacement for SMERSH.
Known Members & Associates
- Ernst Stavro Blofeld – The leader of the SPECTRE organisation which controls all actions made by Quantum representatives. Currently arrested.
- Mr. White – A high ranking SPECTRE agent who also doubled as a Quantum leader and acted as a liaison for Quantum and their prospective clients. Sometime after the events of Quantum of Solace, he and Blofeld have a falling out and is targeted for assassination by SPECTRE, forcing him to go into exile. Commits suicide by shooting himself.
- Le Chiffre – Though not a Quantum member, he was a private banker to major terrorists who were introduced through Quantum. Executed by Mr. White for his status as a liability to Quantum.
- Steven Obanno - A high-ranking member of Lord's Resistance Army who had ties to Quantum. Through business dealings arranged by Mr. White, he entrusted Le Chiffre with his financial assets, whom the latter then lost and was forced to organize a high stakes poker tournament to recoup his losses. Strangled by Bond.
- Vesper Lynd – Blackmailed by Mr. White into working for Quantum. She was tasked with embezzling Bond's winnings from the poker tournament at Casino Royale. Committed suicide by drowning herself.
- Dominic Greene – Quantum leader: ran an environmentalist corporation called Greene Planet which was actually a front for Quantum's Tierra Project. Assassinated for leaking information.
- General Medrano - A key instrument in Quantum's Tierra Project. He made a deal with Dominic Greene for assistance in overthrowing the current Bolivian government in order to become their new president. In return, Greene would be given ownership of a seemingly barren piece of land. Shot by Camille Montes.
- Elvis – Greene's main subordinate. Blown up by Bond.
- Edmund Slate – A freelance assassin hired by Greene to murder Camille Montes. Stabbed in the neck and then the leg with scissors by Bond.
- Guy Haines – Quantum leader: a trusted adviser and special envoy of the British Prime Minister. Still at large.
- Gregor Karakov – Quantum leader: a former politician and owner of several mines in Siberia. Still at large.
- Moishe Soref – Quantum leader: a former Mossad agent, and Telecom giant. Still at large.
- "Man with Gift Bag" – Quantum leader: Bond incapacitates him and uses his earpiece to spy on the organization's board meeting at the Tosca opera.
- Yusef Kabira – a Quantum operative who functions as a honeypot to deceive foreign intelligence agents (first Vesper Lynd, then Corrine). Arrested.
- Adolph Gettler – A Quantum operative sent to Venice to retrieve money that had been acquired by Vesper Lynd. Shot in the head with a nail gun by Bond.
- Craig Mitchell – a deep cover Quantum operative who deceived both M and Bond. Shot by Bond in a tense standoff.
In Casino Royale, Quantum is featured in the background but not named. It is represented only through its middleman, Mr. White. The film's main villain, Le Chiffre, is a private banker for international terrorists with connections to the organization. At the beginning of the movie, Mr. White introduces Le Chiffre to Steven Obanno, a feared leader in the Lord's Resistance Army, who entrusts him with his money. Le Chiffre loses the money when James Bond foils his plot to short an airline's stock for more than $100 million, and then loses his chance to win the money back in a high stakes poker game with Bond. Mr. White hears of this and executes him, stating that "money's not as valuable to our organization as knowing who to trust." In reality, he executed Le Chiffre to allow Bond (the only person who knew the password to the money) to remain alive so they could steal it.
However, these events alert the British Secret Intelligence Service and the American CIA to Quantum's existence. One of the organization's moles inside the British government, Vesper Lynd, falls in love with Bond and gives him information on Mr. White before committing suicide. At the end of the movie, Bond tracks down and captures Mr. White after shooting him in the leg.
Quantum of Solace
Immediately following the final scene of Casino Royale, Bond kills Mr. White's Quantum bodyguards in a car chase, and pulls White from the trunk of his car so he can be interrogated by M. But after Mr. White says "the first thing you should know about us is that we have people everywhere", it is revealed that Craig Mitchell, a senior MI6 agent present at the interrogation, is a Quantum mole. Though Bond eventually kills Mitchell, the distraction allows Mr. White to escape.
Bond investigates and pursues Dominic Greene, one of Quantum's top leaders. Greene plans to create a coup d'état in Bolivia, installing his associate General Medrano as the country's new dictator, in exchange for a seemingly barren piece of land on the Atacama desert, which will give Greene and Quantum complete control of the nation's water supply. The coup is thwarted just in time by Bond and Camille Montes of Bolivian Intelligence. Bond interrogates Greene and then abandons him in the middle of the desert; Greene is later found dead with two bullets in the back of his head, executed by Quantum for his failure.
By the end of the movie, Bond and MI6 have revealed the identities of three of Quantum's remaining leaders (Guy Haines, Gregor Karakov, and Moishe Soref), thwarted their third plot to infiltrate Canadian intelligence and finally have one of its members, Yusef Kabira, in custody.
In Spectre, it is mentioned that Quantum and all it's related activity was created as a smoke and mirrors tactic by SPECTRE. In a deleted scene, it is revealed that Quantum's main role was to act more as a figurehead to protect the secrecy of its parent organization.