What cars and how they were prepared for shooting for the new James Bond film

In the 25th part of «Bondiana» the secret agent of Her Majesty the Queen of Great Britain and his opponents will traditionally sit behind the wheel of many cars.

The Russian premiere of the new James Bond film will take place a week later than the world premiere — “No Time to Die” was released in Russian cinemas on October 7. In the 25th part of «Bondiana» the secret agent of Her Majesty the Queen of Great Britain and his opponents will traditionally sit behind the wheel of many cars. And we will tell you what kind of cars there are and how they prepared the equipment for filming.

We say «James Bond» — we mean Aston Martin. Despite the fact that during the existence of the film franchise, the secret agent has traveled on cars of several brands, it is the British manufacturer of sports cars and now crossovers that is associated with a fictional hero. No Time to Die will be the first Bond film to feature four Aston Martin models at the same time.

The main character will, of course, be the cult DB5. The classic coupe debuted in Bond in 1964 and since the release of Goldfinger has become an indispensable attribute of 007 — the years passed, the leading actors changed, and the Aston Martin sports car, stuffed with weapons and gadgets, did not lose its relevance. Daniel Craig in almost all parts of the franchise with his participation sat behind the wheel of this car and «No Time to Die» will not be an exception. Judging by the trailer, the Aston Martin DB5 is again destined for a difficult fate.

And if the DB5 is a kind of homage to Sean Connery, whose Bond drove this model, then the classic Aston Martin V8 is a reference to Timothy Dalton. The special agent drove this coupe in the 1987 film «Sparks from Eyes». The same coupe will be driven by Daniel Craig’s character in No Time to Die. And this is not just about a similar model, but about an exact copy of a car from an old movie. As if to signal the continuity of the Bond generations.

Aston Martin DBS also throws a bridge between the parts of the «Bond» and the performers of the main roles. The model made her film debut in 2006 in the film Casino Royale, where Daniel Craig became James Bond for the first time in his career. In No Time to Die, the actor plays a retired secret agent, with a woman succeeding him for the first time. It is Nomi who will sit behind the wheel of this coupe.

It looks like Lashana Lynch will have to drive an Aston Martin Valhalla in one of the next films. The newest mid-engined sports car, which has not yet become serial, has already appeared in the Bond. In No Time to Die, the car appears in the garage of MI6, and its head M hints that the new agent 007 will soon change his official transport.

Sports cars alone are indispensable in saving / destroying the world, therefore, both James Bond himself and the forces opposing him are actively using various SUVs. Mostly again, the British brands Land Rover and Range Rover.

Almost the first car in the film is the classic Series III, driven by Bond across Jamaica, enjoying a well-deserved retirement. However, the rest quickly ends, as does the role of this Land Rover. It is being replaced by more modern models.

In particular, the latest Land Rover Defender. In general, «No Time to Die», which was scheduled to premiere in March 2020, was supposed to be a kind of advertising campaign for the new model, but the coronavirus pandemic paused both the film industry and car premieres. As a result, Defender entered the market without Bond support and is selling well, and the film made it to distribution with a one and a half year delay. And ridiculous numbers a la Russian registration plates … With the entire budget of the film, there was no money for consultants who would suggest the correct numbers!

Range Rover went to two roles. James Bond’s old Range Rover Classic is trying to destroy his enemies, and the newest Range Rover Sport SVR is engaged in the same task in another scene of the film. At the same time, for some reason, the car did not receive a special version of Not Time to Die for widespread sale. But he flew properly …

Between the creators of the «Bond» and the Jaguar Land Rover concern, there was no other way than a black cat ran. There is no other way to explain why the British auto industry is presented in such an expressionless light in the new film. While Aston Martin revels in the glory of a secret agent car, Land Rover, Range Rover and even Jaguar fall prey. And it would be okay if the same Aston Martin destroyed them, because Toyota is also involved in this.

The Japanese automaker has already been involved in Bond. The Toyota 2000GT sports car played one of the most memorable automotive roles in the James Bond saga in the 1967 film You Only Live Twice. In 2021, Toyota returns to 007 again, but in a secondary role — it was played by the J90 generation Land Cruiser Prado SUV. And once again proved that the old «Japanese» are cooler than modern British crossovers and SUVs.

Two sedans — a modern one from Great Britain and a classic one from Italy — play secondary roles, but one thing unites both models. They are used in order to once again try to destroy James Bond. The end is a little predictable. Neither retro Maserati nor high-tech Jaguar are able to oppose anything to the hero of Daniel Craig, who famously cracks down on his enemies — and no matter what they drive. But the tradition of putting bad guys on Italian sedans is alive — in the «Casino Royale» people tried to destroy the special agent of Her Majesty the Queen of Great Britain in Alfa Romeo 159.

Another episodic automotive role that no Bond fan from the post-Soviet space will be able to pass by. If you are careful enough, then in the scenes of the film, which take place in Cuba according to the plot, you can see the classic «Zhiguli» in the frame. VAZ-2106 plays the role of official equipment of the Cuban police, which takes an active part in sorting out the relationship between agent 007 and those whom he is trying to prevent from destroying the world.

A special place in «No Time to Die» is occupied by scenes with the participation of motorcycles. By themselves, stunts on two wheels look very spectacular, and even more so in the context of «James Bond». Moreover, in the filming of the film, completely standard Triumph motorcycles of two — Tiger 900 and Scrambler 1200 — models were used. And all the merit of the striking episodes in the film — extremely hardy technology and experienced stuntmen, who performed everything the directors required in the saddle of motorcycles.

In films, often the most spectacular moments are created using CGI simply because it’s cheaper and easier, especially when borders between countries are closed due to COVID-19 and moving between filming locations can be seriously difficult. But in the work on the new part of Bond, all the tricks were real. Therefore, special preparation of the vehicles was required.

Absolutely all cars that participated in the stunts are necessarily equipped with safety cages, racing seats and multi-point seat belts. All this, of course, does not appear in the frame, but it helps the stuntmen to take part in more than one take. But the age of cars on filming is extremely limited — if according to the plot the car is to be destroyed, it is actually destroyed. Sometimes it takes several copies to shoot several takes and the cars are built in the required quantities. True, no one usually names the exact number of vehicles involved and killed on the site.

The second mandatory part of the improvements is the equipment necessary for performing tricks. For example, if in the frame a car needs to be turned over or blown up, then a special air cannon is placed on the car, which shoots a powerful «projectile» into the road, forcing the car to roll over. And if the car after that should catch fire, which happens very rarely in real life, pyrotechnics comes into play.

Separate improvements are required … just for driving in the frame! In fact, no standard car can stand the bullying that is prepared for it in the movies. Therefore, for example, the Jaguar XF received a reinforced suspension and a hydraulic handbrake, and 5 cars were built at once for filming scenes with the Aston Martin DB5. All of them only outwardly resemble a classic sports car — today each of the released copies is worth its weight in gold — and these cars were prepared for stunt scenes. Each DB5 specialized in a specific job on site. Of the general — the frame to which the seats and shooting equipment were attached, the set of safety systems described above and body panels that mimic the appearance of the original Aston Martin DB5.

And all the same, during the most difficult scenes, it is not actors who are driving, but stuntmen or even professional racers. For example, «No Time to Die» featured British rally driver and stunt driver Mark Higgins, as well as British W Series pilot Jessica Hawkins. But even for such experienced motor sportsmen it was not easy — for example, the streets of the Italian town of Matera turned out to be too slippery for stunts, so before filming the cobblestone on the chase route, tens of tons of Coca-Cola were washed …

So from 2021, to feel like James Bond, you don’t have to buy an Aston Martin car, a Triumph motorcycle, an Omega watch, a Leica camera or a Nokia smartphone (all these brands are involved in No Time to Die) — a bottle of soda is enough. And if they don’t believe you that this drink is related to agent 007, just show the disbelievers this text.

Photos are taken from open sources.

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