An Aston Martin DB5 stunt replica with damage and bullet hits, a Land Rover Series III, a new Land Rover Defender 110 with damage from a shooting sequence, and a Triumph Scrambler 1200 XE are among the action vehicles from now on display at London Film Museum’s Bond In Motion, which has the largest collection of Bond movie vehicles.
The upcoming James Bond flick, No Time To Die, which is scheduled for Aprill 2020 release, is the 25th in the 007 franchise and is sure to electrify the audience with the usual on-road theatrics typical of Bond movies.
According to Chris Corbould, the movie’s Special Effects and Action Vehicles Supervisor, the action vehicles team consisted of approximately 20 technicians working in conjunction with numerous engineers from Aston Martin and Jaguar Land Rover. He said initial talks with Aston Martin and Jaguar Land Rover commenced in October 2018, and many detailed conversations were held to discuss the film’s requirements. Aston Martin built eight bespoke DB5’s along with an extensive spares package capable of completing the rapidly evolving action sequence in Matera. They also supplied three Aston Martin V8s as used in The Living Daylights and two of the latest DBS Superleggera. At the same time discussions were being held with Jaguar Land Rover to produce the first batch of eight New Land Rover Defenders, a mission shrouded in secrecy as the world had no idea at this stage of the design.
A number of the DB5s and the Defenders were fitted out with complete roll cages, safety fuel cells, fire extinguisher systems, hydraulic hand brakes, battery isolators, rally seats and five-point harnesses. Q Branch gadgets on the DB5 include revolving M134 mini-guns appearing from the drop-down headlights, traditional smoke screen, mines dropping from under the rear bumper and an LED number plate creating a modern take on the Goldfinger (1964) revolving version.
Other vehicles that played special roles in the film include Bond’s Land Rover Series 111, a Royal Alloy GT125 scooter used in Jamaica, and a Triumph Scrambler motorbike used in Matera.
“I think the audience will be thrilled to see the DB5 in full battle mode driving at speed through the streets of historic Matera in Italy,” says Corbould. “As the city is built on the side of a hillside, the balconies, roofs and gardens created a natural amphitheatre, and the public clapped and applauded whenever the iconic Bond car was in action.”
Lee Morrison, Stunt Coordinator for the movie, and responsible for a team of 100 professional stunt people said the stunts get bigger and more ambitious every time. “All the vehicles we used in the film performed brilliantly. We knew we wanted to achieve something off-road and the New Defender didn’t disappoint. We put the vehicles through the most extreme conditions in a chase sequence, and they were unstoppable,” said Morrison.
“The three Triumph scramblers and the Tiger 900 we used were specially modified to handle the rigours of the action sequences in Norway and Italy, part of which can be seen in the first trailer. I’m really proud of the stunts we created, and I’m excited to see the audience reaction when the film is released,” he added.
Stunt driver Mark Higgins, who drove the Aston Martin DB5s in No Time To Die, said eight stunt replica cars were designed and built for the film, and that they all had a role to play in different configurations and were fantastic and rewarding to drive. “We filmed in Italy for seven weeks in the summer. Matera is an incredible city, but a challenging environment for a car chase with its narrow cobbled streets, low grip and lots of people around,” said Higgins.
Apart from the full-size cars, boats, and motorbikes, Bond In Motion at the London Film Museum has over 100 individual original items on display from the James Bond film series including concept drawings, storyboards, scripts, model miniatures and costumes.