October 28, 2021

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How ‘No Time to Die’ brought back James Bond’s original Aston Martin DB5

EXCLUSIVE: Daniel Craig’s final outing as James Bond in “No Time to Die” features one franchise character that will never die: The Aston Martin DB5.

The Aston Martin DB5 first appeared in "Goldfinger" in 1964.

The Aston Martin DB5 first appeared in “Goldfinger” in 1964.
(Getty Images)

After making its debut as the superspy’s gadget-filled car in “Goldfinger” in 1964, the iconic silver coupe has appeared in seven subsequent films.

NTTD’s special effects and action vehicles supervisor, Chris Corbould, knows the car well, having worked on six of those films during his more than four-decade tenure with the series.

Corbould said the decision to bring it back wasn’t a hard one.

“It’s a discussion with the director and producers about what they’d like to see in the film, and it very quickly became apparent that everybody wanted to see the DB5 back. And not just in a cameo role, but in a full combat mode,” Corbould revealed during an appearance on The Fox Garage.

"No Time to Die" was shot on the streets of Matera, Italy.

“No Time to Die” was shot on the streets of Matera, Italy.
(MGM)

Corbould said the first step was a meeting with the folks at Aston Martin, who asked how many of the rare sports cars would be needed for production.

“When we said 10, there’s a deadly silence in the room,” Corbould said.

“The next question is, where do we get those 10? Do we buy 10 DB5s on the open market between 1 and 2 million [pounds] a pop? Probably not the best financial way of going about it. Do we go to owners to see if they’ll rent us their cars? Well, if I was an owner of a DB5, would I rent it to James Bond to do an action sequence? Probably not.”

Eight DB5 replicas were built for stunt work.

Eight DB5 replicas were built for stunt work.
(Philip Dethlefs/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Instead, Aston Martin supplied two originals and built eight replicas for Corbould’s team to customize for the various needs of a chase sequence filmed on the streets of the ancient stone city of Matera, Italy, that’s teased in the trailer for the film.

The stunt cars were equipped with special driving equipment.

The stunt cars were equipped with special driving equipment.
(Philip Dethlefs/picture alliance via Getty Images)

“They did a marvelous job, because they performed absolutely amazing,” Corbould said.

Several of the cars were outfitted for stunt driving, while two were equipped with a host of gadgets that included smoke screens and a pair of miniguns that emerge from behind their headlights.

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Corbould said he made 14 trips to the Southern Italian locale to lay out the scene and that probably 95% of what’s on screen was real driving and practical effects, rather than CGI.

Several other Aston Martins appear in the film, including a new DBS and a classic V8 Vantage, like one that appeared in “The Living Daylights” in a chase shot on a frozen lake, which Corbould said is his favorite Bond car of all time.

The V8 Vantage was built from 1977 to 1989.

The V8 Vantage was built from 1977 to 1989.
(MGM)

“The V8 Vantage for me was very nostalgic, because I was in charge of that sequence out in Austria with the original one, and to see it come back in this film was very nostalgic for me,” Corbould said.

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