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The vehicles of Quantum of Solace
Image © Ford
Bond is back! Or he will be soon at least, the follow-up to Casino Royale coming to cinemas on October 31.
Called Quantum of Solace, it picks up mere moments after the dramatic ending to Casino Royale as Bond confronts the mysterious Mr White.
GALLERY: the vehicles of Quantum of Solace
Image © Aston Martin
007's Aston Martin DBS only enjoyed a brief appearance in that film. But even before Quantum of Solace's opening credits - and the superbly bombastic Jack White/Alicia Keys theme tune - hit the screen the Aston will be in the thick of the action, with an epic car chase along the banks of Lake Garda.
Effectively launched (in more ways than one...) in Casino Royale, the Aston DBS will be playing a major role in the dramatic opening sequence, picking up from its first appearance. In the previous film producers entered the record books with a seven-roll flip that wrecked Bond's shiny new DBS after barely a few seconds on film.
Image © Aston Martin
And it looks like the production team hasn't lost its taste for destroying Aston Martins in the name of entertainment. Indeed, as was widely reported in the press, one of the five DBS cars used for the filming was destroyed in a dramatic accident en route to a promotional event at the Lake Garda location.
A hapless delivery driver lost control and plunged into the lake, destroying the DBS (and, no doubt, his chances of continued employment) in the process. He survived relatively unscathed but a stunt driver driving involved in the chase sequence was less lucky, being hospitalised when his car hit a wall mid-shoot.
Image © Land Rover
Bond with a Range Rover Sport
This just underlines the efforts - and risks - the producers and crew are going to in making Quantum of Solace's action sequences as thrilling and realistic as possible. No CGI for Bond it would appear. All of which bodes well for Daniel Craig's second outing as the man in the tux.
The Aston DBS wasn't the only car making its debut in Casino Royale. Ford's three-film tie-up with the Bond producers got 007 back into his Aston of course, Pierce Brosnan using a gadget-enhanced Vanquish in Die Another Day and the baddies driving minigun-equipped Jaguars.
Image © Ford
Ford Ka in QofS
And in Casino Royale we got our first real look at the new Mondeo, in which Daniel Craig somewhat incongruously cruises into the Bahamas beach club before winning the keys to a DB5 in a poker game. Ford no longer owns Aston or Jaguar of course. But the film deal remains and Quantum of Solace debuts another all-new Ford.
Yes, the Ka, revealed at Paris, makes a cameo appearance as the personal ride of glamorous Bond girl Camille, played by Ukrainian model and actress Olga Kurylenko. Custom painted and trimmed, Camille's Ka does little for the baby Ford's gender stereotype, Bond making use of the rather more macho Range Rover Sport in one scene too.
Image © Aston Martin
DBS chase scene
It's not all Ford (or ex-Ford) machinery in the film though, the bad guys in the Lake Garda car chase eschewing the default black Mercedes for a rather more stylish Alfa Romeo 159. Teaser images of a rather worse for wear Aston on a dust strewn road with Alfa-driving goons in hot pursuit hint at a spectacular sequence too.
And though you don't get to see it there is actually a black Mercedes involved too. The heavily modified M-Class was used as a camera car, complete with a huge roof-mounted boom. And though played by a Frenchman the main villain plays to Hollywood stereotype by favouring a British car - in this case a Daimler Double Six.
The marketing tie-ups continue in the skies too, Quantum of Solace featuring what's been described as the most valuable movie product placement of all time after the producers acquired $190m worth of private jets from operator Ocean Sky. Indeed, the value of the jets exceeds even the estimated $150m budget for the film itself.
Ocean Sky provided an incredible eight aircraft for the shoot, taking time out from its day-to-day business of ferrying super-rich clients around the globe in some of the most luxurious and exclusive planes around. This includes the Gulfstream G550, the daddy of all executive jets thanks to its near 7000-mile range and mach 0.8 cruising speed.
It's not all fancy executive jets though, with one airborne chase sequence featuring an old 1930s era DC3 jinking through a barren desert landscape. Indeed, the locations are certainly varied and take in Chile, Panama, Austria and Italy, not to mention Pinewood studios here in the UK.
Not everyone has been entirely welcoming though, the mayor of one Chilean town reportedly driving his car into the middle of the set in protest. He's in the minority though, with cinema audiences the world over counting the days until the film's release. We're among them!
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