Land Rover’s Defender will be one of the star vehicles of the new James Bond film Skyfall, due in cinemas this winter. The venerable 4x4 will be driven in a chase sequence by Naomi Harris’s character, Eve. And the assignment is shaping up to be one of the toughest in the Defender’s 64-year history, says Skyfall co-producer Andrew Noakes.
‘We are really going to test that car,’ says Noakes, ‘do things to it it’s not normally designed for. Some of the stuff is so hairy and dangerous, we have to use a stuntman in a pod on the roof to do the driving. We’ve had to crank up the suspension, and the Defender is going to work very, very hard.’
It’s not the first time the Defender has appeared in a Bond chase: the 4x4 ended up plummeting from the rock of Gibraltar in the 1987 film The Living Daylights.
Jaguar-Land Rover is providing some 70 vehicles to the film: some are production support cars, others like the XJ and Evoque are set to figure on the screen. James Bond himself is set to drive an Aston Martin once more, but whispers suggest it might be a classic instead of a current model. DB5 anyone, with a nod back to 1964 and Goldfinger, as the franchise celebrates its 50th anniversary?
Noakes says the production company, EON, is delighted with the support of Jaguar-Land Rover. ‘The films may be made with American money and producers, but James Bond is British and we try to make associations with British companies. Land Rover is one of the oldest and most well-known. We’ve had offers from other companies but we’d prefer not to take James Bond out of a British environment.’ It sounds like the BMWs of the Pierce Brosnan era won’t be making a comeback anytime soon.