In what’s become the longest relationship between an automaker and a film franchise, Aston Martin will serve as 007’s preferred vehicle of choice in “Spectre,” the 24th film in the spy series.
The Sam Mendes-directed film will mark the 12th time Bond has driven an Aston Martin in the franchise throughout the company’s 50-year relationship with the films.
The British sports car maker on Thursday unveiled the DB10 that will appear in “Spectre” when the movie rolls into theaters on Nov. 6, 2015.
What’s unique about the vehicle is that Aston Martin’s design and engineering teams worked closely with EON Prods, which produces the Bond films and Mendes, to design the DB10 specifically for “Spectre.”
Only ten DB10s will be built, according to Aston Martin.
In the past, the Bond series has featured cars that moviegoers could then purchase at dealerships, with the films helping promote the venerable brand throughout the years. Aston Martin isn’t known for having a sizable marketing budget, given that it doesn’t sell a large number of cars each year. One reason is price: The 2014 DB9 costss $183,700.
Instead, it’s sought out high-profile appearances in films as a way to boost its profile. And film productions like the Bond series are only happy to have a high-end halo car to associate its characters with — especially if they’re being custom-built for their film.
Aston Martin sold 3,800 units in 2012, and 4,200 in 2011. “Skyfall,” which prominently featured the DB5 from “Goldfinger,” was released in 2012, becoming the franchise’s highest-grossing sequel, earning $1.1 billion at the worldwide box office.
Aston Martin sees “Spectre” as a way to promote the direction it’s going with its future lineup of vehicles, led by the company’s chief creative officer, Marek Reichman.
Naturally, it’s already started to promote its tie-in with “Spectre” on social -media channels.
— Aston Martin (@astonmartin) December 4, 2014
“In the same year that we celebrate our 50-year relationship with 007, it seems doubly fitting that today we unveiled this wonderful new sports car created especially for James Bond,” said Andy Palmer, CEO of Aston Martin. “To be partnering once again with EON Productions is great news for this company and for everyone around the world that loves to see Bond at the wheel of an Aston Martin.”
The return of Aston Martin in another Mendes Bond doesn’t come as much of a surprise, given the presence of the car in “Skyfall.”
“The DB5 was part of my boyhood, my generation’s boyhood,” said Mendes while promoting “Skyfall.”
And the director gave Aston Martin considerable exposure as the DB10 was unveiled during a press event on the 007 stage at Pinewood Studios on Thursday.
The event was especially notable for Aston Martin given that the DB10 was introduced before Daniel Craig and the rest of the “Spectre” cast, which includes Christoph Waltz, Dave Bautista, Monica Bellucci, Andrew Scott, Lea Seydoux, Ralph Fiennes, Naomi Harris, Ben Whishaw and Rory Kinnear.
The DB5 was the first Aston Martin to appear in a Bond film, starting with 1964’s “Goldfinger.” Other films feature its newer Vanquish, Vantage Volante, DBS and DB9 sports cars.
“We’ve used different cars from time to time, but we always do come back to Aston Martin,” producer Michael Wilson said in an interview while promoting “Skyfall.” That includes a short stint where BMW provided gadget-packed cars and motorcycles in three films starring Pierce Brosnan.
Bond author Ian Fleming had his suave spy drive a convertible Bentley in many of the books that were adapted for the bigscreen. But the Aston Martin has appeared in 11 of the 23 released Bond films, more than any other car. Bond drives a DB5 in six of them. Roger Moore is the only actor to play 007 without driving an Aston Martin in the role, though he appeared in seven of the films. His Bond was mostly seen driving a Lotus Esprit.
Bond’s various Aston Martins also appear in the “Agent Under Fire,” “From Russia With Love,” “Nightfire” and “Everything or Nothing” videogames.
The DB10 may not be the only vehicle Craig’s Bond drives in “Spectre’s” action sequences.
He may also race a Fiat 500 through the streets of Rome, where some of the film will be shot. Other locations for “Spectre” include Mexico City, Tangier, Morocco and the Austrian Alps.
“Spectre” will be Craig’s fourth film as Bond, following “Casino Royale,” “Quantum of Solace” and “Skyfall.” He has driven an Aston Martin in all of them.