As Land Rover slowly, expensively, and by some measure dramatically puts an end to its historic Defender model, bad guys around the World will have to look elsewhere for a decent, rugged, tough, go-anywhere, kill-anything, on-and-off-roader. They'll have to do so sooner than later, as photos of the latest shoot from the next James Bond film SPECTRE show the spy killing the car off in an even more dramatic way than Land Rover managed - by crashing a plane into some.
The Daniel Craig Bond films are all essentially synonymous with "We don't have to worry about you trying these stunts at home, because they're so ridiculous you wouldn't even be able to attempt them." There was Bond climbing a crane, and then jumping from it to another crane, and then to a rooftop, and then to the ground in a sequence to open Casino Royale. Then in Quantum of Solace, there was the impossible car chase between Bond's Aston Martin DBS and a pair of Alfa Romeo's (impossible because the Alfa's were able to keep up) to open the film. In Skyfall, Bond chased a baddie on motorcycles onto the rooftop of a 500 year old market before crashing his bike ONTO A MOVING TRAIN. You have Bond-veteran Stunt Coordinator Gary Powell to thank for most of Bond's adrenaline-injecting ridiculousness. (You also have him to thank, in part, for the new gadgety Aston Martin DB10.) So what could the Bond team possibly have planned for SPECTRE that is anymore ludicrous?
Well, for starters, it involves the Austrian alps, a small plane, two or more dead-on-arrival Land Rover Defenders, a brand-new Discovery Sport, a beautiful Bond
babe lady and an oversized evil henchman, and quite a few pyrotechnics. A photo taken from filming that started this week shows the awesome baddie Defenders lined up:
It is unclear how many Defender's will actually be involved in the chase on film, as big stunt scenes such as this often require multiple identical models for continuity purposes. Reports say two-to-three trucks will play back up to the baddie Land Rover Discovery Sport that will also be featured. The henchman Hinx (played by Dave Bautista) and one of the main Bond girls Miss Madeiline Swann (played by Léa Seydoux) will feature in the Disco Sport.
(Left photo: Daniel Craig, Léa Seydoux, and Dave Bautista in Austria; Right photo: Supposed Land Rover Disovery Sport for filming, taken on location in Austria)
Rumors and reports from the set in Austria claim that the sequence will involve Bond flying the plane chasing Hinx and Swann on the ground. He attempts to land the plane on a narrow road, breaking off the wings and causing the Defenders to crash, before ramming the remaining torpedo of a plane into the Discovery, rescuing Miss Swann. I don't see how ramming a propeller-led airplane into someone's car is a good way of saving them, but he's James Bond, and nothing comes easy. Photos from an earlier test shoot featuring a burning Defender and airplane seemingly confirm the reports:
On top of all that awesome news, if you were one of the many people who saw 2013's Her or last year's Interstellar and thought "Oh boy, that sure was a pretty movie!" the same cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema has already been spotted doing the camera work for SPECTRE. With other locations including Mexico City, London, Rome, and Morocco planned, as well as the promise of the original evil organization S.P.E.C.T.R.E. almost guaranteed to make a comeback, we should be in for a classic plane-car chase, and a great film.
New photos of scenes being prepped with the airplane and Land Rovers have been released online:
Filming of the scene is scheduled for this week, with more photos and video likely to follow. Updated photos are credited to Karina Hartweger, via The Bond Bulletin.
Justin Westbrook is a 20-year-old living and working in North Carolina. He spends his spare time watching James Bond movies, trying to be serious about going to college, and is still really into The West Wing right now.