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Shaken (and probably stirred too): new Land Rover Defender stars in new Bond movie No Time To Die

By Paul Connolly

Land Rover has joined forces with 007 – revealing images and video of the new Defender on the set of the latest James Bond blockbuster.

The company’s newest off-roader stars in No Time To Die, which will be released in UK cinemas on 2 April next year.

Behind the scenes of Stunt Coordinator Lee Morrison with the New Land Rover Defender featured in No Time To Die
Behind the scenes of Stunt Coordinator Lee Morrison with the New Land Rover Defender featured in No Time To Die

The latest Land Rover images show the Defender being pushed to its limits as it thumps and wallows up hill and down dale – being tailed, presumably, by baddies… or chasing after them.

It gets worse for Defender fans as the footage also shows one of the new models on the verge of flipping over, although if it did and how it got there might be, of course, a plot-spoiling movie secret until release.

In teaser photos and video released to announce its continued partnership with movie company EON Productions, Land Rover uses footage captured during filming of the movie to give a behind-the-scenes view of stunt co-ordinator Lee Morrison and stunt driver Jess Hawkins at work.

No Time To Die is the first movie to feature the New Defender, the latest legendary vehicle to star in a James Bond car chase sequence.

Lee Morrison, James Bond Stunt Co-ordinator, said: "Designing and co-ordinating the action sequences for the Bond franchise requires a non-compromising mindset.

“We needed an unstoppable vehicle to help us battle against the elements, steep descents and river crossings so we chose the new Defender.

“I'm beyond impressed that the Defender is not only back but much, much better!"

Such was the punishing workout that the new Defender – a 110 model – had to use all of its ground clearance of 291mm and world-class off-road geometry of approach, breakover and departure angles of 38, 28 and 40 degrees to withstand the filming.

Behind the scenes image of the New Land Rover Defender featured in No Time To Die
Behind the scenes image of the New Land Rover Defender featured in No Time To Die

This included using its maximum wading depth of 900mm supported by a new Wade programme in the Terrain Response 2 system.

Land Rover’s design team worked closely with Special Effects and Action Vehicles Supervisor Chris Corbould on the spec of the Defenders used in the film.

Based on the Defender X model in Santorini Black, with darkened skid pans, 20in dark finish wheels and professional off-road tyres, they were the first Defenders to be built at Jaguar Land Rover’s new production facility in Nitra, Slovakia.

Land Rover’s Richard Agnew said: “No Time To Die is a brilliant way to showcase the New Defender’s capabilities in the latest jaw-dropping James Bond car chase.

“It’s been hugely exciting to continue our relationship with EON Productions and work with their teams to deliver a spectacular sequence.”

Britain’s biggest vehicle manufacturer has a long-standing partnership with EON Productions on the Bond films, which began in 1983 when a Range Rover Convertible appeared in Octopussy.

Behind the scenes image of Stunt Driver Jessica Hawkins with the New Defender featured in No Time To Die
Behind the scenes image of Stunt Driver Jessica Hawkins with the New Defender featured in No Time To Die

Alongside the Defenders, No Time To Die also features the Range Rover Sport SVR, Series III Land Rover and Range Rover Classic.

No Time To Die, is directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga and stars Daniel Craig, who returns for his fifth film as Ian Fleming’s James Bond.

The twenty-fifth 007 film, it is currently in post-production and will be released globally in cinemas from April 2 2020 in the U.K. through Universal Pictures International and in the U.S on April 10, from Metro Goldwyn Mayer Studios via their United Artists Releasing banner.

Aston Martin fans needn’t fret: up to three of the famous British sports cars will reportedly make an appearance in No Time To Die.

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