JANUARY 6, 2002
James Bond to drive an F1 car?
In just over a week the next James Bond movie begins filming at Pinewood Studios and MGM and Eon Productions have decided to run a 007 logo on the Jaguar Formula 1 car this year.
The new film, which does not officially have a title but is expected to be called "Bond 20" will open in November and will star Pierce Brosnan, the actress Halle Berry, Dame Judy Dench and John Cleese, who will take over the role of the Secret Services's boffin Q.
Much of the film will be shot in Britain, ironically because the producers are worried about the terrorist threat involved in travel to exotic locations (something which has never worried Mr. Bond in the past). This has meant that some of the plans for the film have had to be changed although there is still expected to be a dramatic hovercraft chase in Scotland. Surfing scenes are to be shot on a beach in Cornwall and there is talk that rainforest footage will be filmed in Cornwall's Eden Project, a vast rain forest under glass in an old quarry.
In August last year it was announced that MGM and Eon had reached agreement with Aston Martin for Bond to drive a V12 Vanquish, renewing a link between the fictional Bond character and the car company which dates back to 1964 when Bond (then played by Sean Connery) drove an Aston Martin DB5 in "Goldfinger". In recent films, however, Bond has been seen driving BMW products.
The value of the Bond link is not therefore lost on Wolfgang Reitzle, the head of Ford's Premier Automotive Group, who was previously head of marketing at BMW. At the announcement of the Aston Martin deal last summer Reitzle remarked that "through the wider support of Ford Motor Company we will be offering our full range of cars to the production".
While this is likely to include the latest Jaguar products, there is also a possibility that the film makers might like to see the dashing Bond at the wheel of a Formula 1 racing car.
Such a move would make sense for everyone concerned...