Of course, and respectfully, it is not the Aston Martin DB5. We all know that Rami Malek’s Safin looks set to become one of the dopest villains in the Bond franchise, but do you know that Daniel Craig’s final Bond outing in No Time to Die will also feature one of the craziest Aston Martins ever?
Ever since Sean Connery grappled with the steering wheel of an Aston Martin DB5 as he maneuvered through tricky situations as 007, the car brand has become pretty much synonymous with the world-renowned secret agent. While the DB5 is often touted as the ‘official car’ for Bond, newer audiences will tend to gravitate more towards Aston Martin being an ‘official brand’ for Bond films. In the recent years, more and more models of Aston Martin have made their way into the growing franchise with the hope of replicating the fame and success that their ancestor — the DB5 — had, and although none of them has achieved that iconic status so far, it is certainly cool to see modern, drool-worthy Astons on the big screen. Ah, that smoking hot DB10 in Spectre..
I should probably put a halt to my daydream right now, because as we all know, the Aston Martin DB10 is a bespoke piece of art made just for Spectre (2015), and you won’t find one seating on my car porch anytime soon even if I would to strike a fat lottery. As much as I adore Aston Martin and their long-term partnership with the movie franchise, the last thing I want to see is Mr Bond chasing down villains in an Aston Martin DBX (think Porsche Cayenne). After all, the glorious secret agent is still best spotted on the move in slick coupes like the DB10 and DB5. However, if you tune into the second trailer of No Time to Die and scrutinize each frame like you have plenty of time to kill, inevitably, you will come across this elusive vehicle:
“Valkyrie?”. That was the first name that struck my head, because to be truthful, I have been stalking Aston’s catalogue from time to time like I own a car porch that can fit 25 cars, and have access to bank accounts with uncountable zeros which, I clearly don’t. Thus, I know a thing or two about Aston Martin’s line-up, well, maybe except for this one. Also, Valkyrie probably doesn’t appear in Aston Martin’s catalogues, it’s just a metaphor.
Valkyrie apparently wouldn’t do a clean job in any Bond movie, because the race-bred design will suggest that Bond’s intelligence agency is preparing for 24 Hours of Le Mans rather than a world war threat. It is clearly not a vehicle that one can gun around without a racing helmet and fire-retardant suit, and I can already see the joy of Bond’s superior coaxing him into wearing one. If it is not an Aston Martin Valkyrie, then what is that thing?
As it turns out, the car in the trailer is Valkyrie’s classier and slightly more civilized sibling — the Aston Martin Valhalla. It is the third outcome of Aston Martin’s mounting pressure against the likes of Ferrari and McLaren — a proper mid-engine supercar. Unlike the track-focused Valkyrie which packs over 1,000 HP under its glorious frame, the Valhalla is rumored to push out a horsepower-figure of just a little under a thousand, and is configured to better suit the owners’ ‘everyday usage’. Well, I certainly hope that the future owners of Valhalla find it ‘user-friendly’ to drive their 900’ish-horsepower, dihedral-doored, limited production supercars to the market.
Now, I am not a complete Aston Martin freak and I can’t list out every single detail about the Valhalla, but if you are, chances are you’re probably screaming your heads off right now. “How are they able to feature a car in a (supposed to premiere in) 2020 film, when the said car will barely enter production in 2021?”.
Let’s just say that you’re not the only one to find this slightly insane. As per the report by Esquire, Dave King, the head of Aston Special Operations team, found it to be a ‘big challenge’ when Bond’s producers, Eon, threw a huge curveball to them just three months prior to filming No Time to Die. The message by Eon was pretty clear. “Get us a drivable Valhalla, and we’ll feature it in No Time to Die.” Of course, for King, the problem was pretty obvious as well, as a drivable Aston Martin Valhalla didn’t exist at that time.
Esquire did not go much into the details on what King and his team had achieved, only stating briefly that ‘they managed it’, which I assume that most likely, they had come up with some sort of a drivable replica of Valhalla exclusively for No Time to Die. Ultimately, perhaps due to a change of plan or hidden capability issues with the drivable unit, only static shots of the Valhalla will be incorporated into the final cut of No Time to Die. Yes, a really, really significant letdown towards Bond’s petrolhead fans, I agree. Who knows, that very shot of Valhalla in the trailer might be the only one that we will ever witness in the film.
On the flipside, seemingly tailored more towards Bruce Wayne than Bond, the Valhalla is definitely befitting for the next generation of Bond movies, when Craig’s baton is finally handed over to a future star. With No Time to Die being Craig’s final outing as Bond and the recent passing of the great Sean Connery, what can be a better car to bid a temporary farewell to the Bond franchise, other than the iconic DB5?
P.S. Sir Sean, I really wish that God grants you a Silver Birch Aston Martin DB5 to accompany you wherever you explore in Heaven. Rest well
Originally published at https://www.thefilmaddict.com on November 5, 2020.