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Dear Aston Martin, as you put the finishing touches on your 2024 DB12, you may have frustrated the there’s no current James Bond actor to help you publicize it. Obviously, Daniel Craig retired after No Time to Die, and the studio has yet to name his successor. But this absence of a current James Bond opened up the best marketing opportunity you have ever missed. You could give the world the James Bond that never was and break the internet in the process!

An Aston Martin without a James Bond

The back of a green Aston martin DB12 as it races along a mountain road.
2024 Aston Martin DB12 | Aston Martin

Since No Time to Die, Daniel Craig has been having a blast playing against character in movies (See: Glass Onion) and advertisements (See his flamboyant dancing for Belvedere vodka). He looks like he’s living it up, and I seriously doubt he would be interested in donning a tuxedo and his signature James Bond pout to show off the Aston Martin DB12.

In his absence, Aston Martin might have even considered re-enlisting an MI6 alumnus. While Sean Connery and Roger Moore have died, retired James Bond actors Timothy Dalton, George Lazenby, and Pierce Brosnan are all alive. But none of them are doing many commercials these days.

Aston Martin launched the DB12 in May 2023 with no James Bond movie tie-in, 007 actor functioning as a brand ambassador, or even a “50th anniversary of James Bond” TV spot. The automaker missed a golden-eyed opportunity: to give the world one of the Bonds we missed out on.

The James Bond that never was

Henry Cavill filming The Man from U.N.C.L.E. | Ernesto Ruscio/FilmMagic via Getty Images

The internet often gets carried away with cinematic what-ifs. There are three British actors who have sparked the James Bond fandom’s imagination and made many ask: What if? All three are likely too old (or too expensive) to be the next James Bond. But an Aston Martin DB12 unveiling featuring any of these actors in a Tuxedo would have gone absolutely viral.

Clive Owen’s breakout was as a tuxedo-clad casino employee caught up in a heist (Croupier 1998). When Pierce Brosnan retired, many thought the young, tall British actor was a shoe-in for the role. Owen still gets asked, “Are you angry you weren’t chosen for Casino Royale?” in interviews. But the fact is, there’s no evidence he was ever considering the role or in talks with Eon Productions. He’s had a successful and varied carrier without being Bond. But he might enjoy winking at the haters by becoming the Aston Martin brand ambassador between Bonds.

Henry Cavill nearly beat out Daniel Craig for the role of James Bond. But he was 21 during his screen test and, rumor has it, Eon Productions decided he was just a bit too young. He has admitted he longed to play James Bond when he was younger. And eagle-eyed fans noted that every time Daniel Craig threatened to retire, Cavill shot another spy movie (Mission Impossible, The Man From U.N.C.L.E.), as if to remind Eon Productions what a great agent 007 he would still be. Now that he commands a Superman-level salary, it’s doubtful Eon Productions can afford him. But becoming the Aston Martin spokesman for the DB12 generation would be a great way to stay on their radar.

Idris Elba actually had to address the multiple viral internet campaigns that fan-cast him as James Bond. The British actor has proven his suave action star chops with roles in every franchise from Marvel to The Fast and The Furious. After Daniel Craig finally retired, the 50-year-old Elba said the rumors of him becoming James Bond were just that, rumors. But shooting a commercial for the DB12 as a well-dressed secret agent would be a lighthearted way for him to play off said rumors.

James Bond and Aston Martin: a 60-year love story

Idris Elba racing Formula E | Sam Bloxham – Handout/FIA Formula E via Getty Images

In Ian Fleming’s James Bond books, agent 007 is a retired racecar driver whose prize possession is a pre-war Bentley with a supercharged engine. Even in the 1940s and 50s, the secret agent has to admit his old car is outdated. But by the 1960s, when Eon Productions began making the Sean Connery era films, Bond’s wheels needed an update.

In 1964’s Goldfinger, James Bond slides behind the wheel of an Aston Martin DB5. As Q shows him his ride’s gadgets, he actually says, “Where’s my Bentley” as a nod to the novel’s car (which never appears on screen). But audiences swooned over the DB5, with its ejector seats, machine guns, and advanced tracking system. It became such an icon that both the Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig James Bonds took a spin in the classic.

Despite a stint in a Lotus, a Saab, and even two very different Toyotas, James Bond has always returned to Aston Martins. Aston Martin, for its part, has scrounged up something special for each new James Bond.

2006’s Casino Royale introduced the world to Daniel Craig’s James Bond and a new generation of Aston Martins with the 2006 DBS. In 2015’s Spectre, Aston Martin put the superspy in a never-released DB10 before featuring the production DB11 in 2021’s No Time to Die.

On His Majesty’s Secret Service

Clive Owen in Croupier | kpa/United Archives via Getty Images

So, Aston Martin: you may be planning to just wait until Eon Productions shoots a new James Bond movie to put the actor they choose in the DB12. And I get it. You have terrific celebrities already driving Aston Martins, such as Queen Latifah and Martha Stewart. And now that you have returned to Formula 1, you have talented drivers such as Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll to act as brand ambassadors. But hear me out:

Instead of waiting for Eon Productions to pick the next James Bond, you could choose the next James Bond (briefly)! For the cost of a five-minute action film with one of the aforementioned actors wearing a tux and driving a DB12, your James Bond could go viral. Until Eon Productions names some handsome but unknown TV star as the new Agent 007, your crowning the “James Bond who never was” will be all any 007 fans can talk about.

I’ll even give you the perfect name for your short film: Timely yet fits with the franchise. “On His Majesty’s Secret Service.”

Next, learn 007 things you probably didn’t know about David Brown, longtime owner of Aston Martin, or see the DB12 introduction that Aston Martin did film in the video below: