The James Bond films are famous for legendary action sequences. Somehow, the Not Time To Die stunts raised the bar yet again. Our favorites include a multi-story motorcycle jump on a Triumph Scrambler, drifting a 1964 Aston Martin DB5 through a medieval city, and going full Rambo on a platoon of new Land Rover Defenders. Here is how the filmmakers pulled off the stunts of James Bond No Time To Die.
1. Triumph Scrambler 1200: sticking the landing
Near the opening of No Time To Die, James Bond walks through the walled city of Matera, Italy, when the bad guys corner him. The quick-thinking Agent 007 knocks one thug off a Triumph Scrambler 1200 XC and rides away. Riding at full speed through the multi-tiered ancient city takes all of Bond’s considerable motorcycle skills. He even rides up a stone staircase and leaps two stories, landing on the upper village square.
The breathtaking jump is one of the most memorable No Time To Die stunts, but it was not easy to pull off. The film crew first built a huge wooden ramp for the nearly vertical jump. Stunt rider Paul Edwards had to reach almost 60 mph before hitting the ramp to clear the sheer stone wall. But even after gaining enough altitude, landing posed a different challenge. The village square of Matera, Italy, is made of large cobblestones, worn smooth by years of traffic.
The stunt crew’s solution to the Matera problem was elegantly simple: the team sprayed the cobblestones with Coca-Cola. When the soda dried, it left the stones just sticky enough that Edwards could stick the landing. After filming, the crew washed the soda off, leaving the stones cleaner than before. All told, Eon Productions poured 8,400 gallons of soda over the medieval town for various stunts.
2. 1964 Aston Martin DB5 Drifting through Matera, Italy: the most beautiful No Time To Die stunts
In the same action scene, James Bond retrieves his trusty 1964 Aston Martin DB5. Aboard the classic 007 car, he tears through the courtyards and alleyways of the little city. Whenever the bad guys try to block him in, he drifts around a corner and takes off in another direction.
In one of the trailer’s best stunts, the bad guys corner the Aston Martin in a courtyard. Bond reveals a set of mini-guns hidden behind the DB5’s headlights, opens fire, and does donuts until he has dispatched every last thug.
With many 1964 DB5s worth half a million dollars, Eon Productions was not interested in crashing an original during the film. While some shots of Daniel Craig cruising in his car feature an original DB5, the stunt team used eight replicas.
Aston Martin’s Special Ops unit scanned an original DB5, then created exact carbon fiber copies of the body panels. The automaker recreated lights, glass, and trim to precise specifications. A custom shop named Auto Action Development teamed up with Aston Martin to build out the replicas.
Auto Action built custom tubular space chassis with full roll cages to fit inside the replica bodies. Then they made eight stunt-ready cars with racing seats, six-point harnesses, Ohlin dampers, double-wishbone suspension, modern radial tires and–priceless for stunts–hydraulic hand brakes. Finally, under the hood is a BMW E46 engine. The team chose the naturally-aspirated straight-six to produce 300 horsepower while sounding much like the stock DB5 engine. The resulting purpose-built car has to be one of the most remarkable vehicles made for any film, ever.
3. New Land Rover Defenders in the Norway forest: the unprecedented No Time To Die stunts
Director Cary Fukunaga was careful to check all the classic James Bond movie boxes. Fast cars, cool gadgets, evil bad guy with a secret island lair: check. But he also added some eye-popping new aspects to the film. One unprecedented stunt is a chase scene through a dark forest in Norway.
In this scene, James Bond ends up on foot while the Bad Guys pursue him in land rovers. He must set traps and create distractions to outwit them and survive. This chase includes epic stunts and camerawork that puts the audience in the middle of the excitement.
Like many previous Bond films, No Time To Die featured an array of Land Rovers. The Norway scene leveraged the first eight of the new Land Rover Defender V8s to come off the assembly line. In addition, the film crew used a helicopter and a custom-built camera crane on an F-150 chassis to catch every angle of the action.