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LOS ANGELES, CA -– James Bond, the legendary British secret agent, will drive an Aston Martin again in the next 007 film it was announced today by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), Eon Productions, and Aston Martin. The 20th installment of the longest running and most successful franchise in cinema history, produced by Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, is due for release in 2002. Bond 20 marks the 40th anniversary of the franchise that began in 1962 with Dr. No. Pierce Brosnan will make his fourth appearance as James Bond in the film, which will be directed by Lee Tamahori (Along Came a Spider, The Edge) and written by Neal Purvis and Robert Wade. Production will begin at Pinewood Studios in January 2002.<P>The recently launched V12 Vanquish will be the fourth Aston Martin that Bond has driven. The association with the marque began in 1964 with the film Goldfinger ,when the DB5 was fitted with “optional extras” such as ejector seats and rockets.<P>Producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli say, “James Bond and the British Aston Martin car have had a long and successful partnership in our films, and we are delighted to welcome the latest model, the Aston Martin Vanquish, to appear in the 20th film of the series.”<P>Robert Levin, MGM’s president of Worldwide Marketing and Distribution, adds, “We are thrilled that Bond fans will get to see James Bond back in the Aston Martin – especially for Bond 20, which marks such a momentous milestone in film history.”<P>Dr. Wolfgang Reitzle, group vice president, Ford Motor Company, and chairman, Premier Automotive Group, says: “When people think of James Bond, the first car they think of is Aston Martin. For all of us that love the 007 films, it is great news that Bond is back driving an Aston Martin, this time our latest and most sophisticated model ever. We are also pleased to be working with MGM and Eon Productions, and through the wider support of Ford Motor Company we will be offering our full range of cars to the production.”<P>Dr. Ulrich Bez, chief executive of Aston Martin Lagonda, says, “I am sure James Bond will recognize some of the styling cues on the Aston Martin Vanquish. He will find it technologically advanced and perfectly suited for the type of work he does today. This agreement comes at a really important time for us. Aston Martin is going through some major changes. The best reflection of this is our new V12 Vanquish. It combines elements from our heritage, but also clearly shows the direction of the company’s future.”<P>The V12 Vanquish is the latest in a long line of cars from one of the most famous names in the motor industry. It is at the leading edge of automotive design and combines an aluminium and carbon fibre body, Formula One-style gearbox, and 460bhp V12 engine. More than 700 cars have already been pre-sold around the world. Deliveries to customers in the USA start in September 2001, with the V12 Vanquish priced at $228,000.<P>Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. (NYSE: MGM), through its Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. subsidiary, is actively engaged in the worldwide production and distribution of entertainment product, including motion pictures, television programming, home video, interactive media, music, and licensed merchandise. Its operating units include MGM Pictures, United Artists Films, MGM Television Entertainment, MGM Networks, MGM Distribution Co., MGM Worldwide Television Distribution, MGM Home Entertainment, MGM Consumer Products, MGM Music, MGM Interactive, and MGM.com.<P>In addition, MGM has acquired a 20 percent ownership interest in four of Rainbow Media’s successful national cable networks -- American Movie Classics (AMC), Bravo, The Independent Film Channel (IFC) and WE: Women’s Entertainment (formerly Romance Classics), and holds equity interests in 14 television channels internationally.<P>[SOURCE: Aston Martin]
 

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It's about time. I just didn't get James Bond in a bimmer, no matter how cool the Z8 was. Now they need to make the movie have some better car chase scenes, like Ronin.<P>Oh, and add a few Volvos <IMG SRC="http://www.swedespeed.com/ubb/wink.gif"> .
 

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Just spotted this in my daily news search. Kinda took a jab at Volvos, but interesting how much money was put behind this thing...<P>Friday August 31, 9:48 am Eastern Time<BR>BusinessWeek Online<BR>DAILY BRIEFING -- James Bond's New $35 Million Wheels<P><BR>Daily Briefing: POWER LUNCH <P>By Ron Grover <P>In Hollywood, the biggest car crashes sometimes aren't on the screen [despite what The Fast & the Furious might have you believe]. The movie industry recently saw some expensive fenders crumble when Aston Martin and BMW both went after the rights to be James Bond's official car in the next installment of the British-spy, sexy-babe, hot-set-of-wheels franchise. <P>Aston Martin won the bidding war, agreeing to spend north of $35 million to help promote the still-untitled Bond film, which MGM is scheduled to release for Thanksgiving, 2002. <P>It seems no one wants onto the big screen more than the car companies. Last week, Toyota announced it will spend around $100 million over five years with Vivendi's Universal Studios, helping to promote theme-park rides and video games. Oh yeah, Toyota gets the pick of upcoming Universal movies in which to feature its new Matrix sports wagon. <P>Sometime next year, Mercedes-Benz will spend nearly $20 million to help promote Sony's long-awaited Men in Black 2, which will feature the revamped E-Class sedan. To get its SUV into Universal's The Lost World: Jurassic Park in 1997, Mercedes is said to have outbid everyone from Mitsubishi to Chrysler. In the end, insiders say, Mercedes pulled out its checkbook and paid $1 million just to have the studio plot its vehicle onto the screen. <P>STAGGERING NUMBERS. Nothing rivals the clash between European auto makers BMW and Aston Martin over the vehicle Pierce Brosnan will tool around in next year. On Aug. 23, MGM announced 007 will drive the new V12 Vanquish, a model Aston Martin begins delivering next month, in the upcoming flick. Word around town is that BMW and Aston Martin really got into it when the rights came up for the 20th Bond film. By the time they were done, the bidding had zoomed way past the $25 million BMW paid to promote its then-new Z3 in 1995's GoldenEye. <P>These are pretty staggering numbers, and you've got to wonder why carmakers are willing to shell out that kind of money. Granted, being in a James Bond film isn't exactly hiding in the desert. When it comes to drawing a crowd, nobody does it better than Bond. <P>The last three Bond films -- GoldenEye in 1995, Tomorrow Never Dies two years later, and 1999's The World Is Not Enough -- have performed with startling similarity. Each generated ticket sales of between $106 million and $127 million at the U.S. box office and took in around $350 million worldwide. Add in the millions of viewing hours from video and TV time, and whatever car was in the flick is guaranteed to have been seen by a lot of eyeballs. But how many V12 Vanquishes are going to get sold is another matter, especially when each one costs a cool $228,000. <P>MOVIE MAGIC. That there was a bidding war for the rights to be in the Bond film speaks volumes about the importance of being in the middle of the action, especially the big-screen action. Movies remain one of the few entertainment mediums that can make the world stand still in anticipation of their arrival. Hot movies make magazine covers before they hit the theaters. Network TV airs specials on how the movies get made, for goodness' sake. <P>Little wonder then that Bond movies, with their steady flow of ticket sales, are a hot ticket for the car guys. According to Mary Gross Robino, MGM's vice-president for promotions, the studio ``had a lot of interest among car companies that wanted to be in [the next Bond] movie.'' <P>Bond and the Aston Martin go way back, to 1964's Goldfinger, when 007 traded in the Sunbeam Alpine he drove in From Russia with Love for an Aston Martin DB. Over the years, Bond has driven all manner of cars, including other Aston Martins and a Toyota 2000ST in 1967's You Only Live Twice. <P>BMW DRIVES ON. BMW and Bond bonded in 1995's GoldenEye. To get into that film, BMW agreed to pay $75 million in marketing costs for GoldenEye and the two Bond films that followed, according to insiders. For MGM, at the time a woebegone studio that was lurching from one financial crisis to another, BMW's $75 million was found money. <P>It also turned out to be a good deal for BMW, which sold more than 35,000 of its new Z3s in the 18 months after the film's release. BMW used the next two Bond films to boost the fortunes of its R 1200 C cruiser motorcycle, which appeared in Tomorrow Never Dies, and its Z-8 roadster, in The World Is Not Enough. <P>BMW won't confirm what it spent on its three-picture deal with MGM. But it acknowledges it bailed out when Aston Martin started to bid up the price for the new flick. Indeed, BMW seems to be rethinking its movie strategy altogether. According to Lucy Flinn, the corporate communications manager for BMW North America, the company will continue to put its money into making TV commercials with high-end directors like Ang Lee that direct you to the BMW Web site. ``We've decided to go with cutting-edge technology instead of doing what we've done in the past,'' she says. <P>TOP BILLING. Did Aston Martin get a bargain for its $35 million, or did it get taken for a ride? The company, which is now a part of the Ford Motor family, will have first dibs on putting its entire family of cars in the film, says Simon Sproule, an executive with the Premiere Auto Group, Ford's luxury car unit. That means we're likely to see not only the new Aston Martin V12 Vanquish but also Jaguars, Land Rovers, and maybe even a Volvo [although for the life of me, I can't imagine the plot twist that would plop suave James behind the wheel of a Volvo station wagon]. <P>I also can't imagine that Aston Martin is going to sell too many of those $228,000 cars to schlubs like me, who worry that movie-ticket prices are getting out of hand. In fact, Aston Martin is limiting its production of those super-high-end little beauties to about 500 a year, says Sproule. He says they already have a waiting list of some 300 folks -- and that was before announcing that they were going to be riding along with 007 next year. <P>So why shell out the really big bucks for a car that's not likely to get a boost? Damned if I know. But this is Hollywood, where everyone wants to be in the movies, and money is no object. <P><BR>Go to <A HREF="http://www.businessweek.com" TARGET=_blank>www.businessweek.com</A> to see all of our latest stories. <P>
 
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