It is said that no other brand has enjoyed such a long and fruitful relationship with a film series as Aston Martin has with James Bond. From 1964's Goldfinger onwards, some of the luxury marque's best-known models have enjoyed global visibility on the big screen, thanks to the irrevocable association with the British secret agent, who is one of cinema's most enduring action heroes. During his time at the company, Aston Martin's Executive Vice President and Chief Creative Officer Marek Reichman has contributed to no fewer than five Bond films, spanning the entire Daniel Craig era and cementing Aston Martin's role as a core component of what it means to be Bond.
For Reichman, the partnership between Bond and his car - service issued, don't forget - is both professionally and personally advantageous for Aston Martin. "Who wouldn't want to be associated with one of the most iconic film characters in the world?" he asks rhetorically, adding that "Bond captures the hearts of both men and women." From 2006's Casino Royale, Daniel Craig's debut outing as the secret agent, due to the 25th film in the series, No Time To Die, Reichman and his design team have been behind the scenes shaping the vehicles that are seen on screen, ably assisted by an engineering department to deal with the rigorous demands of stunt driving.
"The people who make these films are great - from Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli at EON Productions to the writers, directors and crew; they are true master storytellers," Reichman enthuses. "Together, they've created this amazing world of fantasy. For Aston Martin, the films help keep us relevant. But on a personal level I just really enjoy it - it's also a brilliant avenue for creativity."
The visibility afforded by the films - one of the highest-grossing cinematic series of all time - gives Aston Martin access to new markets as well as new customers. "They keep non-car people aware of the brand," he acknowledges.
"When Cary [Joji Fukunaga, No Time To Die director] came to the factory, we gave him a new insight into the company and our products," Reichman adds. "As a result, he came away with a new appreciation of the cars. I think that's why cars come across of characters in the films."
This is an essential distinction and one of the core elements of No Time To Die. It's a film about renewal, character, heritage and legacy, all highly relevant to a car company embarking on its second century amid a fast-changing world. Aston Martin's involvement is integral. "As people saw from the film's first trailer, we have a very strong presence."
The Xenon Grey DBX Superleggera is due to make an appearance, bold and new just like the character who drives it - Lashana Lynch's Nomi - while the iconic Silver Birch DB5 and Cumberland Grey V8 Saloon are based on their previous appearances in Goldfinger and The Living Daylights (1987). Elsewhere, as Q's workshop is traditionally a hive of innovation and futuristic ideas, it made sense for a certain mid-engined concept to make the journey to the Pinewood set.
This interview is an extract from an article featured in the AM46 issue of Aston Martin magazine, out now. If you're not already a subscriber, visit magazine.astonmartin.com/magazine-subscription so that you can read the full story.