The revival of two legends this year is cause for many fans around the world to celebrate. These two legends both have histories spanning decades and loyal, passionate followings. They are, of course, James Bond and the new Land Rover Defender.
The Defender was launched earlier this year, and 007 will make a delayed appearance in November 2020 after initially being scheduled to premier during April. As a bonus to fans of both, and with Land Rover/Jaguar being the official vehicle of the 007 franchise, both will shine in No Time to Die.
Apart from appearing in the new blockbuster, James Bond and the Defender also share another, maybe unfortunate, similarity. They weren’t fan favourites when news of them initially broke.
‘No Time to Die’
No Time to Die sees James Bond return in the 25th official movie in the 007 franchise with Daniel Craig once again taking up the mantle as the suave 007. This will be Craig’s fifth and final appearance as the British superspy in what promises to be an epic espionage thriller.
This time he goes up against Rami Malek, who swaps pleasing crowds with Bohemian Rhapsody with world domination by sheer terror. Okay, maybe not that bad, but whispers from the production team indicate that he might be one of the worst Bond villains yet.
Although the Bond movies from the Craig era are some of the most popular of all time, Craig wasn’t the most popular choice to play the role of James Bond. Fans were unhappy when Craig was revealed as the title character who has been played by the likes of Sean Connery, Roger Moore, and Timothy Dalton.
When he was cast as Bond in Casino Royale, a wave of anti-Craig commentary roamed the headlines of stories on movie websites, in magazines, and newspapers. The entertainment industry was abuzz with every even half-qualified commentator giving his or her view.
Reactions ranged from mild distaste to bordering on hatred as die-hard fans of the franchise spoke out against this Englishman’s lack of charisma, his lack of looks, and the absence of dark hair. The list goes on and on.
Fast-forward 14 years, which by the way is the longest time any actor has held the role of 007, and Craig has redefined the role. He made it his and he is arguably one the best 007’s there ever was.
The new Land Rover Defender
In January 2016, production of the old Defender stopped. That capped off 67 years of the model on the market, albeit in a few different iterations. It was one of the last of a breed of purposeful off-road vehicles which instill in their drivers a sense of adventure.
When the first pictures and other media of the new Defender appeared, the fan feedback was, well, less than promising. It seemed to be a total departure from the original Defender and fans voiced their unhappiness about it.
It had gone soft, they said.
“It lost its character,” fans brooded around the campfire. Many were sad that they were going to lose the old Defender. It was to many men what Lamborghini’s were to schoolboys. It’s the poster against the wall which you dream about at night.
Well, first impressions can be deceiving, and now after the launch and in the metal, it looks exquisite. Initial impressions are that it is a rugged no compromises off-road vehicle, but also a luxury SUV that is just as happy on-road.
The new Land Rover Defender shows its steel in ‘No Time to Die’:
Design-wise, Defender has stayed true to its DNA, and resemblances of the original is present in the overall design of the vehicle. In short, it looks like a Defender should.
Off-road, it also stayed true to its roots as a rugged off-roader. With an impressive range of powerful engines, all-wheel drive, terrain response, and exceptional approach, break-over, and departure angles, the Defender promises to be an exceptionally capable off-roader.
What’s more, this off-road capability is achieved without compromising on-road prowess. The Defender does look exceptionally capable on the road. In fact, Land Rover states that the Defender is one of the most capable vehicles they’ve ever built.
As a package, the Defender certainly looks impressive and capable of redefining its segment. It’s a tough true off-roader in a handsome body. The only question that remains to be seen, is whether the Defender will be Land Rover’s Daniel Craig. It sure looks like it.