Is James Bond‘s Aston Martin DB5 in Skyfall the same car that he originally won in Casino Royale, or a different vehicle altogether? There are several key components to any James Bond film, such as highly specific drink orders and a string of disfigured villains, but luxury sports cars have always been a reliable feature of the franchise. Traditionally, 007 has a penchant for Aston Martins going back all the way to the Sean Connery era, although Roger Moore preferred the Lotus, another British brand. In more modern times, Daniel Craig’s Bond has opted to go back to the classics.
Casino Royale works as an origin story for Craig’s Bond and explains how he gets his famous sports car. While playing poker in the Bahamas, 007 wins a 1964 Aston Martin DB5 in a hand, and the car is intentionally similar to the one from Goldfinger, working another familiar Bond tenet into the modern origin story. This Aston Martin has left-hand drive and the Bahamas license plate “56526.” In Skyfall, Bond finds himself on the run with M and digs an old Aston Martin out of a garage. There’s a feeling that this is a familiar car to both Bond and the audience, but while this DB5 is similar to the one from Casino Royale, it has right-hand drive, gadgets and British number plates reading “BMT 216A.”
It’s ambiguous whether this is intended to be the same car as the DB5 in Casino Royale or a second one Bond already owned/bought since. In the original script for Skyfall, the car was written to be the same one from Casino Royale, so this was certainly the original plan. However, various reports and interviews have claimed that Skyfall director, Sam Mendes, wanted to take the opportunity to pay homage to the classic DB5 from Goldfinger, so set about basing the new car off that design, rather than the Casino Royale one. This is why the Skyfall car bears a much closer resemblance to Sean Connery’s vehicle, with the same license plates and the British right-hand drive.
Unfortunately, explaining why Daniel Craig’s Bond has the Goldfinger car rather than the one he scored in the Bahamas isn’t so straightforward, since his story is entirely separate to the original Bond’s, but there are two possible in-canon explanations. The first is that this is an entirely separate car; one that 007 bought with his hard-earned wages to replace the one from Casino Royale, although this doesn’t explain Bond’s familiarity with it. More likely this is still the same car, but those MI6 earnings have gone towards modifying it. Of course, James Bond would revert to right-hand drive and new number plates would be needed, while optional extras and hidden weapons were no doubt an immediate installation.
In reality, however, this perhaps isn’t a plot point with any deeper meaning than being a homage to the 1960s Sean Connery era. The Casino Royale Aston Martin was cool and current, but it lacked a lot of the traditional Bond features, and it’s worth a small retcon to bring back a more familiar DB5 that fans will get a kick out of, even if it doesn’t quite make sense in terms of the Daniel Craig James Bond continuity.
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