James Bond special effects guru shares film secrets, from smashing Aston Martin to crippling Daniel Craig injury
ANGELINA JOLIE received all the praise when her heroine Lara Croft hit movie screens in Tomb Raider in 2001.
But special effects legend Chris Corbould spotted the potential for his little-known co-star to be a future James Bond – Daniel Craig.
The Oscar-winning actor reveals in an exclusive interview that he proposed the actor’s name for the biggest role in movies to producer Barbara Broccoli, the big guy who decides who gets the license to kill.
Now Chris, 63, who designed Bond’s explosions, chases and crashes in 15 films, will give Daniel a huge farewell in No Time to Die, which hits theaters on Thursday.
He says, âI worked with Daniel on Tomb Raider. I remember saying to Barbara, “I just worked with this guy and I think he has James Bond potential.” Her tip paid off and she hired Daniel for Casino Royale in 2006.
So what did he see in the actor best known at the time to our friends in the north on television. Chris remembers, âHe had a way of moving, a way of standing. He also had those piercing blue eyes. When you see his gaze, you believe he is a killer.
After working with Daniel on five of the spy movies, the couple became good friends and they didn’t want to see the 53-year-old quit the billion pound series. He says, âI miss him as soon as I finish working with him.
Chris was 18 when he worked on his first Bond film in 1977, The Spy Who Loved Me starring Sir Roger Moore.
Fans will be delighted to learn that in the latest adventure, a villain’s lair ends up on the wrong side of the spy pyrotechnics.
Chris promises, âYou won’t be disappointed with the action sequences. Here, the special effects guru reveals the secrets of Bond’s explosive adventures. . .
Destroy an Aston Martin
FOR the last Bond film, Chris ordered eight Aston Martin DB5s because he needed to destroy so many.
The classic car was made famous when Sean Connery, the original 007, drove it in Goldfinger in 1964.
But there probably aren’t many owners of vintage vehicles, worth around Â£ 700,000 apiece, who would take their pride and joy to be riddled with bullets like they do in No Time to Die.
So Chris came to an agreement with Aston Martin to build six special versions of the silver engine for the film and he would use two originals for the close-ups.
He says: “It became clear that we needed complete stunts, gimmicks, which Aston Martin put together in a very short period of time.”
Despite heavy damage, none of the cars ended up in the circuit breaker yard, although some were close. Chris says, “We never really trashed any – not totally.”
The agony of Daniel’s waterfalls
AFTER breaking Specter’s leg, pulling an Achilles tendon during Casino Royale, and slicing a finger on Quantum Of Solace, Daniel Craig had to undergo ankle surgery due to an injury during from the shooting of No Time To Die in Jamaica.
Chris says, âI’m not surprised there isn’t any indentation on any of the fight scenes he does. He rushes into it. “
Fortunately, the action hero escaped unscathed from a drowning scene.
Chris says, âThere is a sequence in No Time To Die where Bond is trapped in a sinking train. We built a hydraulic platform in the water tank at Pinewood Studios and put Daniel to the test by seeing how well he could swim underwater.
Newcomer Lashana Lynch, who plays a secret agent, was also set to do some of her own stunts in scenes where she wrestles with Daniel.
Chris says, âShe got really involved in the role. They started with each other.
ONE of the joys of watching a Bond movie is knowing that the stunts are real.
And keeping computer-generated footage to an absolute minimum doesn’t come cheap – No Time To Die’s budget is said to be Â£ 200million.
In the new movie, the spy will climb out of the back of a plane in a high-tech glider, jump off a bridge, and jump over huge walls on his motorcycle.
Chris says: âWhat I love about Bond is that they have always given me and my team the resources.
âThey could take the easy way out and use CGI, but Bond has always based his films on reality.
“We could have done the big subway train crash sequence in Skyfall as a model or CG, but it wouldn’t have been as good.”
Big Bang Theory
Chris is in the Guinness Book of Records for the size of the explosion he created in Specter where Bond destroys Blofeld’s hideout.
The scene was a nerve-racking time as it had to work the first time around – and director Sam Mendes decided to use a single camera to shoot it.
âIt was very brave,â says Chris.
But he faced some limitations. In Skyfall, Chris wanted to stage a fake explosion at MI6 headquarters in London, but he thought the UK spy agency would say no.
He said, “I wouldn’t have won this battle.”
Instead, computer magic was used to create the effect.
Thrill of the Hunt
When Bond bosses were unhappy with a motorcycle chase in Pierce Brosnan’s first 007 GoldenEye in 1995, Chris had an idea.
He told them, âGet rid of it. Motorcycle chases were made to death. Why doesn’t he steal a tank? “
It went on to become one of Bond’s most iconic sets and helped Brosnan on the path to success in the role.
Chris also imagined an incredible scene for Skyfall director Sam Mendes.
He says: âI got a call from Sam saying, ‘I have this great chase in the London Underground and just need a breathtaking moment.
“I fell asleep that night and the train scene came out of it.”
In the scene, villainous Silva, played by Javier Bardem, makes a huge hole in a tunnel under the rails of the tube – sending a high-speed train crashing through the narrowly missing 007 one.
Chris used full-size replicas of the 60-foot trains for the massive crash.