Cars and Movie Characters – A Long Tradition

For decades, cars have been an integral part of movie characters’ identities. Due to product placement deals, many modern film characters drive name brand vehicles. The car that a character drives often influences how audiences feel about him or her.

The Jaguar is one of the most frequently used cars in films. There are many examples of movie characters who use this car prominently. Austin Powers drove a Jaguar, which he named a “Shaguar”, in the second “Austin Powers” film. The main character of the Christopher Nolan film “Memento” also drove a Jaguar. Another Jag was featured in the James Bond film “Die Another Day”. It was driven by the film’s main villain, Zao.

Many famous car brands are featured prominently in films. Long-running Japanese brands like Mazda have also appeared in many films. For example, a 1997 Mazda Rx-7 was featured in “Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift” (2006). Honda is another company whose cars have been driven by the “Fast and Furious” characters, including Dom (Vin Diesel), Brian (Paul Walker) and Mia (Jordanna Brewster). Chevrolet cars have been featuring in movies for decades. A 1972 Chevy Corvette Stingray car was featured in “Gone in Sixty Seconds” in 1974. A 1959 Chevy Bel Air was driven by the title character in the Australian action flick “Mad Max” (1979). In a more recent example, a 1968 Chevy Nova was driven by the two main police characters, played by Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, in “Bad Boys II” (2003). Another even more recent example is “Fast Five” (2010), which featured a 1969 Chevrolet Corvette being driven by one of the main characters in a key action sequence.

Sometimes, car companies will even create a special vehicle to be used in a film. For example, Honda created a concept car that was used in the box office smash hit “The Avengers”. The car is driven by the film’s superheroes, which include Ironman, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, and Captain America. Honda’s concept car was seen by millions of moviegoers this past spring and summer.

It’s not just cars that help define movie characters. A Suzuki motocycle was featured in the street racing film “2 Fast 2 Furious”, the second part of the lucrative “Fast and Furious” film franchise. Although the “Fast and Furious” films are mainly known for featuring cars, motorcycles have also been displayed prominently.

Many movie characters, like James Bond and his Aston Martin, become associated with a specific brand of vehicle. This, of course, adds visibility to the type of car being featured and can propel sales. Cars will undoubtedly continue to be featured prominently in many films to come. It will be interesting to see which cars are featured in the future. For example, perhaps the new Range Rover Evoque will be used by a famous movie character someday. Only time will tell.

Categories: cars

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