Rowan Atkinson introduces the Johnny English Rolls-Royce

At the International Motor Show in Frankfurt, Rowan Atkinson joined Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Muller-Otvos during a press conference to talk up the new movie "Johnny English Reborn," in which he drives a Phantom Coupe.

Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe
The Johnny English Rolls-Royce, which does not actually have a built-in laser. Josh Miller/CNET

James Bond has his Aston Martin, and Johnny English has his Rolls-Royce. At least he does in the latest super spy parody movie from English comic actor Rowan Atkinson. During the International Motor Show in Frankfurt, Atkinson showed up for the Rolls-Royce press conference to talk about the role played by a Phantom Coupe in the movie "Johnny English Reborn."

Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe
Rowan Atkinson poses by the Johnny English Rolls-Royce. Josh Miller/CNET

Atkinson, who gained fame playing characters such as Blackadder and Mr. Bean, stars in "Johnny English Reborn" as a spy who, in Atkinson's words, "thinks he is better than he really is." In a clip from the movie, the Phantom Coupe driven by Johnny English has a female voice, and the self-awareness of KITT, the car from "Knight Rider."

The movie version of the car apparently has a 9-liter V-16, according to one clip played, a bit more than the 6.75-liter V-12 in the real Phantom Coupe. The car is keyed to English's voice, and at one point cuts its way through a door using a laser that shoots out of the Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament.

Atkinson said he wanted to make the car a character in the movie, but including it is also a good way to spend some quality time with a Rolls-Royce. "Johnny English Reborn" opens on October 28 in the U.S.

Car Tech
About the author

Wayne Cunningham reviews cars and writes about automotive technology for CNET. Prior to the Car Tech beat, he covered spyware, Web building technologies, and computer hardware. He began covering technology and the Web in 1994 as an editor of The Net magazine. He's also the author of "Vaporware," a novel that's available as a Nook e-book.


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