Focus Of The Week: <i>Spectre’s</i> Austria Chase

Focus Of The Week: Spectre’s Austria Chase

Inside the 007 vs. Hinx duel

Following a thrilling car chase in Rome, the second duel between James Bond (Daniel Craig) and Hinx (Dave Bautista) during Spectre (2015) takes place on the snowy roads of Austria. Hinx has kidnapped Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux), spiriting her away in a fleet of Land Rovers. Bond gives pursuit in a light aircraft and the result, as producer Michael G. Wilson puts it, is “something that audiences have not seen before.”

The spectacular sequence see’s Bond’s plane flying at low altitude over forested hillsides, playing chicken with Hinx’s convoy, skimming across the tops of vehicles before landing and smashing through a barn. Shooting the initial section of the chase at the Rettenbach glacier in early 2015, the conditions meant there was only a brief window to capture the action.

“In the morning the roads would be ice,” recalled stunt co-ordinator Gary Powell. “It would warm up to -6 degrees and in the afternoon it would go cold again. We could do a run down, drive back up again and the road could have turned to ice. We could go again but we had to make sure there were studs in the tyres and modified our driving.”

The sequence was further complicated by adding a plane into the scenario. “The cars had to drive in sync with the plane which was flying at about 110 mph,” said second unit director Alexander Witt. “It was especially difficult for the drivers who were on a curving downhill road.”

As the chase progresses, Bond plays ‘chicken’ with Hinx’s convoy, flying directly toward the Land Rovers. Filmed in Obertilliach, for the moment Bond’s aircraft touches the tops of the cars, special effects supervisor Chris Corbould used a version of the plane that could do a 400-metre run on high wires at very high speeds. 

007 is subsequently forced to land the plane on the snow at high speed, skidding it along on the underside of its fuselage. To execute the stunt, the special effects team came up with an ingenious solution. 

“We had planes that had powerful skidoos mounted inside the aircrafts’ bodies,” explained Corbould, “so that once a plane landed it could drive along the ground at high speed. It looks as though it is sliding on the snow but is actually being driven and steered from the inside.”

The conclusion of the sequence sees Bond’s plane, stripped of its wings after colliding with trees, skid down a hill, career through a barn and take out Hinx’s convoy. The sequence was five months in the planning. Some of the most complicated logistics centred on the creation of the barn.

“The big one was the barn which we bought, dismantled and then drove across the other side of Austria, where we strapped it back together again,” said supervising art director Chris Lowe. “Using old timbers meant it looked natural and we weren’t spending time with painters trying to match all the wood.”

For actor Dave Bautista, there was a synergy between his character’s relish of the fight and performing in the sequence. “In my mind, Hinx is really enjoying this duel,” he said. “The scenes are absolutely beautiful and I got totally immersed in them. 

To discover more about Bond in Austria then visit the 007 Elements exhibition in Sölden:

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