James Bond filming in Austrian ski resorts
James Bond is currently skiing in Austria. You can find him in the mountains of the Tirol, in the resort of Sölden, where he is filming part of the new 007 Movie – Spectre.
Spectre will be Daniel Craig’s fourth outing as 007, and the 24th Bond movie based around the books by author Ian Fleming.
Daniel Craig is filming in the East Tirolean resort of Obertilliach and also in Sölden in the Ötztal, together with a team of around 500 cast and crew members for around three weeks, accompanied by Ralph Fiennes as M, Naomie Harris as Eve Moneypenny, Rory Kinnear as Bill Tanner and Ben Whishaw as Q, who are all reprising their roles.
Other shooting locations are rumoured to be Rome for a car chase, and a possible sequence in Morocco, while Pinewood Studios in England will once again be home to 007 for all the studio filming.
Spectre won’t be the first time James Bond has been featured on skis and we all have our favourite Bond snow scenes. Ours is in The Spy Who Loved Me, made in 1977, when Roger Moore skis off a cliff to escape baddies, and freefalls until his massive Union Jack parachute opens and floats him to safety. According to Bond’s boss ‘M’, he is supposedly skiing in Austria; but the mountain he actually jumped off was Mount Asgard on Baffin island in Canada! You can see the clip here:
The other Bond snow scenes include On Her Majesty’s Secret Service starring George Lazenby on skis, escaping from the top of the Schilthorn in the Swiss resort of Muerren in 1969; A View to a Kill, starring Roger Moore again, in 1985 on skis, snowmobile and a kind of snowboard (the remains of his wrecked snobmobile); and The Living Daylights in 1987, this time featuring Timothy Dalton with no ski, snowboard or skidoo… he escapes into Austria on a cello case in 1987. You can see clips of all these films and more in an earlier FSN feature ‘James Bond is Fifty today’, by clicking HERE.
The two resorts for Spectre have been selected by British production company B24. Sölden is one of Austria’s highest and most popular resorts. With twin glaciers and a nine-month ski season, it is a World Cup venue and is also often used in the autumn by ski teams preparing for the winter race season. Some of the slopes and the Gaislachkogl cable car have been closed to enable filming on the pistes and in the futuristic glass IceQ restaurant (which opened last season) atop the Gaislachkogl – Sölden’s number one mountain (pictured above). The tourist office has published dates for subsequent 007 piste closures, which includes the glacier road and tunnel and piste 30 for three days this week, and again from 9-17 February.
The second resort – Obertilliach in East Tirol – is less well-known. Work has been underway here since September preparing the sets. It is rumoured that the purpose-built house here will be destroyed in a plane crash (for which it is thought the local ski lift and electricity pylons will also be removed). The scene will supposedly total around 25 minutes of screentime, and could possibly therefore be the movie’s opening sequence.
The film is being directed by the Oscar-winning Sam Mendes (of ‘American Beauty’ fame), who also directed the last Bond movie, Skyfall. Everybody is waiting with bated breath to see whether Bond will appear on skis or snowboard? Bond actors have not yet actually skied themselves in 007 movies, as a result of insurance stipulations, but rumour has it Craig has been preparing for his latest Bond role by taking ski lessons in Switzerland.
Whether Spectre’s Bond will ski, snowboard or use another mode of snowy transport altogether may well remain a mystery until the movie’s release day on 25 November 2015. The ‘Austria’ scenes are all being filmed on a closed set, which sadly means the chances of accidentally sharing a chairlift with Daniel Craig are extremely slim… otherwise our editor would already be in resort!