When it comes to locations, Netflix is giving the thumbs up to Hungary. The country has paid host to a number of stunning streamers on the premium subscription service, resulting in it being one of the most frequently used real world locations for the media giant in recent years.
Directed by the legendary Michael Bay, “Six Underground” was shot in Budapest during the Summer of 2018. This explosive action movie stars Ryan Reynolds, and Melanie Laurent, with a script from Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese, the writers of Reynolds other smash hit Deadpool.
In the first four weeks since its release on Netflix in December 2019, it attracted a staggering 28 million views, making it one of the subscription services most popular original productions ever.
Ryan Reynolds spoke highly of Michael Bay during production saying “So much of 6 Underground is practical, Michaels doing a ton of huge spectacle that’s in camera”, showing his dedication to doing real stunts, rather than resorting to CGI.
Budapest gets great coverage in the movie, with several interesting locations used. The Art Deco control room of the Kelenföld Power Plant Station in Budapest is used effectively at one point in the movie. Famed for being the largest electrical generation plant in the world after its construction in 1912, it has now become a tourist attraction, and a sight not to miss. There is also a short shot filmed inside Budapest Keleti Train Station, which is the main international and inter-city railway terminal in Budapest. This beautifully ornate railway station definitely adds a certain “je ne sais quoi” to this action heavy popcorn flick.
There is no news as of yet as to whether there will be a sequel due to mixed reviews, but with this many streams, it is surely only a matter of time before Netflix makes this in to a franchise, with Bay and the rest of the gang returning to real world locations for more action-packed fun and mayhem!
If Orcs and Elves are more your bag, cult fantasy series “The Witcher” starring Henry Cavill, and headed by showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich, has made great use of fantastically gorgeous locations in Hungary such as Vajdahunyad Castle, Budapest, and the spectacular Tata Castle, which both added a sense of ancient spectacle to this high budget show.
Henry celebrated finishing shooting Season 1 of the show by going for an exhilarating horse ride on his steed, Hector, which he described on Instagram in May 2019 as a “great way to say goodbye to Hungary”, and “the perfect day out”. Season 2 is on the way.
Also hot on the service is “The Barbarians”, a brutal and historic drama, which debuted in 2020. Based around the ancient Battle of Teutoburg Forest, the show was filmed entirely in Hungary. The country was chosen due to the epic forests available on location, which make for a lush and grand background for what will be some truly epic battle scenes. Set in the Year 9 AD, it stars Jeanne Goursaud, Laurence Rupp and David Schütter.
In an interview with NewsABC.Net, when asked how the shooting went in Hungary, Laurence Rupp: said:
”We shot in Hungary, near Budapest, from mid-August to the end of November. We had amazing costumes and locations. The production designer Thomas Stammer has built an entire village in which the scenes of the Cheruscan tribe mostly take place. Therefore, it was very easy for me to put myself in my role and the time.”
His co-star Jeanne Goursaud commented:
“The great thing about filming in another country is the fact that you are far from home and it is much easier to immerse yourself in a new world. We were all in a hotel, so we could grow together as a team into a kind of family.”
Science Fiction is no stranger (thing) to Netflix, and when it comes to decimating an entire city on a big budget, Budapest delivers as a more than adequate location for this feat in “Spectral”. Taking in many gorgeous locations in the city including St Stephen’s Basilica, Elisabeth Bridge and Gellért Hill, the movie stars James Badge Dale, Max Martini, Emily Mortimer, and Bruce Greenwood and was directed by Nic Mathieu. Filming took place for a year from August 2014, and the emphasis was purely on practical effects and real locations to give the film some proper gritty authenticity for the scenes of devastation that are portrayed.
Meanwhile over at the at the NFI Mafilm studio complex in Fót, near Budapest, Netflix has been filming its series “Terra Vision”. Not much is known is about this secretive drama series, but the subscription service is obviously confident that it is going to be another hit considering how much studio space they have booked for it.
I think it is fair to say that when it comes to having a hunger for film locations, Hungary satisfies Netflix’s demands and then some, blowing the competition of other locations out of the water.