Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Story Behind The Austin Powers Masks In Baby Driver's Heist Scene

Movies have taught us that bank robbing requires a lot of coordination among a team of thieves, but the criminal enterprise also requires a fair amount of communication — which was somewhat lacking during the second heist of director Edgar Wright's 2017 movie Baby Driver. As the gang dons their disguise for the job, they quickly discover they have Austin Powers masks as opposed to the agreed-upon Michael Myers masks from the Halloween franchise. The switch up from masks of the Michael Myers character — the "killer dude from Halloween," as Jamie Foxx describes him — to Halloween masks of a character played by Mike Myers is a stand-out comedic moment of the movie.

And it wasn't supposed to happen. Rather, the scene occurred out of necessity, Wright told The Hollywood Reporter. It was originally scripted with two of the robbers wearing the slasher masks, while the third wore one of the British super-spy.

A year after Baby Driver was released, Hollywood makeup guru (and The Walking Dead executive producer) Greg Nicotero posted on Instagram a photo of a Michael Myers mask his effects team at KNB EFX Group had actually created for the film. In the September 2018 post — about a month before the Halloween sequel/retcon was released — he shared a little backstory about the mask:

"One of my favorite jokes that didn't make the final cut of Edgar Wright's brilliant BABY DRIVER was the scene when our 'heroes' were sitting in the car talking about the need for a Michael Myers 'Halloween' mask and the gag was supposed to be two of them were wearing the mask from the horror film Halloween and one of them was wearing an Austin Powers mask. I thought it was really funny and very very clever so we created this mask (sculpted by Garrett Immel) for the movie and unfortunately we're unable to get permission to use it so the mask sits proudly on a zombie bust in my office!"

Why couldn't Wright get rights to the Michael Myers mask?

With a movie in production, but without clearance for the bit, Wright turned to Mike Myers and Warner Bros., the studio behind Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery. Myers agreed to let his likeness be used in the film, and even quipped to THR that, "I'm equally proud of my work as the killer in Halloween as I am for my work in Austin Powers."

In response to Nicotero's post, Wright again confirmed the story, and added that there were no hard feelings toward the rights holders of the Halloween Michael Myers mask. Instead, on Twitter, he noted the mask has not been licensed out to other projects to keep it special for the Halloween movies. He also expressed respect for preserving that mystique of the Michael Myers character.

Though the Halloween mask did not make it into Baby Driver, Wright did end up with one of the KNB creations for his own collection. As for the Austin Powers mask, Wright told THR it was definitely used to great effect by Foxx.

"The other funny thing about it that was once Jamie [Foxx] was in the mask, he started providing extra dialogue, so there are a lot of extra Austin Powers-isms," said Wright. "It was funny to have Jamie Foxx, Oscar-winning actor, wearing a rubber Mike Myers mask."

To cap off the strange tale of two Myers masks, Edgar Wright tweeted a video on October 2019 of Jamie Foxx dancing up a storm during a Baby Driver costume fitting — dressed in the Michael Myers Halloween mask. So if the old proverb is true that necessity is the mother of invention, then perhaps not getting clearance rights is the driving force of comedic bits, and a lot of social media fodder.