Did you know bits of SA often feature in blockbusters? Cool right? Have a look below at the 5 most used spots to film in South Africa.
South Africa is currently enjoying a boost in economy thanks to it being frequently used as a hotspot for filming Hollywood movies. With support from the government, as well as low costs and diverse geography, foreign producers tend to be attracted to our country. Some of Hollywood’s biggest blockbuster movies were filmed here, not to mention countless TV shows and commercials.
Today, let’s take a look at some of the most popular places in SA that have appeared on screen.
Johannesburg is a popular location for science fiction and post-apocalyptic movies.
Photo credit: Wikipedia
The premise of 2009 science fiction film District 9 captures a population of aliens whose ship crash-lands in Johannesburg. The government isolates them in one neighbourhood until it becomes overcrowded years later. The entire film crew consisted of South African locals.
Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron also featured our nation’s largest city. The CBD area is where Iron Man battled the Hulk. The Citizen recalled the level of traffic congestioncaused by road blocking to accommodate the film’s sequences.
2. Sun City
Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler’s Blended involves a couple taking a vacation at a family resort. Their trip included scenes which took place at the vast Sun City hotel resort, and its glamorous amenities were featured. The AFK Insider mentioned that it was especially popular with South African audiences, but more importantly, it was an international success, meaning it helped display the beauty of the country to more people worldwide.
3. Cape Town
The San Junipero episode of the TV series Black Mirror, which featured a paradise where people can visit before they die, utilized the coastlines of Cape Town as its backdrop. Critics dub it as the best episode of the series, a recognition further validated when it won two Primetime Emmy Awards.
Photo credit: Wikipedia
The 2012 comic book movie Dredd also used locations in Johannesburg, however, it was the first project to be produced at Cape Town Film Studios. But although the film earned $41 million in total and garnered positive reviews from critics, it was released at the height of audiences’ obsession with Marvel and DC superhero movies.
While Dredd is also a comic book character, its big screen reboot was overshadowed by the movies from the two comic juggernauts, which already had a massive following and several other creations tied to their property such as toys and video games. The toymaker Funko, for one, created vinyl figurines of numerous Marvel and DC characters. Superhero-themed video games like Injustice continue to draw players, as well as the creations of the slots platform Slingo which ports a wide array of thematic titles including Wonder Woman and Thunderstruck that feature familiar characters. Because of this, Dredd went down in the annals of cinema as an underrated movie.
Den of Geek ranked it number 2 in its “Top 25 Underappreciated Comic Book Movies”. What it did for Cape Town Film Studios, however, was nothing short of heroic, as the studio complex continues to get requests from major Hollywood production companies even to this day.
2012 science fiction title Chronicle was also filmed at the Cape Town Film Studios. It followed the story of 3 high schoolers who gained powerful abilities after encountering a strange object. The movie, which placed actor Dane DeHaan on the map, gained critical praise and was even nominated for Best Science Fiction Film at the 2013 Saturn Awards.
4. Port Edward
Filming locations for Leonardo DiCaprio’s Blood Diamond included areas in Cape Town and Port Edward, a resort town situated on the south coast of KwaZulu-Natal. The film depicted a country torn apart by a war between government supporters and rebels. It grossed a total of $171 million worldwide and racked several accolades, including 5 nominations at the 79th Academy Awards.
The recently released The Dark Tower featured The Karoo, a desert region in South Africa. Its narrative involves two dimensions, one being modern New York. The other realm, called Mid-World, is a wasteland that once housed ancient civilizations, and Karoo was the perfect stand in as mentioned in a KFTV article. Its barren landscape provided the otherworldly feel the production designers were looking for.
* Contributed post