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15 Film Sets That Faked Their Locations (And 10 That Kept It Real)

For those that don't have the luxury of traveling the globe themselves, movies can be a person's window into what the world is like. And all from the comfort of their own homes! A lot of work and detail goes into the setting of a film, as it always sets the tone and mood for the audience. A gritty city street is often used for suspense and drama films, romance films are often set in places that are bright or hold a whimsical air to it. A location manager or a location scout is tasked with the job of finding the right location for the film they are hired on. It isn't a job in the film industry often talked about, but it is pretty important and can really make or break a person's immersion factor while they watch a movie.

There are certain movie locations that we all know don't actually exist, most fantasy or sci-fi movies take place in locations that can only be found in the wildest of dreams. But a lot of movie settings occur in places around in the modern day. So one might think it would be easier to shoot a movie in say, a modern-day city versus another location right? That isn't necessarily correct. Permission has to be granted by the city's officials, and lots of money has to go into setting up a scene, so movie producers will often find other locations that are visually similar or that can be made to look similar.

Here is a list of 15 films that faked their locations, and 10 that kept things real.

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25 Faked: Star Wars

via universe.byu.edu

Most people know that the Star Wars movies aren't set in a galaxy "far, far away", but George Lucas certainly made us feel like it was with his portrayal of its universe.

Many scenes in the movie were created in a studio with special effects, but he did film some scenes outside of the studio.

In the Tunisian Sahara desert sits the abandoned movie set for Anakin Skywalker's birthplace, Tatooine. It has become a "Mecca" for avid Star Wars fans, as tours to visit are available... for now. Sand dunes have been slowly swallowing up the set for years.

24 Kept It Real: The Shallows

via letterboxd.com

In 2016 Blake Lively fought against the odds and one of the most skillful hunters of the ocean, the great white shark. Blake Lively plays a surfer, Nancy Adams, who gets stranded far from the shore and has to use her wits and determined spirit to keep herself alive after being attacked by a shark.

While quite a few scenes were filmed in a tank and used CGI, there were scenes filmed in areas of Wales and Australia where Great White Sharks are known to inhabit.

23 Faked: A Good Day To Die Hard

via pinterest.com

Anyone who is a Bruce Willis fan is familiar with his role as John McClane in the Die Hard film series. In 2013 there was a fifth instalment of the series called A Good Day to Die Hard, where McClane had to rescue his son from a Russian prison.

It is the first of the series to not primarily take place in the United States, and while the setting is in Russia, the actual filming took place in Budapest Hungary.

It is also the first film in the series to have an original screenplay.

22 Kept It Real: 28 Days Later

via ifccenter.com

The film 28 Days Later is a post-apocalyptic horror film. In it, a highly contagious virus is released that causes the infected to become enraged, attacking anyone in their sight. The virus completely dismantles life in London, with the threat of affection and survival looming over the remaining survivors.

The scenes with Jim, the main character, walking around the deserted streets of London were actually done in London!

The film crew had to film very early in the morning and could only shoot for about an hour at a time, holding back traffic.

21 Faked: Skyfall

via youtube.com

Skyfall is a 2012 spy film starring Daniel Craig as James Bond. James Bond is a fictional British spy for MI6 the secret intelligence agency for the United Kingdom. Because of James Bond's nature of work, he often finds himself traveling the world, ending up in foreign places to complete his missions.

In Skyfall, he has to travel to China to pursue a mercenary named Patrice. While there he stays at a hotel with a swimming pool on the roof, but the pool is actually a location in London's Canary Wharf.

20 Kept It Real: Lara Croft -Tomb Raider

via videoblocks.com

In 2001 a live action movie for the Tomb Raider game was released, with Angelina Jolie playing Lara Croft. The movie is about Lara Croft and her pursuit of powerful ancient artifacts that she must retrieve before they fall into the wrong hands. Lara follows a number of clues that reveal the location of one of the artifacts, which is hidden in a Cambodian tomb.

The temple that Lara goes into the retrieve the artifact is an actual Cambodian temple in Siem Reap known as Ta Prohm.

Since the premiere of the film, it has become a major tourist attraction.

19 Faked: Good Will Hunting

via mentalfloss.com

Good Will Hunting is a 1997 movie that starred Robin Williams, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. Written by Damon and Affleck, the movie is about a young man, played by Damon, who is a hidden genius. Will Hunting finds himself confronting his past as he starts therapy sessions with Robin William's character Sean Maguire, who is a therapist who teaches psychology at a local community college.

The movie is set in Boston, but most of the movie was filmed in Toronto, with the scenes inside the college and classroom shot in a Toronto university rather than MIT and Harvard.

18 Kept It Real: Ginger Snaps

via lwlies.com

Ginger Snaps is a horror movie, perfect for the Halloween season! It is about sisters Ginger and Brigitte, whose interests and hobbies are of a macabre nature. Ginger finds herself going through a physical and mental transformation after she is bitten by what she and her sister believe to be a dog.

It turns out that she was bitten by a werewolf and her transformation into one has made her reckless and violent. This Canadian film is set and actually filmed in Canada, as is its sequel and prequel film, which is set in 1815 in Hudson Bay.

17 Faked: Cold Mountain

via felicelog.blogspot.com

This 2003 film has quite a cast of famous actors and actresses including Jude Law, Nicole Kidman, and Renee Zellweger. The film is based on a 1997 book called Cold Mountain.

Both the book and the movie tell the story of a man who is a deserter from the Confederate Army towards the end of the Civil War in the United States.

One would think that a movie like this would have been filmed in the United States, but it was actually filmed in Romania due to it being cheaper to film there rather than a location in the US.

16 Kept It Real: Creed

via newcityfilm.com

2015 brought the world a new chapter into the Rocky movie series with Creed. Actor Micheal B. Jordan plays Adonis, the son of the iconic Apollo Creed. Adonis seeks out the training of his late father's friend and rival Rocky when he decides he makes the life-altering decision to become a professional boxer.

And of course, he travels to Rocky's hometown of Philadelphia to seek the famed retired boxer out.

Many of the scenes in the movie were filmed in actual Philadelphia locations including the iconic steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum.

15 Faked: Dallas Buyers Club

via pinterest.com

The Dallas Buyers Club is a powerful biographical drama film starring Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Garner, and Jared Leto. It tells the real-life story of Ron Woodroof.

Despite it being set in Dallas Texas, scenes were filmed in both Louisiana and Baton Rouge.

During a life-changing situation, Ron Woodroof fights against social stigma and the Food and Drug Administration in the 80s. The screenplay for the film had been written in the early 90s and the script had been written and purchased by Columbia Pictures in 1996.

14 Faked: My Big Fat Greek Wedding

via pinterest.com

My Big Fat Greek Wedding is a 2002 sleeper hit movie. The premise of the movie is that a woman from a Greek household is considered to be the "black sheep" of the family as she tries to break away from the more "traditional" aspects of her culture.

Things become even more difficult for her when she finds love and gets engaged to a school teacher, who comes from a Protestant family background. Though the movie is set in the Greek community in Winnipeg, Canada, filming was done in Chicago and Toronto.

13 Kept It Real: Mamma Mia!

via cntravler.com

In 2008 there came the movie adaptation of the musical Mamma Mia! In it, 20-year-old Sophie is about to be married and one of the things she wants the most is for her father to give her away.

Unfortunately, she isn't sure who her father is, so she comes up with the plan to invite her mother's three exes to her wedding, to try and figure out which of them is her father! The movie was actually filmed in Greece, on the island of "Kalokairi" based on the real-life island of Skopelos.

12 Faked: The Rite

via cinemagia.ro

The Rite is a 2011 supernatural horror film starring Anthony Hopkins and Colin O'Donoghue. It is loosely based off a book called The Rite: The Making of a Modern Exorcist, which is based on the real accounts of an exorcist in training. Colin O'Donoghue plays the lead Michael Kovak who rediscovers his faith during an exorcism.

The film is mostly set in the capital city of Italy, Rome.

But the movie was filmed in Budapest and some parts were filmed in Blue Island Illinois.

11 Kept It Real: Breaking Dawn Part 1

via thinkingofrob.com

Breaking Dawn Part 1 is the second to last film of the Twilight movies. There was a lot of anticipation for the film, especially from Team Edward fans, with Bella and Edward joining in "holy" matrimony.

Edward whisks Bella away to Rio de Janeiro for their honeymoon.

The busy city street that Edward and Bella dance together when they first get to Rio was rented for shooting with the studio paying residents and businesses to, both, keep filming secret, and to provide a clear and quiet street for filming.

10 Faked: Atomic Blond

via virginmediastore.com

2017 brought us the movie Atomic Blonde, a spy movie thriller starring Charlize Theron. It is based off a graphic novel that is set right after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Charlize Theron's character is an MI6 spy tasked with retrieving a list with the names of several double agents.

The movie mainly takes place in Berlin, but was mostly filmed in Budapest Hungry.

Budapest is often used as a filming location for many different European settings like Germany, and Russia because of its similar architecture.

9 Kept It Real: Battleship

via darrens-world-of-entertainment.com

What most people will probably remember about the 2012 movie Battleship is that it was the film debut for Rihanna as she played weapons specialist Cora Raikes. They also might remember that this movie was loosely based on the board game of the same name.

In the movie, a naval fleet is the only thing between the Earth and the destructive nature of an invading alien force. The film takes place on a naval ship in the waters of Hawaii called the USS Sampson, and it was actually filmed in Hawaii on an actual naval battleship, the USS Missouri!

8 Faked: Lord of The Rings

via whereiscookie.com

The Lord of the Rings trilogy is a popular fantasy trilogy based on one of the novels of J.R.R. Tolkien. It is a fantasy film set in a place called Middle Earth which is inhabited by humans and all other sorts of mythical creatures.

Of course "Middle Earth" isn't a real place.

To create the amazing world of Tolkien's fantasies it took a combination of CGI and the natural wild beauty of New Zealand's conservations and national parks.

7 Kept It Real: Thor - The Dark World

via pinterest.com

Thor: The Dark World is the second Thor film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Our favorite God of Thunder is back to protect all The Nine Realms from Malekith and The Dark Elves as they threaten to plunge everything into darkness with a powerful weapon known as the Aether.

Now we all know (as of yet) there isn't some magical world where godlike beings watch over the Universe, but when it came to filming the scenes on Earth, the crew actually filmed in Greenwich London.

Thor even had his epic showdown with Malekith on sight at the Royal Naval College.

6 Faked: Mission Impossible - Ghost Protocol

via collider.com

2011 produced another installment of the Mission Impossible movie series with the fourth movie, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. Tom Cruise reprises his role as Ethan Hunt and is joined by Simon Pegg and Jeremey Renner. In the movie, Hunt and the entire IMF agency are disavowed by the United States after they are blamed for an incident.

Ethan has to clear the agency's name and prevent another incident, all without his usual resources and backup. The movie took place in different settings, including Russia and Hungary, but all of the scenes for those places were filmed in Prague and Vancouver.

5 Faked: Beauty And The Beast

via time.com

2017 brought the world the highly anticipated live action film of one of Disney's classic movies, Beauty and the Beast. Emma Watson plays Belle in this retelling of the fairy tale.

Though the setting of the movie is in France but was filmed in a British film studio called Shepperton Studios.

The French village that the Beauty and the Beast story was actually based on was a filming option, but the studio found it would cost too much to actually film there.

4 Faked: Titanic

via pinterest.com

Okay, so maybe this one is cheating a little since it wouldn't have been possible to film on the actual Titanic. But James Cameron was able to masterfully recreate the spirit of the "unsinkable" Titanic.

The movie mixes love and tragedy together as Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet play Jack and Rose, two young adults who have a brief but powerful love affair while they travel on the Titanic. The movie was filmed in Nova Scotia on a Russian research ship and in a studio in Mexico.

3 Faked: The Grand Budapest Hotel

via times.com

2014 comedy has an ensemble cast that includes the talents of Bill Murray and Tilda Swinton. The Grand Budapest Hotel tells the story of a concierge who gets framed for the crime of taking the life of one of the hotel's occupants. He enlists the help of the rest of the hotel staff to try and clear his name.

Though the film is called The Grand Budapest Hotel most of the movie was filmed in Germany!

The hotel where most of the movie was set is actually a hotel in the Czech Republic.

2 Faked: Black Panther

via nationalreview.com

Black Panther is a 2017 blockbuster hit from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It stars Chadwick Boseman who reprises his role as T'Challa, the leader of the African nation of Wakanda and its sworn protector, The Black Panther.

As much as most of us wish that Wakanda was a real place, it sadly is not.

Instead, filming for the movie took place in studios in Atlanta Georgia and in certain locations in Zambia and Uganda. And the iconic waterfall from the movie? That was shot at the Iguazu Falls in Argentina.

1 Kept It Real: The Hangover II

via onemoviefivereviews.com

In the Hangover II, the Wolfpack is back, and this time they're in Bangkok, Thailand for Stu's wedding. As expected they all end up having a wild night that they can't remember the next morning and one of their crew is missing, this time it's the younger brother of Stu's fiancé!

Many scenes in the movie actually took place in Bangkok and TravelHappy.info has compiled a handy list of the real-life locations used. For any fan who wants to take their own Hangover II 'tour'. Hey, whatever happens in Bangkok stays in Bangkok.

References: ProgressiveProductions.edu, TokyoFox.net, MovieLocations.com

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