Despite so many other industries shifting to the Far East, one sector in which the USA has quite the stranglehold is movie making. Sure, there are film producers in the UK and Australia, but these indie creators present no real competition or threat to the big producers.
That doesn’t, however, mean the USA has the monopoly when it comes to creating blockbusters. While the directors, production companies and even the cast might be predominantly American, the filming locations can be anywhere. Australia, in particular, has proved to be a popular choice in recent years. Here are five movies that were filmed down under.
1. Dirty Deeds
This 2002 production features some of the era’s biggest Hollywood stars, including Sam Neill, John Goodman and Toni Collette. Of course, Collette was actually born in Australia, and this movie was filmed almost entirely on location in Sydney, where she lived at the time, before moving back to Los Angeles. The movie is set in the 1960s and focuses on the Australian gambling scene of the era. Today, playing slot games is nothing unusual, and Australian Casino Sites lists dozens of websites that are available to Australian players (visit their site to learn more). 50 years ago, however, it was another matter entirely, and the whole slots scene was under mafia control.
2. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
The fifth installment in the series, this was actually filmed about as far from the Caribbean as you can get, on and around Queensland’s beautiful Gold Coast. It was the biggest budget movie ever to be shot in Australia, and it contributed an estimated $100 million to the local economy. It means the $20 million contribution from the Australian government to help kick-start production was money well spent!
3. Peter Rabbit
Based on a book by an English children’s author, this mixture of live action and animation was the work of American director Will Gluck. Although the story is ostensibly set in the English countryside, the live action parts were actually shot in Sydney, in Centennial Park and the city’s Central Railway Station. Gluck said he had to carefully change the lighting to make it look more like England’s Lake District.
4. Thor: Ragnarok
One of the biggest hits of 2017, this movie rescued the Thor franchise from likely oblivion. It also propelled director Taika Waititi into the realms of super stardom. The movie was another that made full use of Queensland’s achingly beautiful landscape. Waititi went a step further than most directors, however. He also made a point of hiring indigenous Australians and New Zealanders on the film crew wherever possible.
And the trend continues. This work-in-progress is about the life of a star who’s as American as you can get. But the scenes depicting his early life in Memphis, Tennessee are actually being shot in Queensland. Austin Butler will play The King, while Tom Hanks will also have a leading role. The film is expected to be released next year.