2017 has been a exciting time for movie fans as major franchises pump new and exciting films for us to gobble up. Some we great with delight (loudly screams “Wonder Woman!” in the background) to others exasperated groans (“5 Pirates of the Caribbean and Transformers movies?”).
But, whether you love or hate 2017’s blockbusters, one common theme has running throughout these franchises: international appeal. Hollywood is no longer that movie capital of the world, instead sharing its stage with major destinations around the world.
Fate of the Furious – Havana, Cuba
Zooming onto the screen with its 8th film, the Fast and the Furious franchise has more or less traveled the globe both on the pay checks of international fans and actual cars. Previous films have featured Dubai, Brazil, Los Angeles, but Fate of the Furious broke ground by being the first major U.S. film to in Cuba since the economic embargo. Having traveled to Havana myself, I immediately recognized the streets, plazas, and iconic malecon of Havana with the opening “Cuban Mile” sequence.
Kong: Skull Island – Tam Coc & Halong Bay in Vietnam
However you felt about Legendary’s Pictures’ Kong: Skull Island (I was a fan, much to my coworkers’ disgust) its hard not to love the sweeping and majestic landscapes featured throughout the film. Set at the end of the Vietnam War and thematically an anti-war film, it’s somewhat fitting that many of the filming locations in Kong: Skull Island were done right in Vietnam, particularly Ha Long Bay and Tam Coc.
Wonder Woman – Southern Italy
The DCEU’s Wonder Woman exploded onto the big screen recently and has received universal acclaim across the board. Having seen it myself, I can definitely back this film as one of the best super hero movies, action movies, and just plain movies. One of the most beloved aspects o the film was how Themyscira, Wonder Woman’s home island, was brought to life. While most of the film was shot in the UK to capture the WWI aspect of the story, it was in Southern Italy that the film opened to. An expansive and fantastic island, it was shot in part in Matera, the Amalfi Coast, Camerota, Palinuro, and more. One of the most notable scenes was set in the Castel del Monte (seen above) and its interior courtyard added to the gravitas of the film.
The Mummy – Oxford
Universal Pictures officially launched its Dark Universe Franchise this summer with The Mummy, starring “Mister Never Skip Leg Day” Tom Cruise. How well the franchise turns out is yet to be seen, but its bound to be a series of globetrotting films. The Mummy itself filmed manyo f its scenes in either Namibia to capture the look and feel of ancient Egypt or in modern day England, most notably Oxford.
Spider-Man: Homecoming – NYC
ANOTHER SPIDER MAN MOVIE?!
Alright now that that is out of my system, I am quite surprised that the webslinger only shot a handful of scenes in his hometown of New York, while much of the filming took place in Atlanta. However, we will still get the iconic look and feel of NYC with shots filmed in Queens and Staten Island, possibly for the ferry sequence shown in the trailer.
Baby Driver – Atlanta
While it’s unclear if Baby Driver is going to be a blockbuster, one should never be weary of betting on Edgar Wright. Pulling together the heists and driving elements of the Fast and the Furious franchise with the beloved musical sequences that stylized Guardians of the Galaxy, Baby Driver is a uniquely blended film set right on the streets of Atlanta.
Transformers: The Last Knight – United Kingdom
We may all be drained by the explody, boom boom franchise that is the Transformer films, but we can’t doubt that it’s bound to make money this summer. Just from the trailers, the fifth and definitely not the final film displays a variety of time periods, from WWII to medieval times, with sequences filmed on the Isle of Skye and around Stonehenge.
War of the Planet of the Apes – Tofino, Canada
On the other-hand, the well-beloved – critically, financially, and even by fans – Planet of the Apes franchise is still chugging along through a not-to-distant future earth with the upcoming 3rd film. Though it may not feature grand cities or vast, otherworldly landscapes, the series does tap into great international destinations. War of the Planet of the Apes filmed its scenic beach sequences in Tofino, Canada. Nestled on Vancouver Island, this small town is a well-traveled surfers’ retreat.
Star Wars VIII: The Last Jedi
And way down at the end of the year we have the newest Star Wars film: Star Wars VIII: The Last Jedi. We’ve previously talked about it’s mysterious filming locations, but it does deserve an honorable mention as a much anticipated film of 2017.