With its serpentine Thames, signature red buses and centuries-old Big Ben, London has been a familiar sight on the big screen. You’ve seen Hugh Grant stroll along the bustling markets of Portobello Road, watched John Boyega take on alien invaders in Brixton and, slightly more recently, witnessed Tom Holland’s Spiderman face off with Jake Gyllenhaal on the stomach-flipping glass floors of Tower Bridge.
Seeing our city pop up in blockbuster films is almost like seeing an old friend get their five minutes of fame. When the camera pans to a street or a character ducks inside that pub you once stumbled out of after a boozy night, you’ll find yourself whispering ‘I’ve been there’. Plus, if you’re on the hunt for some new local haunts, it could also be a great source of inspiration.
We’ve got the lowdown on upcoming movies where London has bagged a scene-stealing role. As if you needed anymore reason to do some on-screen sightseeing, Vue have rolled out the red carpet with some brilliant tickets.
It’s been…how many months since a Marvel film last graced the cinema screen? Ok, not that many, but personally I’m always up for another. On November 5 we’ll be seeing the mysterious Eternals showing off their powers and no doubt getting up to some adrenaline-fuelled superhero antics.
You may have already spied from the trailer, but the blockbuster swung by a few recognisable London spots. There’s shots of Gemma Chan turning a bus into a flurry of petals in front of wide-eyed Kit Harington on Camden high street and ominous storm clouds rolling over curious onlookers on Hampstead Heath. To keep the air of secrecy while filming, they had all road lockdowns and forewarnings to local residents given on a production notice under the working title ‘Sack Lunch’.
There’s no Bond film without at least a few shots of jolly ol’ London. It is, after all, the base of his employer MI6 and where else would 007 contemplatively look over a cityscape with the Union Jack dancing in the wind behind him?
In Daniel Craig’s final outing as the smooth-talking British agent he returns to the city once more, with filming taking place at Whitehall, Hammersmith and the Senate House. One of the scenes, a meeting between Bond and Ralph Fienne’s ‘M’, unfolds in front of Hammersmith Bridge, it is one of the oldest suspension bridges in the world and makes for a striking backdrop to the pair’s gripping conversation. We even get a peek inside Q’s stylish London flat; its exterior is thought to be a 19th-century terrace located near Waterloo station on the distinctly uniform Roupell Street. If you fancy seeing these spots on the big screen, No Time To Die is in cinemas now.
Edgar Wright has already dipped his toe in London filming with Shaun of the Dead (not to mention the cult classic that is Spaced) but this time he is back with a focus on the neon-drenched Soho. The psychological thriller, starring Queen’s Gambit star Anya Taylor Joy, ex-Doctor Who Matt Smith and Jojo Rabbit‘s Thomasin McKenzie, is a time-warping journey through London’s nightlife district that is due to hit cinemas on October 29.
As we follow protagonist Eloise on her peek behind the deceptively glamorous curtain of the Swinging Sixties, the film visits a variety of familiar London spots. These include Paddington Station (already film famous thanks to that beloved marmalade-sandwich-eating bear) Empire Cinemas Haymarket and the centuries-old Truman Brewery, which played host to the film’s fashion show. There are, of course, also a range of scenes playing out on the streets of Soho. So don’t be surprised if you get a wave of deja vu watching the characters pass recognisable pubs and duck down alleyways.
We’ve seen Taron Edgerton’s Eggsy take on bad guys armed with nothing but an (admittedly-decked-out) umbrella and suit in Kingsman: The Secret Service, now we’re about to discover where the covert group of dapper spies got their start with upcoming prequel The King’s Man.
Unsurprisingly, the film visited a variety of London spots for shooting, including Huntsman & Sons in Mayfair. The real-life tailor doubles as the iconic Kingsman shop, a debonair front to what is actually the entrance to their headquarters. They also revisited the stately Wrotham Park (located just half an hour from central London), previously seen in the other films as the training camp for prospective agents. In trailers the Neo-Palladian country house is the regal setting for Djimon Hounsou putting Harris Dickinson through his paces and a steely-faced Ralph Fiennes rocking up in a plane. The King’s Man will be gracing our cinemas on December 22.
5. Mission Impossible 7
The seventh instalment of Mission Impossible is still a speck on a cinema’s horizon with a release scheduled for September 2022. It’s no secret filming has been underway over the last year with Tom Cruise popping up at multiple spots around the UK. After parachuting into the Lake District, taking in the tennis at Wimbledon and running into some bad luck in Birmingham, the stunt-loving star finally wrapped filming in September after running into a series of delays from COVID.
Though a lot of production is shrouded in mystery (with only the occasional photos on the Mission Impossible instagram giving us a peek behind the scenes) fan sightings and Cruise’s fame gave away a few locations they have been shooting. One of which was the Four Seasons Hotel, where the actor took socially distanced photos with fans between filming. The production was also spotted in North London – specifically inside a TFC store in Waltham Cross – but details of the scene still remain unknown. As well as filming on location around the city, Mission Impossible 7 also had a set at Warner Bros. Studios in Leavesden. It is one of the few places in the UK suitable for large scale productions.