Given all the exotic locations in the world you probably wouldn’t expect Greenwich – more accurately the Old Royal Naval College – to be one of the most popular filming sites for American and British filmmakers. Yet, one quick look at some of the huge blockbusters that have been shot there over the years will show just how key the location has become to the stories being told. Here are a list of some of the movies filmed in Greenwich – you’ll probably recognise one or two!
Thor: The Dark World
The Marvel Universe is the largest ever film franchise in movie history, so it makes sense they would need an imposing location to match. The Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich featured during the climactic battle, where a giant spaceship was seen crashing into the ground. There’s even a moment where Thor pops onto the tube after asking how to get to Greenwich.
28 Weeks Later
Juan Carlos Fresnadillo’s thrilling sequel to Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later saw the country and the world under siege from the living dead. A chase seen occurs midway through the film as a crowd of people are quickly infected with the zombie disease and the main characters go on the run while the army fire at will. They manage to escape through the Greenwich Foot Tunnel.
The Dark Knight Rises
The final film in director Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich was once again put to use. On two occasions we see Michael Caine’s Alfred at a café supposedly in Florence, which in fact was the famous college grounds. This is shown early in the film at right at the end.
The Old Royal College has been used a number of times in Bond films over the years. More recently it made another appearance in Skyfall. Bond is presumed dead after being accidently shot by a colleague in the middle of fight on top of a train. A little while later we see Judy Dench’s M overlooking a row of coffins draped in the union flag at Bond’s funeral. This was shot at the King William Undercroft on the college grounds.
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
The sequel to the hugely successful first film also sees it return to the Old Royal College grounds to capture more of Victorian London. It appears a couple of times in the film: first for scene involving a busy street market, and then the following fight scene on the walkway close to Queen’s House.
Aside from all the modern day blockbusters that have called Greenwich home, it has remained a popular haunt for Hollywood going back to its golden years. The 1958 romantic comedy, Indiscreet, starred Gary Grant and Ingrid Bergman and once again relied on the famous Old Royal Naval College for some of its scenes.
The world famous and long-running theatre musical transferred to the big screen once again in 2012. As you’d expect, it was the Old Royal Naval College that was used as a prime location. Shooting took place just before the London Olympic and Paralympic Games were due to start later that summer.
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
Captain Jack Sparrow has sailed around the world to all kinds of exotic locations and he found himself on the grounds of the Old Royal Naval College for the fourth instalment of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. The entire central avenue was transformed into an 18th century street for Jack to make another one of his chaotic escapes to safety.
The King’s Speech
Not every building can claim to be part of film that has been nominated for the Oscars, but the Old Royal College can thanks to its appearance in The King’s Speech. It doubled as Buckingham Palace because, as you’d expect, shooting the film on the actual grounds of the Queen’s residence would’ve been quite tricky.
If you want to discover how a World Heritage Site has become a top film location why not join us on our 2 hour Greenwich tour. The tour showcases scenes from over 30 blockbuster movies and countless TV and Film productions. Our expert guide will show you how this attractive location has been transformed to appear in so many films and TV shows.