The world is just about losing it over the upcoming movie Captain Marvel, due to be released globally on March 8th. But did you know quite a few superhero movies were shot in Iceland?
2019 is going to be a massive year for comic book movies. Aside from Marvel’s first female lead film, this year audiences will also see Avengers: Endgame the conclusion to last year’s shocking Infinity War, along with Spider-Man Homecoming, Dark Phoenix, Shazam and The New Mutants.
Iceland has been an in-demand filming location in the industry for years. Including playing a role in bringing several comic book heroes from the page to the screen.
Let’s take a look at Superhero movies that have been shot in Iceland, and the locations used that you can actually visit if you want to breathe the same air as your comic book idols.
See Also: The Story of Icelandic Cinema
Batman Begins (2005)
The first film in the Dark Knight Trilogy by Christopher Nolan chose Iceland as the shooting location for one of the film’s most epic scenes. The famous sword fight between Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) and his mentor Ducard (Liam Neeson) was shot on the Svínafellsjökull Glacier on the south coast.
Svínafellsjökull is one of many glaciers that stem from Vatnajökull, which covers 8% of the total landmass of Iceland. What’s interesting about this glacier being chosen, is that it was actually representing Bhutan in South Asia.
Christopher Nolan is known for being present for the entirety of his productions so that the finished product is consistent with his vision. The primary crew were tasked with building a village and the character Ra’s’ (Ken Watanabe) temple.
Production began in March of 2004. Due to the weather conditions at this time, sacrifices had to be made. During one shoot day, wind speeds in the area reached up to 121 km/h. This meant one particular shot had to be filmed hand-held, instead of by a crane.
It must have paid off though because Batman Begins was eventually nominated for best cinematography in the 2006 Academy Awards.
See Also: Movie Locations in Iceland
Thor: The Dark World (2013)
In 2013 this was one of the most extensive films ever shot in Iceland. When director Alan Taylor was searching for a landscape to convey the home of the dark elves ‘Svartalfheim’ he ended up choosing a place that some of the mythology from the Marvel Cinematic Universe originally came from, Iceland.
A great deal of the locations and characters from the Thor series are based on Norse Mythology, which has strong roots here.
Scenes of the dark elves homeworld were shot in Landmannalaugar, near the volcano Hekla, in South Iceland. The black sand and rocky cliffs provided the perfect looming backdrop for the home of the villains of this film.
The mountains and lakes of Asgard in the film were shot in the Ásbyrgi canyon; a large horseshoe-shaped formation in Iceland’s North.
Captain America: Civil War (2016)
The third instalment in Marvel’s Captain America series saw political involvement cause a rift among the Avengers. At the beginning of the official trailer for this film, shots pan over a snow-covered landscape which was filmed right here in Iceland. The winter settings seen at a few points throughout the film were shot outside of Vík, in southern Iceland.
Justice League (2017)
The 2017 DC film had all the hallmarks of a ‘heroes assemble’ movie, including those iconic scenes where members are being recruited.
One particular scene involved Batman (Ben Affleck) visiting a small fishing town to locate Arthur Curry, a gifted superhuman also known as the Aquaman. The scene begins with a high mountain shot as Affleck’s Batman looks over the village on an Icelandic horse.
The filming location for this was an actual fishing village in Iceland’s Westfjords. Djúpavík Village served as the location where Aquaman was seeking a quiet, peaceful existence.
In reality, the town was a hub of herring fishing until the mid-30s. Today Djúpavík is a peaceful scenic tourist destination, that’s also popular with those who love abandoned buildings.
Djúpavík’s once abandoned herring factory is now a museum dedicated to showcasing what life was like at the height of the herring boom.
In this scene from Justice League, most of the supporting cast and extras are Iceland natives, including Ágústa Eva Erlendsdóttir, who represented Iceland in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2006, as the character Silvía Night.
There are many exciting projects being shot here right now. Do you know of anything filming in Iceland? Let us know in the Facebook comments below.