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Film nerd, Lizzie C, reveals the filming locations of blockbusters, like Inception and the latest Ghostbusters flick, filmed in our own backyard.

It’s no secret that Alberta is a beautiful place to film – not just for us locals, but also to Hollywood. We all know films like The Revenant, Brokeback Mountain, and the iconic Unforgiven were created here, so let’s learn more about at a few under the radar blockbusters that were filmed in our backyard!

Ghostbusters: After Life (2020)

Filmed in Alberta just this past year, the newest addition to the Ghostbusters franchise had Albertans everywhere trying to catch a glimpse of the Echtomobile. Shot in Fort Macleod, Drumheller, Turner Valley, Dorothy, and Calgary, is Afterlife a love letter to Alberta? We’d like to think so. 

Jumanji: The Next Level (2019)

The Rock, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, Karen Gillan and more descended on Fortress Mountain for an intense 4-day shoot in 2019 to film the sequel of Jumanji. Flying directly in from Hawaii, they weren’t exactly greeted by tropical weather, but they enjoyed their brief time here. Kevin Hart even gave Alberta a shout on social media, and The Rock got sentimental in an Instagram post about starting his journey in Calgary years ago.

War for The Planet of The Apes (2017)

Filmed primarily in Vancouver, parts of the third chapter of Planet of The Apes were filmed in Kananaskis. Those scenes aren’t hard to spot throughout the film, as the snowy Rocky Mountains make their appearance and contribute to the films captivating scenery.

Interstellar (2014)

It’s obvious Christopher Nolan is a fan of filming in Alberta since he returned to film Interstellar in several locations throughout Southern Alberta. Filmed in Fort Macleod, Longview, Canmore, and Okotoks, production used pre-existing structures, like the Longview School or Seaman Stadium in Okotoks. They also built their own spaces, like the ranch-house where McConaughey and Lithgow’s characters lived. 

The Bourne Legacy (2012)

What’s supposed to be Alaska in The Bourne Legacy, featuring Jeremy Renner, is actually Elbow Falls in Alberta. When Renner first emerges from the freezing cold waters, bare-chested and with ice in his beard, that was truly Elbow Falls he was getting out of and was not make-up or CGI – he did that! Ambulances were on standby for filming this scene, as Renner did not use a stunt man for his icy dip in the water.

Inception (2010)

Fortress Mountain is a location you’ll hear about often when talking about filming locations in Alberta, and Inception joins the list of movies that chose this iconic spot to set up camp – at least, for a couple of days).

X2 (2003)

Remember Stryker’s base? Even though much of this film took place in Vancouver film studios, the exterior shots of the base and ‘Alkali Lake’, were shot at Barrier Lake. Fun fact: production had to create fake snow to cover the area, because unpredicted warm weather melted the actual snow – hello Chinooks!

Superman I, II, III (1978, 1980, 1983)

That’s right – all 3 Superman movies, with Christopher Reeves as the Man of Steel, were filmed in Alberta. The hamlet of Blackie, village of Baron, and the City of Calgary were all used as backdrops for the caped crusader throughout the three films. The infamous scene where Superman gets *ahem* a little intoxicated takes place in the legendary St. Louis Hotel in the East Village. Been there, Superman. Been there.

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