If iconic movie buildings were real, where would they be? See if you can guess both the movie and the real-world location.
Cinderella’s Castle was inspired by old Bavarian and eastern European architecture like Neuschwanstein, a fairytale-esque castle that sits on a hill above the Bavarian village of Hohenschwangau, and the Church of Mother of God before Týn, in Prague’s old town. It makes sense then that the real Cinderella’s Castle would sit in one of these locations, and we think it looks right at home at the end of the medieval Charles Bridge, in Prague.
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The Mos Eisely scenes in Star Wars were filmed in Tunisia, a desert location that clearly influenced the set design. Here, however, we’ve placed the structures in Giza, to contrast the humble Tatooine huts against the spectacular Egyptian pyramids.
Look at London’s skyline and you might assume the city’s architecture had been inspired by Tolkien’s Middle Earth, and you wouldn’t be the only one. The similarities between The Shard and the black land of Mordor haven’t gone unnoticed, so where else would a real-world Barad-dûr (Sauron’s tower) reside but there?
Yavin 4 Rebel Base
Did you know that Central Park has 31 cameras covering its grounds? Yet the whole of the Bronx (at more than 40x its size) only has only 43? Neither did we. In what feels like a little bit of security mismanagement, the relatively peaceful Central Park is more closely guarded than the crime ridden Bronx. What better way to comment on this but with the inclusion of the guards that oversaw the protection of Yavin 4?
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry
JK Rowling made Edinburgh her home while writing the Harry Potter series, and as a result many of her wizarding world’s most iconic landmarks and locations were inspired by the city. What better place for a real-life Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry then, than amongst the cobbled streets of this ancient city, with its great castle looming over it from Castle Rock?
The vast expanse of Russia’s Red Square with its colourful Cathedral is ideal as the backdrop for the bright lights of Oz’s Emerald City.
Manhattan is often described as the “cultural, financial, media and entertainment capital of the world”, so where else would the central hub for all Jedi activities, the Jedi Temple, be located than amongst the high-rise architecture of the Big Apple?
In The Spy Who Loved Me James bond investigated the hijacking of British and Russian submarines carrying nuclear warheads, and featured the now iconic Atlantic Citadel. Echoing the Battle of Sydney Harbour of 1942 in which the Japanese attacked using submarines, we decided to merge the fact and the fiction. The wave like curves of the Sydney Opera House and sea creature like structure of the citadel made for an aesthetically pleasing combination that supported similarity of fact and fiction.
Derelict Alien Ship
With its rich history of ships, pirates, and the location of the world’s busiest container port, Shanghai seemed like a great place for the derelict commercial ship from the original Alien film. Weave into that some of the futuristic architecture that is dotted around the city – from the flying saucer like structure of the Shanghai Museum, to the glowing orb of the Oriental Art Centre – and you have a city that is both futuristic and connected to the past; the perfect complement to the design and feel of the original Alien film.
There is a camera shot in Hitchcock’s Psycho in which the viewer looks up at the foreboding structure of the Bates family home. Knowing the story and the fate that befell Norman’s mother gives what is a beautiful (fake) house its symbolic eeriness. The steps that lead up to that house reminded us of the immense structure of El Castillo at Chichen Itza, and the steps that are integral to the pyramid. When you add in the Mayan culture of human sacrifice for the nourishment of the gods, you have a connection between the two that cannot be denied. Maybe that’s what Hitchcock was hinting at all along?