Justice League brought superhero filming to UK
Superhero epic Justice League filmed at Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden near London to unite DC’s key comic book characters.
The film brings together Batman, Wonder Woman, the Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg – plus Superman – in a narrative designed to emulate the success of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe.
Production was spread across six stages at Leavesden. Major set builds included the Batcave and the Kent farm, home to Superman’s adoptive human parents.
These settings had previously appeared in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, which was based at Michigan Motion Picture Studios in Detroit. They were recreated in the UK, using precise scans of their original builds in the US.
A production tool dubbed the ‘EnviroCam’ also enabled the team to recreate seamless virtual locations for the UK shoot that had been filmed in America for the previous movie.
“It actually looked like we were in the same place where we shot the original,” says Henry Cavill, who plays Superman. “It was a fantastic experience. It really looked and felt like the Kent farm, only a lot colder since we were in England.”
The biggest on-location shoot for Justice League in fact took place in north-west Iceland. A town called Djupavik five hours from Reykjavik stood in for a remote fishing village where Bruce Wayne recruits Aquaman to join his team of superheroes.
Local accommodation options only had space for about a dozen people, so the Justice League team set up a small community of camper vehicles for its 200-strong crew.
To get the shots needed for the movie, around 40 cast, crew and filming equipment – including a camera crane – were airlifted by helicopter to a location 1,000 feet above the village.
Iceland is regularly used by high-profile TV and movie productions as a filming location.
The country offers expansive wilderness visuals within short travel times from Reykjavik and the government boosted the national filming incentive to 25% of eligible spending earlier this year.
Warner Bros and DC have shifted their locations again for their next movie, which focuses on Aquaman, having already wrapped the shoot in Queensland, Australia.
Marvel Studios, the great rival to Warner Bros and DC, has also filmed extensively in the UK, but similarly shot Thor: Ragnarok in Queensland. Atlanta is Marvel's usual production base and is the current home of Ant-Man and the Wasp.
See KFTV's production guide for more on filming in the UK.
Images: Clay Enos/Warner Bros/Ratpac Dune