Rugged landscapes, good weather and some stunning scenery that could easily be from another planet have put the Canary Islands on the map of some of the world’s best filmmakers.
Not surprisingly, the lunar landscape found in Las Cañadas del Teide National Park is a particular favourite shooting location, but you’ll probably be very surprised at some of the blockbuster films shot in the Canaries.
1. Bourne 5 (currently shooting)
In fact, right now Matt Damon has his shirt off running around the streets of Santa Cruz (which has temporarily changed many of its signs to Greek to resemble Athens) filming the new Bourne film, known currently as simply “Bourne 5”, which is due to hit the screens in July 2016.
2. In the heart of the Sea (2015)
Director Ron Howard and big names such as Australian actor Chris Hemsworth made the coastal village of Playa Santiago on the island of La Gomera their home for months during filming of the ocean scenes for thisreal-life tale of a whaling crew back in in 1820 who had their ship sunk and found themselves making a desperate attempt to reach the Ecuadorian coastline, suffering from starvation, dehydration and ocean storms.Tenerife was initially considered but the remote nature of La Gomera was thought as a better option to double for 1820s Ecuador.
3. Fast & Furious 6 (2013)
Fast cars, high-speed chases, gorgeous actors and actresses including the late Paul Walker and some impressive special effects saw the filming of Fast and Furious 6 take place, mainly on the new motorway leading from Adeje to Santiago del Teide. Supposedly set in England, the UK authorities were apparently much stricter on what could and could not be done on England’s roads, whereas here, it seems, the Canarian authorities let them do pretty much whatever they like because the highway it had not yet been opened to traffic.
4. Wrath of the Titans (2012)
Barely a year after the release of Clash of the Titans, the production team returned to Tenerife to work on the sequel this time called Wrath of the Titans. The coastal town of Abades, on the east of the island, was chosen for the film’s biggest set build: the bustling fishing village that is home to Perseus and his son, Helius, and the site of the Chimera’s violent attack.
5. Clash of the Titans (2010)
The location scouts for this smash hit blockbuster saw Tenerife as offering the perfect scenery for recreating Greek mythology. The Teide National Park, along with coastal towns of Icod de los Vinos, Buenavista del Norte and Guía de Isora, as well as some mountain areas of pine forests were the locations chosen in Tenerife, while in Gran Canaria, some shooting was also carried out on the famous sand dunes of Maspalomas. An adaptation of the myth of Perseus and his fight against Medusa and the Kraken to save the princess Andromeda from the hands of death, Clash of the Titans is a tale of confrontation between men, kings and gods, with an added touch of romance.
6. A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (2005)
The remake of Douglas Adams’ cult classic novel, A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy was largely filmed in Tenerife and features Bill Nighy, Zooey Deschanel, John Malkovich, Sam Rockwell and Alan Rickman. In fact the movie’s opening scene is a dolphin show in the famous Loro Parque located in Puerto de la Cruz.
7. One Million Years B.C. (1966)
Before now, probably the biggest blockbuster set in Tenerife was the 1966 film One Million Years B.C. starring Raquel Welch and her unforgettable primitive bikini. Loosely set in prehistoric times, the story centres around Caveman Tumak (John Richardson) and his girlfriend Loana (Welch), and how they deal with the harsh realities of things like volcanoes and monsters. Tenerife’s landscape and wildlife feature heavily in the film, they even faked an eruption of Teide!
The next time you’re watching one of these well-known movies, see if the setting looks familiar…..