London The Ultimate Stunt Double*
London is a cosmopolitan city, thats a well known fact. But its rarely been as multicultural as it was required to be in Avengers: Age Of Ultron (out now in the US and UK). As location manager Jamie Lengyel explains, There was a very keen ambition to take The Avengers global, so its a globetrotting story, but if youre moving a crew of 400 around the world and your production base is in Shepperton in Surrey, as we were, you look to do as much of what you can in the UK.
So while the production went to Johannesburg, Korea, Bangladesh and Italy (the Aosta Valley stood in for Sokovia) to film key scenes, London and the surrounding counties often doubled for those locations, as well as pretending to be the USA for a couple of scenes too. For example, that shot of Sokovia above was actually shot in the UK but youll have to read on to find out where.
Heres Jamies quick guide to Avengers: Age Of Ultron locations in and around London. Images marked with an (*) are from Jamies own collection showing some behind-the-scenes shooting going on and are to him. And weve also given you links to Google Maps to show you where the places are in case you fancy visiting them.
Bourne Wood and Hawley Woods*
Those opening fight scenes were shot not in the woods of Sokovia but in Hawley Woods in Hampshire and nearby Bourne Wood in Surrey. Bourne Wood was also used in Thor: The Dark World and Gladiator and Lengyel says they spent a few weeks there with lots of tanks and wire work. Hawley, meanwhile, saw a lot of Hulk and Hawkeye action. Thats an MOD training area in Hawley Wood, says Lengyel, but theres no need to worry about getting blown up. Its open to the public.
The inside of the Fort, the Hydra HQ, where you see Strucker and theres a little bit of a shoot out and you see Iron Man going down some stairs and through some tunnels and things, says Lengyel, all that was filmed at Dover Castle in Kent.
Hawkeyes family home was an entire exterior build, reveals Lengyel. We built that on that Stratfield Saye estate in Berkshire, the Duke of Wellingtons estate. We found a valley that felt sort of American and built the whole facade of the farm. It looked very realistic. A very impressive build.
Captain Americas Vision*
The ballroom in Captain Americas Scarlet Witch-induced vision was the Rivoli Ballroom in South London.
Meanwhile Thor didnt really have a vision of Asgard it was actually St Bartholomews Church in Smithfield.
Black Widows Vision
At least Black Widows flashback was to a ballet school, but it wasnt one in St Petersburg and as far as we know it doesnt train assassins. It was actually Tring Park School For Performing Arts in Tring.
The Hulk/Iron Man Fight In Johannesburg*
We used Brent Civic Centre in Wembley for Johannesburg where we see Hulk and Iron Man inside a building and a lift being thrown around, says Lengyel. All the plate work and all the wire work we did over a weekend in Brent Civic Centre. We owned the main atrium there. It worked incredibly well as Johannesburg. Its a very light, glassy building.
Sadly, this one you wont be able to visit, though it probably wouldnt look like much if you did. The main London location, though its inaccessible to the public, is Hendon Metropolitan Police Training College, says Lengyel. They have a whole section of buildings which are currently redundant, and we turned them into a section of the Sokovian town. We created the square with the church and the bridge and all the tower blocks, for the scenes where the Avengers are evacuating the people during the big battle scene against Ultron. That was a huge set build in a backlot we created at there at Hendon.
Postcard From Sokovia*
Many of the Sokovian locations were shot in Italy (sorry if it comes as a shock, but Sokovia aint real) in the Aosta Valley. The Hydra Fort was actually Fort Bard. Inside its a museum and exhibition space, reveals Lengyel. Its surrounded by mountains and had some quite tired-looking towns around it which didnt feel quite Italian and had that Eastern European feel. So we were able to use this as well as the fort and make really good use of the region.
And theyre all tied together by the fact that theyre all surrounded by the same mountains. So with the Sokovia scenes we filmed in London weve put those mountains in the background too, and it hems everything together.