Alberta’s breathtaking landscapes, diverse geography, and rich cultural history offer ideal settings for several notable movies and television shows. From the snow-capped Rocky Mountains to Alberta’s iconic Badlands, these extraordinary backdrops have captivated filmmakers and viewers alike, further adding to the province’s charm and international appeal. As your Central Alberta relocation realtor, Chris Strong invites you to delve into the fascinating world of Alberta’s cinematic history and discover the stories behind some of the most celebrated movies and shows filmed within the province.
In this blog post, we will explore several popular movies and TV shows filmed in Alberta, including the Academy Award-winning film The Revenant, the anticipated HBO adaptation of The Last of Us, and the Star Wars saga’s connection to the region. Surprisingly, even the iconic wolves from the hit series Game of Thrones have roots in Alberta! By examining the significance of these productions and their choice to film in Alberta, we will uncover the awe-inspiring locations and settings that have brought these stories to life.
Embracing the captivating cinematic history of Alberta not only provides you with a new appreciation for its scenic beauty but also offers insights into how the province has attracted world-renowned filmmakers and television productions. Join us as we embark on a journey through Alberta’s rich filmography and uncover the magic that makes this region a one-of-a-kind destination for film enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.
The Revenant – A Tale of Survival in Alberta’s Wilderness
Filming Locations and Challenges
The 2015 epic survival film The Revenant, directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu and starring Leonardo DiCaprio, was primarily filmed in the rugged and remote areas of Alberta and British Columbia. Alberta’s Kananaskis Country, Bow Valley, and the stunning vistas of Fortress Mountain provided the perfect backdrop for the film’s representation of frontier-era America. However, filming in these often harsh and unforgiving environments presented challenges for the cast and crew, as they faced cold temperatures, deep snow, and unpredictable weather.
Alberta’s Contributions to The Revenant
In addition to the striking landscapes, Alberta’s local film industry played a substantial role in the making of The Revenant. The province’s experienced crews, production facilities, and talent contributed to the creation of this visually captivating and memorable film. Furthermore, The Revenant helped to boost Alberta’s economy and solidified its reputation as a prime destination for film productions.
The Last of Us – An Alberta Backdrop for a Post-Apocalyptic World
HBO Series Filming Locations
The highly anticipated HBO adaptation of the popular video game The Last of Us has chosen Alberta as its primary filming location. The province’s diverse geography, ranging from urbanscapes and small towns to vast wilderness areas, offers multiple settings for depicting a post-apocalyptic world divided into quarantine zones and hostile territories. Major cities like Calgary and Edmonton, along with smaller towns such as Fort Macleod, have become integral parts of the adaptation’s production process.
Economic Benefits and Local Participation
The Last of Us is expected to bring significant economic benefits to Alberta, boosting local businesses and creating job opportunities for the communities involved in the production. Additionally, the series has created casting calls for local actors and extras to play various roles, further encouraging participation from Alberta’s residents.
Star Wars – Alberta’s Connection to a Galaxy Far, Far Away
Alberta’s Badlands in Star Wars
Though filming for the Star Wars saga took place in various locations across the globe, Alberta has a surprising connection to the beloved space epic. The stark and otherworldly landscape of Alberta’s Badlands, particularly the hoodoos near Drumheller, inspired designs and scenes from the Star Wars movies. Concept artists referenced Alberta’s Badlands to create the iconic geological formations seen in scenes from the planet Tatooine, showcasing the province’s striking natural beauty on an intergalactic scale.
A Landmark for Sci-Fi Fans
As a result of its unique link to the Star Wars franchise, the Alberta Badlands have become a must-visit destination for science fiction enthusiasts and fans of the saga. Visitors can explore the remarkable landscapes that played a part in shaping the beloved cinematic universe.
Game of Thrones – The Alberta Connection
The Direwolves of the North
The massive and loyal direwolves from the hit HBO series Game of Thrones have a surprising connection to Alberta. These iconic creatures were brought to life through the use of Northern Inuit Dogs, a breed developed in the late 1980s to resemble wolves. Several dogs used in the series, including those portraying the direwolf characters Grey Wind and Summer, were sourced from breeders located in Alberta’s Rocky Mountains, adding another fascinating connection between the province and the world of television and film.
Alberta’s striking landscapes, rich cultural history, and strong film industry have made it a prime location for many renowned movies and TV shows. From the dramatic wilderness of The Revenant to the post-apocalyptic world of The Last of Us, the province’s diverse geography continues to inspire and captivate filmmakers and viewers alike. Even far-reaching sagas like Star Wars and Game of Thrones have found connections to Alberta, further highlighting the province’s versatility and appeal.
As you explore the scenic beauty and diverse communities of Alberta, keep an eye out for these cinematic treasures and immerse yourself in the fascinating stories behind the films and shows that brought the local landscapes to life. Chris Strong, your Central Alberta relocation realtor, is proud to celebrate the province’s film heritage and introduce newcomers to the magic that Alberta holds for filmmakers and enthusiasts alike.