September 2, 2011
THE producer of the next Hollywood blockbuster to be shot in Glasgow has praised the city’s “positive” approach to filmmaking as he prepares to transform its streets into the hills of San Francisco.
Brad Pitt’s zombie epic World War Z, which turned streets around George Square into Philadelphia, has finished its stay in the city but it is to be immediately followed by the £62 million movie Cloud Atlas.
Based on David Mitchell’s award-winning novel, the film stars Tom Hanks and Halle Berry, and is directed by the Wachowski brothers – creators of The Matrix.
Cloud Atlas is also using the city’s grand architecture and grid system street layout to stand in for an American city, in this case San Francisco.
The shooting of part of the movie, which is a German production, in the city represents another success for the Glasgow Film Office and the city council. Cloud Atlas will film in Glasgow between September 16 and 18 and on September 26.
The city’s Montrose Street and other locations around Strathclyde University will be used.
The film, which is based on a book many thought unfilmable due to its complex plot, also stars Hugo Weaving, Susan Sarandon, Jim Broadbent and Ben Whishaw.
David Brown, the Scottish line producer for Cloud Atlas, said: “We are very pleased to be coming to Glasgow later this month.
“The principle reason for coming to Glasgow is the welcome that the city gives to filmmakers.
“We are overwhelmed by the support and encouragement we have received from everyone in the city.
“This can-do attitude is turning Glasgow into a highly attractive proposition for filmmakers across the world.
“In addition to a positive approach and its position as the gateway to the rest of Scotland, the city’s architecture and classic grid system makes it uniquely appealing.”
Councillor Gordon Matheson, leader of Glasgow City Council, added: “It is fantastic news that another major production is coming to film in Glasgow, and another sign we are becoming the UK’s film-friendliest city.
“The recent experience of the filming of World War Z in the city was extremely positive, and we look forward to welcoming Cloud Atlas later this month.”
Cloud Atlas was published in 2004, the third book by Mitchell.
It won the British Book Awards literary fiction title and the Richard and Judy Book of the Year award, and was shortlisted for the 2004 Booker Prize, Nebula Award, Arthur C Clarke Award, and other honours.
The novel consists of six linked stories, ranging from the South Pacific in the 19th century to a post-apocalyptic future.
It has been heralded in the German media as “the first attempt at a German blockbuster” and “the most expensive German film of all time”.
It has a budget of $100 million (£62m) and will be filmed largely in Berlin.
It is being directed by German Tom Tykwer and the Americans Larry and Andy Wachowski.
Glasgow Film Office (GFO) is the film commission for Glasgow, offering a free service to all productions wanting to film in the city – from features, TV and commercials to short films, music videos and others.
It has brought the filming of movies, such as Red Road, House of Mirth and The Jacket, to the city.
As well as World War Z, Peter Mullan’s latest feature Ned, Perfect Sense – starring Ewan McGregor and Eva Green – and The Decoy Bride, featuring David Tennant and Kelly Macdonald, have also been filmed in Glasgow recently.
In 2009, Gerard Butler was named Glasgow Film Office ambassador to help raise the profile of the city and demonstrate its capability as a production base.