With its world-class facilities, cutting edge animation studios and great dollar value, it’s no surprise Hollywood skips up to Montréal to film movies whenever it can. Some movies make it obvious by actually setting the plots in this fair city, like The Red Violin, Life of Pi and Mommy – but some make it more mysterious. Without further ado, here are five blockbusters that we bet you didn’t know were filmed right here in La Belle Ville!
Directed by Chad Stahelski, starring Keanu Reeves
John Wick 2 may mostly be set in Rome, but part of that stunning old architecture comes courtesy of Montréal. In this second installment of Keanu Reeves’ reinstatement as an actor who matters, contract killer John Wick comes out of retirement to help a former colleague defend against what seems like every member of an international assassins’ guild.
Directed by Denis Villeneuve, starring Amy Adams
Denis Villeneuve is already Quebec’s pride and joy, but even more so since he shot Arrival entirely in Montréal. As linguist Louise Banks, Amy Adams graces this futuristic picture with plentiful quiet grace, an energy replicated by the unidentified suburban setting she lives in. When mysterious space crafts touch down across the globe, Banks is brought in the build ties when no one else can.
Directed by Bryan Singer, starring James McAvoy and Michael Fassbinder
Apocalypse may be the latest, but you may be surprised to learn that most of the X-Men franchise has been shot in Montréal. (Isn’t it cool to think that Patrick Stewart must have his favourite coffee shop in town?) This latest installment is a throw-back to Professor X’s youth. After the resurgence of the world’s first mutant, the world destroyer Apocalypse, the X-Men assemble to nullify his plan to nix Earth.
Directed by Steven Spielberg, starring Leonardo DiCaprio
Spielberg dragged his crew around north America for Catch Me If You Can, but Montréal is the location he chose to evoke images of France. The inimitable Leo stars in this biographical fiction based on the life of Frank Abagnale, a conman who before the age of 19 finagled millions by posing as a Pan Am pilot, a Georgia doctor and a Louisiana parish prosecutor.
Directed by Nick Cassavetes, starring Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams
Yes, the most iconic chick flick ever was partially filmed in Montréal. Set in the 1940s in South Carolina, The Notebook tells the steamy hot – and somewhat weepy – love story shared by a mill worker and a rich girl in the face of general societal disapproval. Montréal appears in one of the most tragic parts of the film, in the form of a snow-covered battlefield when Rachel McAdams thinks she’ll never see Ryan Gosling again because he’s off to war. (It’s okay, they end up together.)
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