‘Skyfall’ Filming Locations: From Istanbul to Shanghai

Skyfall is the perfect Bond film, with action sequences that pack a punch. It’s a fun film voyage to go on for any movie lover, but one thing that stands out in Skyfall, are the filming locations. They really do enhance the film’s appeal, adding a whole lot of wow to the movie.

Skyfall trailer (2012)

Bond’s Chase in Istanbul

It begins in Turkey, a country rich in history and character. Skyfall prominently features Istanbul, especially its Grand Bazaar. At this ancient marketplace, James Bond (Daniel Craig) chases Patrice. Nearby, the Yeni Mosque, with its magnificent domes and minarets, provided cool scenery for further action sequences.

High-Octane Adventure in Adana

Bond’s journey through Turkey doesn’t stop there. Adana becomes the setting for another action-packed scene. The Varda Viaduct, towering in the region, is where viewers watch Bond in a heart-stopping scene on a moving train.

The Allure of London

London, with its mix of modern architecture and rich history, becomes the backdrop which significant parts of Skyfall are painted. James Bond meets Q (Ben Whishaw) at the National Gallery. The Fighting Temeraire painting plays a significant role in their conversation. Trafalgar Square and the historical Westminster can also be spotted.

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Skyfall filming locations: Bond meets Q at the National Gallery.

An essential scene unfolds in Whitehall’s heart, where the “Secret Intelligence Service” (SIS) building stands. Close by, the Charing Cross station and the Old Vic Tunnels also make an appearance.

Shanghai Nights

Shanghai introduces a different palette. The city’s skyline, marked by shimmering towers, sets the tone for Bond’s assignment. Intense moments transpire amidst Shanghai’s neon hues.

There’s an awesome scene where Bond is in a skyscraper, chasing Patrice. Instead of the usual fight, all we see are their shadows, lit up by a huge neon sign nearby. This fight feels like a dance of shadows.

Scottish Highlands: Nature’s Majesty

The film then transitions to Scotland, the highlands to be precise. Glencoe, known for its beauty, is perfect for Bond’s confrontation with Javier Bardem’s character.

Skyfall filming locations: James Bond and M in Glencoe

Judi Dench (as M) accompanies Bond through the Highland’s craggy peaks. The story evolves around the Buachaille Etive Beag and Glen Etive. This is where Bond’s childhood home stands, leading to absolutely explosive events (literally).

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More British Landmarks

Bond’s British escapade continues. At Hankley Common in Elstead, Skyfall’s mansion comes to life. To say that a lot of action takes place at the mansion is an understatement. You’ll see!

The Heart of the Action: Pinewood Studio

Natural locations offer authenticity, but the controlled environment of a studio allows filmmakers to shape a narrative to perfection. Pinewood Studio serves as the backbone for the film’s core scenes. Here, the sets are designed to reflect the world of espionage. Many interior scenes, from tense confrontations to the detailed interiors of the SIS building, were shot here.

Skyfall is easily one of the best Bond movies out there, and the aesthetics speak for themselves. Major kudos to Roger Deakins and the location management team. Their efforts paid off in a big way with a beautiful film. If you’re unfamiliar with Skyfall, give it a watch!