Film office for Edinburgh, East Lothian and the Scottish Borders

Edinburgh's Old Town set for stardom

27/03/17

The city of Edinburgh is set for its biggest starring role ever in Marvel Studios Avengers: Infinity War.

The six-week production schedule will see over 400 crew members working on location over the course of the shoot, which got underway with the film’s 2nd unit on 22nd March 2017. The production’s 1st unit schedule with cast will begin in mid-April. Generating an estimated £10 million plus for the city region in economic impact, this will be the largest and most complex shoot ever to film in historic Old Town and other locations in Edinburgh’s city centre.

Film Edinburgh, the city region’s film office, the City of Edinburgh Council and Creative Scotland, have been working closely with the production team for the last twelve months to facilitate all aspects of the production schedule and needs across the iconic World Heritage Site locations.

One of the world’s biggest and beloved movie franchises, Avengers: Infinity War stars Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo, Anthony Mackie, Jeremy Renner, Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany.

The film is directed by Joe and Anthony Russo who have made a concerted effort to minimise the impact filming has on the public, while securing the required shots needed for the film. The production team has been in close contact with City of Edinburgh Council and Film Edinburgh, alongside residents and local business in and around the key filming locations to ensure the production’s shooting schedule limits any disruption during the normal business hours.

“When Edinburgh came up as a location option we jumped at the chance,” informs Joe Russo. “The city is such a unique and iconic location, but one never seen as the backdrop for a big action film, which is incredibly exciting.”

“The support from all local agencies, such as Film Edinburgh, has been invaluable in helping to coordinate this complicated shoot,” adds Anthony Russo. “We appreciate the entire city’s help and are excited to have such a beautiful and historic city in the film.”

Councillor Gavin Barrie, Edinburgh’s Economy Convener, said: “Our cobbled streets, historic properties and stunning green spaces could set the scene for some of cinema’s greatest superheroes and it is fantastic to secure such an A-list production. We know 40% of visitors to the UK are attracted to places they have seen on screen and the Marvel franchise offers a huge opportunity to promote Edinburgh all over the world. This is fantastic news for the city and our film industry. The Council will do all it can to support Film Edinburgh and the producers and keep the city moving throughout the shoot.”

Rosie Ellison, Film Manager for Film Edinburgh, adds “This is the biggest production to ever film in the region. But crucially, it also clearly demonstrates Edinburgh has the infrastructure and process in place to accommodate major filming of this scale. The reinforcement of the Edinburgh Film Charter, which was ratified again a few years ago, has played a massive role in simplifying procedures and allowing the city to gear up and facilitate productions of all sizes. Film Edinburgh and the Council have worked closely with the filmmakers for over a year to coordinate the smooth running of the location shoot in the region. The production team have been a pleasure to work with and have been considerate of the impact of filming on local business, visitors and residents.”

Natalie Usher, Director of Screen at Creative Scotland concludes, "Our Screen Commission has worked closely with the production, Film Edinburgh and City of Edinburgh Council over the past twelve months to secure one of the biggest film productions ever for the city. Scotland’s world-wide reputation for excellent crews, facilities, and award-winning locations, continue to be a huge attraction to major international productions. With strong and growing production activity across the central belt, we are confident that we can continue to accommodate large-scale projects of this nature, whatever their requirements."

Earlier this year, Film Edinburgh reported its most successful year for film in the Edinburgh city region on record, with 2016 film productions injecting £7.7 million into the local economy, an 11.5% rise on 2015 figures. 321 productions filmed in the region in 2016 including feature films T2 Trainspotting and Churchill, alongside popular dramas including Outlander and BBC Three’s current hit Clique.