The City on Screen Self-Guided Walk
Walk in the footsteps of The Avengers, Harry Potter, James Bond and Paddington Bear, all in the Square Mile. Seek out the location of the real Diagon Alley, re-enact Skepta’s Shut Down music video at the Barbican and go into battle with Thor and Spiderman throughout the City.
1 - The Millennium Bridge
- The first stop is the Millennium Bridge which fits seamlessly in the futuristic landscape of planet Xandar in Guardians of the Galaxy (2014). It can be seen when the planet is under attack in the Battle of Xandar and civilians on the bridge are saved by Rocket Racoon (Bradley Cooper).
- The bridge also features in James Bond: Spectre (2015) with a shot of Miss Moneypenny (Naomi Harris) walking on the bridge with the dome of St Paul's Cathedral framed behind her.
2 - St Paul’s Cathedral
- St Paul's Cathedral has served as the setting for many an action movie including Mission Impossible: Fallout (2018). During shooting of the rooftop chase scene, Tom Cruise famously broke his ankle when jumping between buildings which halted filming.
- Other films that have been shot at this location include the Fast and Furious spin off Hobbs and Shaw (2018) which features scenic helicopter views of the Cathedral as an MI6 crew drop in, only to be confronted by the films antagonist Brixton Lore (Idris Elba).
- Men in Black: International (2018). St Paul's makes an appearance in this area on Ludgate Hill, the road which leads up to the face of the Cathedral, where Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson engage in an alien shoot out.
- Also in front of the Cathedral, Thor in Thor: The Dark World (2013), dramatically falls out of the sky from another dimension onto the steps of St Paul's when in battle with villain Malekith.
- A smaller, fluffier film star also appears at St Paul's in Paddington 2 (2017) when Mrs Brown, Judy and Jonathan investigate a fallen statue in the Cathedral in the hope to prove Paddington’s innocence.
- This area also features more than once in BBC TV drama I May Destroy You (2020). Cheapside can be seen when young writer Arabella meets a fan on a night out and St Paul's Cathedral is also visible from a rooftop bar in One New Change when Simon and Kat meet their date.
3 - The Old Bailey
- The Old Bailey features in a big way when Wonder Woman stops a bank robbery in Justice League (2017). As she is about to serve justice herself she looks out upon the skyline of London, standing on top of the golden statue of Justice before swooping down to the rescue.
- In a much more explosive scene The Old Bailey stars in V for Vendetta (2005) alongside Natalie Portman and Hugh Weaving. The pair have their 'meet cute' (meet for the first time) before V takes Evey up to the rooftops of London with a view of the City, where he blows up the statue of Justice and the Old Bailey choreographed to classical music.
4 - Postman’s Park
- Tucked away off of King Edwards Street is Postman's Park which was discovered by director Mike Nichols to feature in his 2004 romance Closer. Early in the film when Jude Law and Natalie Portman meet, they walk through the park and admire the ceramic tiles which bare the names of notable people who have given their life to save another person, and thus begins their romance.
- The park also makes a swift appearance in Tomb Raider (2018) when Alicia Vikander cycles through the City on a ‘fox hunt’ race with her friends. She passes through Postman’s Park before riding into a police car and getting arrested.
5 - Smithfield Market
- For the first Bond appearance in this map, the MI6 headquarters in Skyfall (2012) are situated underground, accessible by a gated road directly opposite Smithfield Market which is seen as a moody Bond is driven in by a black Jeep.
- The final episode of the recent series by breakout writer, producer and actress Michaela Cole, I May Destroy You (2020) features Smithfield on which the market is placed. Arabella and her friends follow her abuser home after spiking his drink which leads to a dramatic series conclusion.
6 - The Priory Church of St Bartholomew the Great
- The Priory Church of St Bartholomew the Great has been home to many well known film sequences. In Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes (2009) features the church when Holmes (Robert Downey Jr) and Watson (Jude Law) interrupt Lord Blackwood who is preparing for his human sacrifice.
- Another iconic scene includes the final wedding in Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994) where Hugh Grant leaves his bride to be at the altar after confessing his love for someone else. She subsequently punches him in the eye and the church erupts into chaos.
- The church also featured the beheading of Mary Queen of Scots in Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007) and shows up in other films including Shakespeare in Love (1998) and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991).
7 - Barbican
- The Barbican centre now becomes the MI6 headquarters in James Bond: Quantum of Solace (2008). M and Bill Tanner call Bond to check on his mission as they walk through the horseshoe architecture and M learns about the fate of Edward Slate.
- The hugely popular BBC TV series Luther (2010) starring Idris Elba was shot all around London, including locations in the City. Early on we get to see inside the Barbican Estate famous for brutalist architecture, when mastermind come love interest Alice invites Luther into her flat to discuss how to prove his innocence after he’s falsely accused of murder.
- In 2015 Skepta released his iconic single Shutdown from his fourth album. Shot in the Barbican estate and racking up over 50 million views on YouTube, Shutdown has made this location a popular spot for many music videos to come.
8 - Cornhill and Royal Exchange
- In one of the most iconic romance scenes, Cornhill becomes the snowy backdrop of Bridget Jone's Diary (2001) when Renée Zellweger runs out, in her underwear, in pursuit of Mark Darcy. She finds him purchasing her a new diary and they end up in a passionate clinch on the corner of Cornhill and Royal Exchange Buildings. A vast stretch of Cornhill was drenched in falling snow and Christmas decorations which makes it hard to imagine that this was filmed over two nights in April.
- Chaos comes over Cornhill in London Has Fallen (2016), where Gerard Butler plays security guard for the US President during his attendance at St Paul's Cathedral for the funeral of the British Prime minister. A terror attack occurs sparking a gun filled car chase throughout the City.
- Cornhill is also the site of a double-decker bus chase in The Mummy Returns (2001). The bus drives through Cornhill with Brendan Fraser on board fighting off an army of the undead eventually succeeding when the bus comes to a stop on Tower Bridge.
9 - Leadenhall Market
- Leadenhall Market is home to The Leaky Cauldron pub in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (2001). This is where Hagrid takes Harry after telling him he is a wizard and where they find the entrance to Diagon Alley. The once dark and nondescript entrance to the Leaky Cauldron is now found at 42 Bulls Head Passage and is marked with a bright blue door.
- The final scene of fantasy romance film Hereafter (2010) is home to Leadenhall Market. Matt Damon waits here in a café for the arrival of Cecile de France in a tear-jerking moment.
10 - Tower Bridge
- Tower Bridge became the backdrop of the epic final battle between Spider Man (Tom Holland) and Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaall), in Spider Man: Far From Home (2019). The inside of the Tower of London also features in this scene when the films love interest MJ (Zendaya) and her friends take shelter inside the Tower amongst the crown jewels to dodge deadly drones.
- The fight scene between Thor and Malekith in Thor: The Dark World (2013) which occurs at St Pauls also features Tower Bridge. This shot can be spotted when Thor throws his hammer in battle and misses its target, falling through a portal and coming out at Tower Bridge.