The Australian city leading a double life
Turning Melbourne into the world
While Melbourne is currently being filmed as itself in the fourth and final series of US TV hit Preacher, it’s the city’s ability to represent other places and other times that has long made it a popular destination for filmmakers.
Melbourne and its surrounding regions are particularly good at masquerading as North America, having doubled for 1900s San Jose in Winchester, Seattle airport in The Leftovers, the Midwest in Childhood’s End, Cleveland and New York in Predestination, 1950s Maine in Charlotte’s Web, and Texas in Ghost Rider.
“Melbourne is fantastic. It could double for anything.”
Mark Steven Johnson, Writer/Director, Ghost Rider
In Knowing, Melbourne’s Lonsdale and Collins Streets doubled as the bustling streets of Boston and New York – providing the perfect backdrop for action star Nicolas Cage’s mission to prevent the end of the world.
But Melbourne’s for ability for destination doubling doesn't stop there. Its mix of heritage, mod, art deco and contemporary streetscapes have provided the perfect backdrop for a number of other features and series.
US TV series Hunters took its audience from Baltimore to Turkey to Colombia without leaving Melbourne, while Killer Elite – set in the UK, Oman, Dubai and Paris in the 1980s – was also largely filmed in Melbourne.
“We turned Melbourne into Paris, Dubai and London, it is the perfect city.”
Steve Chasman, Executive Producer, Killer Elite
Killer Elite saw the northern end of Melbourne’s Little Collins Street and Spring Street double for Paris’ iconic streets, while Flagstaff station required little work to look like an underground Paris metro station. Filming in the underground station, featuring Hollywood star Robert de Niro, was made possible by Melbourne’s film friendly approach to permits and access.
Image: Robert de Niro in Killer Elite
Images, feature then L - R: Robert de Niro in Killer Elite, Knowing (x2) and Killer Elite (x2)