Norway has provided stunning locations to filmmakers throughout the years. And the best is yet to come, with the upcoming premiere of No Time to Die in 2021. Daniel Craig, Tom Cruise, Matt Damon, Hailey Aitwell, Pom Klementieff, John David Washington, Timothée Chalamet, Michael Fassbender, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac. And a long time ago, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill. These actors have all been to Norway to shoot iconic scenes in their movies. Here is a list of some of the film locations you can discover in Norway.
No Time to Die (2021)
The much-awaited James Bond’s No Time to Die is coming to the big screen in 2021. This will be the last Bond movie that will be featuring Daniel Craig as agent 007. In the trailer, we can see a girl running from a masked man on a frozen lake. The real-life location is the quiet Langvann lake near Hakadal (Nittedal municipality) in the Akershus region, just north of Oslo.
The Atlantic Road in the Western part of Norway is one of the most beautiful roads in the world and provides another stunning location from Norway in No Time to Die. Several locations in Norway are rumoured to have made the final cut, like Lutvann lake in the Østmarka forest in Oslo and Rauma in the Western part of Norway. Guess we will just have to wait until the premiere.
Christopher Nolan’s new film premiered in August 2020 and has been received with great excitement for its original plot and for many stunning locations.
Starring John David Washington, the protagonist’s mission is to save the entire world from collapse when the laws of time no longer seem to apply. One of the locations in the film is Norway’s capital Oslo, with one of the most iconic buildings and attractions in the city: The Opera House. In the scene in which John David Washington and Robert Pattinson are talking about an aeroplane accident, they are standing on the opera roof, which is a popular place to visit for both locals and visitors.
Based on the sci-fi novel with the same name and directed by Denis Villeneuve, Dune will premiere at the end of 2020. In one of the first photos available from the production, Timothée Chalamet plays Paul Atreides and is seen walking on a beach on his home planet Caladan before he travels to Arrakis. The beautiful beach in the background is actually in Norway, more precisely on the west coast of the peninsula Stadlandet in the northwestern part of Nordfjord.
In addition to Stadlandet, a visit to nearby Vestkapp is also highly recommended. Although this is not the westernmost point of Norway as the name may suggest (that one is further south), its striking cape towers 500 metres above sea level.
In this science fiction thriller (2014), programmer Caleb (Domhnall Gleeson) wins a stay in the private retreat of the mega-rich company boss Nathan (Oscar Isaac), where Caleb has to carry out a Turing test of robot girl Ava (Alicia Vikander). A large part of this film takes place in a hi-tech property in Alaska. The mysterious setting in the middle of the untouched wilderness in the film is actually Juvet Landscape Hotel in Valldal, north of the Norddalsfjord, in the Western part of Norway, approximately a 90-minute drive from Ålesund.
This unique and isolated hotel is embedded in a breathtaking landscape with a fantastic view from the super-modern and individually designed chalets. This tranquil place is located between the UNESCO world heritage Geirangerfjord and the dramatic road and viewing point Trollstigen, and can be reached by driving the Norwegian Scenic Route Trollstigen.
In the Harry Hole crime novel series by bestselling Norwegian author Jo Nesbø, Oslo plays a major role and the city can almost be considered as an additional character. Jo Nesbø’s novels include many real places in Oslo, including Harry Hole’s apartment block in Sofies gate five.
Parts of the film adaption of The Snowman (2017), starring Michael Fassbender as investigator Harry Hole, were of course also filmed in the Norwegian capital. The locations in Oslo include Restaurant Schrøder in Waldemar Thranes gate eight, the Fram Museum, the Henie Onstad art centre, the Oslo Spektrum Arena, the Holmenkollen ski jump, and the Oslo City Hall.
The Snowman was also filmed at the harbour and on Mount Ulriken in Bergen, on the famous Bergen Railway, in Rjukan (Telemark) and on the Atlantic road, which is also a location in No Time to Die. Other locations in the Rjukan area are the town centre, Rudsgrend and Hydro’s facility at Vemork.
In this sci-fi comedy from 2017 starring Matt Damon and Christoph Waltz, the scenes filmed in Trollfjorden in Vesterålen (Northern Norway) are simply breathtaking. Trollfjorden is a small fjord compared to many other fjords in Norway, being only three kilometres long and 70 metres wide at the mouth.
The dramatic landscape here is unique, as the fjord penetrates deep into the 1000 meter high Trolltindan, and finishes in a dead-end in the dark and dramatic Raftsundet. The narrow and magical Trollfjorden can be reached by Hurtigruten. The ship stops there every day on its way north and south, the exception being when it is too dark or when there is a risk of avalanche in the winter months.
Disaster movies need spectacular, dramatic landscapes. The story of the Norwegian disaster film The Wave (2015) by Roar Uthaug takes place at the shore of the UNESCO listed Geirangerfjord. It was inspired by a real event which in 1934: a rockfall that created a giant tidal wave and devastated a small village in Tafjord. Since then and until this very day, a crevice in the Åkernes mountain on the Geirangerfjord is constantly monitored by experts.
The main character in the film is Kristian, a geologist played by Norwegian actor Kristoffer Joner. It is Kristian’s last day of work at the Åkerneset monitoring station in Geiranger when the catastrophe takes place. Huge boulders fall into the fjord and trigger the ‘tsunami’ he has feared for a long time. Kristian tries to take his family to a safe place with a lot of action, which is typical for disaster movies.
Besides the Geirangerfjord, Hotel Union Geiranger is also an important location for the film. Kristian’s wife Idun (Ane Dahl Torp) works there and manages to save herself in a bunker when the tidal wave approaches. The Geirangerfjord is undoubtedly one of the most spectacular fjords in all of Norway, and hosts famous natural sights like the Seven Sisters waterfall. Viewpoints like Flydalsjuvet and Ørnesvingen, (which means ‘eagle’s curve’ in Norwegian) are perfect to admire the dramatic landscape.
This disaster movie (2018) is the sequel to The Wave (2015), featuring the same main characters (played by Kristoffer Joner and Ane Dahl Torp) who now experience a powerful earthquake in the heart of Oslo three years after The Wave. The story is inspired by the real-life earthquake that shook the Norwegian capital in 1904. The quake did some real damage, and it is estimated to have reached around 5.4 on the Richter scale.
Iconic buildings and areas in the Norwegian capital are instantly recognisable in The Quake: The Opera House. (also featured in Christopher Nolan’s Tenet), the Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel and the Ekeberg hill which hosts the Ekeberg sculpture park, among others. Many dramatic scenes are filmed inside the skyscraper hosting the Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel in the Oslo city centre.
Mission: Impossible – Fallout
Scared of heights? This is certainly not the case of secret agent Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise), who hangs from a cliff in the battle scene at the end of Mission: Impossible – Fallout. The spectacular scene was filmed on Preikestolen, the famous Pulpit Rock in Western Norway, close to Stavanger, although in the movie it’s Kashmir that gets mentioned, as it sometimes happens in Hollywood.
Preikestolen is one of the most iconic attractions in Norway. The hike to the plateau takes about two hours. The reward is a magnificent view of the Lysefjord. Alternatively, you can admire Preikestolen from a boat departing from the port of Stavanger.
Mission: Impossible 7 (2021)
Tom Cruise enjoyed Norway so much last time around that he and the Mission: Impossible crew recently stayed for about one month in the Åndalsnes area to shoot some spectacular scenes of the seventh film of the Mission: Impossible series.
The Hollywood star (58) made headlines worldwide with some challenging film stunts while in Norway, while film director Christopher McQuarrie shared stunning pictures from Fjord Norway on his Instagram account during the production.
Star Wars: The Empire strikes back
The original Star Wars trilogy has reached legendary status, as the Star Wars universe keeps growing and involving new generations of fans. The locations of the original trilogy have also become iconic. This also applies to the ice planet Hoth, on which the new secret base of the rebels is tracked down by the armed forces around Darth Vader in the fifth episode of the saga, The Empire Strikes Back.
The scenes in which Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) have to fight both the cold and the Imperial All Terrain Armored Transports were filmed in Norway. More precisely, in and around the mountain village of Finse on the edge of the glacier Hardangerjøkulen in 1979.
During the worst blizzard in 100 years, Lucasfilm shot iconic scenes of Planet Hoth here. The feeling of being taken into a galaxy far, far away is even stronger when you get to Finse by train. Finse is the highest station on the entire Norwegian railway system. You can get to Finse by railway, walking or biking on the Rallarvegen. The Bergen Line is one of the most beautiful train rides in the world. You can continue the journey into spectacular natural sights by getting to Flåm with the Flåm railway.
Frozen and Frozen 2
It is a well-known fact that the producer of Frozen and Frozen 2, Peter del Vecho, went to Norway and found inspiration and background for the adventures of Anna (Kristin Bell), Elsa (Idinia Menzel), Olaf (Josh Gad), Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) and of course Sven and all the other characters in the movies.
In Frozen (2013), the story takes place in Arendelle, a town inspired with elements from the Wharf in Bergen, the Akershus Fortress in Oslo, Stiftsgaarden in Trondheim, Norwegian stave churches, architecture, design, clothing, and of course the splendour of the Norwegian fjords – especially the Sognefjord and the village of Balestrand.
In Frozen 2 (2019), the heroes travel beyond Arendelle on new adventures to the far north to the land of the Northern Lights, where they encounter the Sami people and culture, the beautiful mountain plateaus, magic forests and of course the family of Sven the reindeer.
Pathfinder (1987) is a Norwegian action-adventure movie directed by Nils Gaup, based on an old Sami legend. It was the first full-length film in Sami language and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language film in 1988.
The story takes place in Finnmark around AD 1,000 and focuses on the adventures of a young Sami named Aigin played by Mikkel Gaup. Aigin returns from hunting and finds his family killed by a tribe called the Tchudes. Aigin joins another group of Samis and fights the Tchudes. Throughout the film, the audience gets to experience the fascinating culture of the Samis, with shamans, hunting, reindeer and the beautiful nature of Finnmark.
Eventually, Aigin becomes the hero who saves his people and in return is hailed as the new Pathfinder – a shaman leader of the Sami group by virtue of his wisdom and courage.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Although most all of the magical world around the famous wizard Harry Potter is located in England and Wales, one of the scenes was actually filmed in Norway. The Rauma railway between Bjorli and Åndalsnes Åndalsnes in Fjord Norway served as a backdrop for the train ride with Hogwarts Express through the snowy landscape in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009), the sixth instalment in the series.
By the way, the same railway is also being used in the newest Tom Cruise movie Mission: Impossible 7. The scene in which Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) and Ron (Rupert Grint) are talking about the unbreakable curse of Snap was filmed inside a museum train owned by the Norwegian Railway Club. The Rauma Railway runs all year round and is a fantastic way of experiencing the beautiful and dramatic Rauma river and the majestic Romsdalstindene mountains leading down to Romsdalsfjorden.
The Witches (1990)
While staying in a hotel in England with his grandmother Helga (Mai Zetterling), young Luke (Jasen Fisher) inadvertently spies on a convention of witches. The grand high witch (Angelica Huston) reveals a plan to turn all children into mice through a magical formula. When they find that Luke has overheard them, the witches decide to test the formula on him. Now with the help of Helga and the hotel manager, Mr Stringer (Rowan Atkinson), Luke the mouse must fight back against the witches.
The Witches is a children’s dark fantasy novel by the British writer Roald Dahl. The story and the film are set partly in England and partly in Norway. In Norway more specifically in Bergen – with lots of scenes shot in Old Bergen Museum. The Witches has just been filmed again in the US with release date 22nd October 2020. This time the film is set in rural Alabama with the cast of Anne Hathaway, Octavia Spencer and Stanley Tucci.
Norway is increasingly getting on the map as a film tourism destination, and more international productions are on the horizon.