Marvel’s Captain America doubles Manchester and Liverpool for New York City
Period cars and decor came to Manchester and Liverpool for the filming of Marvel’s comic book adaptation Captain America: The First Avenger. Much of the film was shot in the UK, with Stanley Dock in Liverpool and Dale Street in Manchester’s Northern Quarter doubling for 1940s New York City.
The film was based at Pinewood and Shepperton in the UK and the production team looked all over Europe for additional filming locations before settling on Manchester and Liverpool.
Liverpool’s Stanley Dock is the city's only inland dock and is also the world’s largest red-brick building. For Captain America the production team did a month’s preparation for a five-day shoot that included tidying up the location and reflagging it with York stone.
Stanley Dock is undeveloped and has a distinctive 1850s Victorian look with broken windows and cobbles. As a red-brick building it convinces as New York with little effort and as it’s an inland dock it’s easy to lock it down for filming purposes.
Lynn Saunders, Liverpool Film Office
Lynn Saunders, Manager of the Liverpool Film Office, said: “Stanley Dock is undeveloped and has a distinctive 1850s Victorian look with broken windows and cobbles. As a red-brick building it convinces as New York with little effort and as it’s an inland dock it’s easy to lock it down for filming purposes. Also there’s lots of space for unit parking, it’s easy to divert traffic around it and it’s not a main waterway artery either.”
Stanley Dock’s other recent claim to fame is that it was used in Guy Richie’s Sherlock Holmes for a dramatic slow-motion sequence where Holmes and his friends trigger an explosive booby trap. For Captain America it became a New York submarine dock. It’s the first time the area’s been used to double for a location in the US.
Manchester’s Dale Street (pictured above during filming) has a pretty similar look to Stanley Dock and is only 40 minutes from Liverpool so it was convenient for the film’s two-unit shoot. The street needed three weeks of preparation, with an alternative road surface laid to better fit the Big Apple setting. British street lights were also removed and New York City fire hydrants were among the items brought in as set dressing. There were also the all-important smoking manhole covers that make New York streets distinctive.
Bobby Cochrane, Film Office Manager at Vision+Media in Salford Quays, said: “We always work very closely with the Greater Manchester police and local highways agency, but for Captain America things were slightly trickier as Manchester was host to the Labour Party Conference at the same time. The scenes that were shot were car chases and required several controlled explosions, which obviously would have raised a few alarms!”
For Captain America things were slightly trickier as Manchester was host to the Labour Party Conference at the same time. The scenes that were shot were car chases and required several controlled explosions.
Bobby Cochrane, Vision+Media
Louis D'Esposito, the film’s Executive Producer, said: “We are delighted and proud to have shot Captain America: The First Avenger in the UK. In particular, we would like to thank those individuals and organisations whose help has been invaluable in facilitating our filming requests in Manchester and Liverpool.”
Stanley Dock images courtesy of Paul McMullen.
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