Written by on Jan 15, 2014. Posted in Production News

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit uses UK filming incentives to double Moscow

New spy thriller Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit used the UK’s generous filming incentives and doubled parts of London and Liverpool for Russia. The film is the latest reboot of the franchise featuring CIA agent Jack Ryan, who first appeared nearly 25 years ago in The Hunt for Red October.

Kenneth Branagh directs the new movie and also co-stars as the villain in a story which follows Chris Pine's Jack Ryan as a young agent attempting to foil a plot perpetrated against the US by Branagh's sinister Russian businessman. Limited shooting took place in Moscow, but the UK was a more practical filming location.

“Moscow is an amazing city, but it's a challenge to work in because it’s so big and so spread out,” Branagh told reporters during the London shoot.

“Some of what we wanted, which is the brilliantly noisy architecture of Moscow - lots of buildings going up and the sense of the city being transformed - we felt that we could get in some parts of the city of London and get the scale. And some visual effects would also allow us to create some of what we had to do ourselves.”

Available filming incentive support was a major part of the location decision, with shooting taking place at Pinewood Studios and Leavesden, as well as on location in London.

“We needed a place where perhaps, frankly, we could benefit from the tax rebates and we were pointed in all sorts of directions,” Branagh added: “You make a film nowadays and of course everybody is going to knock on your door, from New Orleans to Montreal to the Isle of Man."

Moscow is an amazing city, but it's a challenge to work in because it’s so big and so spread out.

Kenneth Branagh, Director

“There are advantageous conditions here, plus London has big-city DNA [and] big-city architecture, and that was important for us," he added: "We were able to also go to Liverpool, [which] was once the most important city in the world for a short time when it was the centre of the shipping industry and various trades so that was able to provide us with some old Imperial Moscow that, frankly, is gone.”

Moscow is frequently recreated elsewhere in more film-friendly parts of Europe. Bruce Willis’ action sequel A Good Day to Die Hard was set in the Russian capital but filmed almost entirely on location in Budapest.

(Images: Paramount Pictures)


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