Dwayne Johnson brings ancient history to Hungary filming Hercules
Action star Dwayne Johnson filmed his new, big-budget version of Hercules on location in Hungary. Production was based at Origo Film Studio in Budapest, a facility that offers eight separate sound stages.
“The Hercules production used four of our sound stages, the entire backlot [and] all of our workshop facilities,” explains Greg Szetlik, Vice President of Productions and Operations at Origo Film Studio, “plus additional areas within the studio boundaries for a number of different purposes such as preparing and storing props, for horse stables, for horse training, and practice areas for scenes with a large amount of extras.
“We additionally provided two floors of office space for the entire crew and Origo Catering provided meals for over a thousand people per day.”
Adds director Brett Ratner: “We were able to create incredible battle sequences on a scale I never dreamed you could shoot – let alone survive – with horses, chariots and hundreds of warriors.”
Filming locations outside the studio included Páty and Kiskunlacháza, near Budapest. Local servicing was provided by Mid Atlantic Films.
Hungary is a popular shooting location in Eastern Europe, partly because of cheaper production costs offset even further by a base filming incentive of 20%. Historic architecture in places like Budapest can help productions double for cities around the world, providing a flexible option for international producers.
Dwayne Johnson’s Hercules is just the latest big-budget historical drama to reach multiplexes, and is not even the first version of the story to be released this year, although as a star vehicle for Dwayne Johnson it arrives with the highest profile. Rival movie The Legend of Hercules was filmed in Bulgaria but was released with little fanfare in March.
Hercules has been a popular character for decades. The classic story inspired a long-running US TV series that filmed in New Zealand in the mid-90s several years before Peter Jackson helped transform the country’s industry with The Lord of the Rings.
(Photos: Kerry Brown/Paramount Pictures/Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures)
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