For the discerning film fan, look no further for your holiday destination than Malta and her sister isle of Gozo. Throughout cinematic history, countless film productions have flocked to Maltese shores to use the island’s beautiful landscapes and crystal clear blue sea as their locations.
Here’s some of the most famous movies or television series that were shot in Malta and Gozo, so that film fanatics can walk in the footsteps of their screen heroes whilst on holiday here in the ‘Hollywood of the Mediterranean’.
Game of Thrones (2011-present)
Almost the entire first season of the smash-hit HBO series ‘Game of Thrones’ was shot using the spectacular scenery of Malta and Gozo as its backdrop. From the former capital ‘Silent City’ of Mdina doubling up as King’s Landing to Fort Ricasoli, which served as the Red Keep, you are spoilt for choice for where to start. Fortunately, there is even a popular Game of Thrones tour which will guide you through all the show’s locations, led by actors who featured in the series itself.
Russell Crowe’s famed turn as Maximus Decimus Meridius mostly took place in the Maltese port of Kalkara, where the production crew rebuilt the ancient ruins of the Roman Collossuem in Fort Ricasoli. Couvre Porte in Birgu, a complex gateway structure into the city originally called Vittoriosa, was also used in the film.
Making use of Fort Ricasoli in Kalkara yet again (spot the pattern here?), ‘Troy’ starred Brad Pitt, Eric Bana, Orlando Bloom and Sean Bean in another epic movie to make full use of the splendour of Malta. The stunning Blue Lagoon on the isle of Comino and the sea on the shoreline of Mellieha are repeatedly used as backdrops to the action.
A classic cartoon brought to the big screen, featuring Robin Williams and Shelley Duvall. Although the film itself was received to mixed reviews, the custom-built set in Malta survives to this day as a family fun park known as Popeye Village. Also referred to as Sweethaven Village, the collection of rustic wooden buildings and decking is located at the picturesque Anchor Bay, near Mellieha.
The Count of Monte Cristo (2002)
This faithful adaptation of the classic Alexandre Dumas novel is essentially a showcase for Malta’s stunning scenery as being enviable film locations. With Comino Tower as the fortified prison, Château d’If, Valletta as Marseille, and Mdina doubling as Venice, you can retrace the steps of the film’s lead Jim Caviezel and explore the best that Malta has to offer.
World War Z (2013)
Another Brad Pitt-starring epic, this time with zombies, Malta’s capital city Valletta features prominently in ‘World War Z’. Doubling as Jerusalem in the movie, Valletta is seen through many aerial shots and the famous zombie-pile-up scenes take place in some of the city’s stepped back streets and at the stunning Fort St Elmo. Meanwhile the crowded refugee checkpoint in the film is Wine Wharf, ‘Xatt L-Ghassara Ta’ L-Gheneb’ in Marsa.
Do you know about any other films made in Malta? Let us know in the comments below!