With Australia’s film industry growing in recent years, our nation has finally been put on the Hollywood map.

With a solid history of cult classics and a flourishing performing arts scene, Australia is quickly becoming a leading hub for big budget films. Thanks to generous government grants and state-of-the-art facilities, major studios are increasingly opting to shoot in the eastern states rather than the usual Hollywood locales. Here’s a list of both recent and upcoming Hollywood films you may not have known were shot right here in Australia!

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017)

Making waves as the largest cinematic production to be produced on Australian soil at the time, the Pirates of the Caribbean’s latest instalment Dead Men Tell No Tales spent years stalling in script and budgetary issues before finally beginning production after a $20 million boost from the Australian government. Filming around Queensland’s suburbs and coast, Pirates gave the state’s economy a windfall of $100 million and showcased just how photogenic Australia’s landscapes could be.

The Gold Coast proved itself to be the perfect backdrop for a new Pirates of the Caribbean

Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

The film that resurrected the Thor franchise and made Taika Waititi a global name, Thor: Ragnarok was shot almost entirely in Queensland’s impressive Village Roadshow Studios and locations around the state. In filming, Waititi not only gave the local economy a well-needed boost, but prioritised hiring Indigenous Australians and New Zealanders as crew. Ragnarok had a global gross of US$854 million and showed that Australia could be the backdrop for one of the world’s biggest cinematic universes.

Mount Tamborine in Queensland was the backdrop for the Asgardian forest

Aquaman (2018)

Perth-raised director James Wan made Australia the stage for this vibrant, big-budget film telling the story of Atlantis’ missing king. While additional footage was shot internationally, most cinematography took place on the Gold Coast and opened almost 600 jobs to locals. Aquaman became DC’s highest-grossing film to date, not only securing the franchise a sequel planned for 2022, but a horror spin-off called The Trench.

You’ll find this picture-perfect view (and Aquaman’s childhood home) at Hastings Point, NSW

Mortal Kombat (2021)

While video game film adaptions have previously seen a less than stellar reception, the cinematic reboot of the arcade classic Mortal Kombat is already more faithful than its predecessor, with executives promising to bring the fatalities the series is infamous for to the big screen. Helmed by horror experts Atomic Monster Productions, viewers can anticipate the same terrifying ambience seen in previous flicks The Nun and Annabelle. Shot around Adelaide and South Australia late last year, expect to see it hit screens in January 2021.

Mortal Kombat has come a long way from its humble (but gory) beginnings

Elvis (2021)

Anticipation is high for iconic Aussie director Baz Luhrmann’s next project, the Elvis Presley biopic. The film already holds a bankable cast, including Tom Hanks as Col. Tom Parker and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’s Austin Butler as the titular rock and roll legend. Filming began in an undisclosed Australian location in January, but only time will tell where and how the movie will play out. Stay tuned its release October next year.

Will the Elvis movie find the same success as Bohemian Rhapsody and Rocketman?

Thanks to Australia’s naturally gorgeous landscapes and an increase in government spending, more and more production crews are flocking Down Under to film their next blockbuster. With an incredible line-up of Australia-made films gracing the big screen next year, the future of our film industry is looking bright, so keep an eye out for familiar locations next time you head to the cinemas!


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