to the beautiful city to take advantage of the fantastic location. The cobbled streets and honeyed limestone buildings can stand in for any number of places, both real and imagined, and the area has guaranteed favorable weather conditions during the majority of the year.
The industry goes back to the 1960s when many international films were wholly or partially shot in the city. More recently, high-profile projects have brought the industry back to life, while also boosting visitor numbers to the city. Here we take a look at some of the most famous and interesting TV and movie productions that have used Dubrovnik as a location.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017)
This was the eighth instalment of the legendary franchise, and a significant portion of the movie was filmed in Dubrovnik’s old town. The city stood in for the coastal casino town of Canto Bight, on the planet Cantonica. Parts of the city underwent some temporary transformations to help it look more futuristic, although the designers used the city’s overall appearance as their inspiration. The Canto Bight scene sees protagonists Rose and Finn searching for an important contact in one of the high-end casinos in the town, only to find themselves detained and later pursued through the streets in their speeder. This central chase scene was filmed along the main street, Stradun.
The Last Jedi was instrumental in putting several locations on the tourist map. Dubrovnik had already become popular thanks to the Game of Thrones effect, but places such as the Skellig Islands in the Republic of Ireland saw a more than 50% increase in tourism after the film was released.
Game of Thrones (2011-2019)
The first season of the epic show was filmed partially on the island of Malta, but from the second season the Maltese locations were shifted to Dubrovnik and remained there until filming wrapped. All of the King’s Landing scenes took place here, and Cersei Lannister’s so-called ‘Walk of Shame’ filming spots from season 5 are popular with selfie-snapping tourists. Trsteno Arboretum, a few kilometers north of the city, stood in for the palace gardens.
It is largely thanks to the massively popular series that Dubrovnik has become a must-visit destination for many travelers. The city has at times struggled to cope with the influx, with UNESCO warning that the old town’s World Heritage Site status could be in peril. The authorities have responded by putting caps on the daily numbers permitted inside the city walls.
Robin Hood (2018)
The movie may have been a turkey, but that can’t be blamed on the locations. In this ill-conceived remake starring Taron Egerton and Jamie Foxx, Dubrovnik doubles as the Medieval town of Nottingham. Key locations were The Church of St Dominic as Nottingham Palace, and a former granary as Loxley Manor. Foxx was particularly taken with Dubrovnik, describing the city’s beauty as ‘mind-blowing’.
The 2018 version is just the latest in a long line of poor attempts to tell the story of the outlaw of legend. Ridley Scott also tried back in 2010, with Russel Crowe in the title role, but this version also flopped. Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, released in 1991, has become a cult classic thanks Kevin Costner’s appallingly American accent and Alan Rickman’s darkly comedic turn as the sadistic Sheriff of Nottingham.
Captain America (1990)
The success of the current world-dominating Marvel Cinematic Universe was by no means a foregone conclusion. Back in 1990, Marvel tried a big-screen outing for one of their less well-known characters, Captain America. This move saw Cap battling his nemesis the Red Skull in the streets of Dubrovnik, and the project was one of the last to wrap before war halted all filming for many years. The movie sank without a trace, earning back only a fraction of its modest budget. The climactic final scene took place at Lovrijenac Fortress, later to be the Red Keep in Game of Thrones.
There have been 24 movies released in the current Marvel Universe, not even counting all the various TV shows. The franchise has already used nearby Budapest in some of their movies, including some scenes in the recent Black Widow. With many more movies in the pipeline, we hope to see some Marvel stars on the streets of Dubrovnik very soon.
Succession (2018 - )
Game of Thrones in particular did a lot to put Dubrovnik and Croatia back on the map for film production. In 2019, the Emmy Award-winning series Succession visited the area to film some pivotal season 2 finale scenes in the waters off the coast. One of the areas used was Cavtat, just a few kilometers south of the city. These scenes took place on the luxury yacht of the Roy family, in an undefined Mediterranean location. The German-built vessel reportedly cost in excess of £850,000 to rent for a week of filming. While it doesn’t appear that the show used Dubrovnik itself, some scenes were filmed in other Croatian cities.
The show follows the fortunes and plots of the affluent Roy family as they vie for power within the media empire built by the ailing patriarch. Fans were overjoyed to learn that a third season had received the green light, shortly after the Croatian scenes hit the screens.
The Gamblers (1970)
This somewhat forgotten movie is included here because not only was it filmed in Dubrovnik, but it was also set there. Also, it’s another casino related movie that was quite popular in Germany. While Germans today enjoy online casinos using payment methods such as Sofort, local guides report some older tourists still ask about sites from this movie. Based on a Dostoevsky novel, the movie follows a group of card sharps who plan to hustle a wealthy stranger out of some money, with the added twist that he himself is a con artist. The movie contains the following curious line: There's an old saying in Dubrovnik: 'When you're swimming with the barracudas you'd better have sharp teeth, a sharper chick and $250,000 for bait.' It seems unlikely that anyone has ever said these words outside of the context of this movie, but it’s always nice for Dubrovnik to make it into a movie quote.