Over the last two weeks or so, Dubrovnik has slowly become Nottingham. The reason for this is the filming of the new Robin Hood: Origins, starring Jamie Foxx, Jamie Dornan and Taron Egerton, produced by, among others, Leonardo DiCaprio. The two Jamies are enjoying their time in our city, tweeting about it and uploading pictures on Instagram.
The locals are happy too, or so it seems. The production has awoken the city from its winter sleep and many people found jobs as extras on the set, prop designers, painters, carpenters or as security. This again will be a big promotion for Dubrovnik all over the world. But how did it come to this? When did Dubrovnik become a desirable place for Hollywood productions?
It would be wrong to assume that it started with Game of Thrones. HBO chose Dubrovnik back in 2011 to film their super-popular TV series. They’ve been filming ever since, and this has attracted other filmmakers who suddenly realized what great opportunity lies in this remote Croatian coastal town.
As a result of that, more and more bigger productions showed interest in filming here which culminated in March of last year when parts of Star Wars Episode VIII were filmed. Last year our city doubled as a space port in a galaxy far away, this year it doubles as Nottingham, England. People seem to forget that movies were made in Dubrovnik long before and that this city does have a rich history in cinematography. True, the movies that were filmed here back in the sixties and seventies weren’t exactly blockbusters with huge budgets that we’re seeing today, but they still had charm.
Now, where is Dubrovnik in all that? Not as a place that serves as a substitute for a different time and place, but really as the main star of every movie. Think about it, in Game of Thrones Dubrovnik became King’s Landing, last year it was in a remote galaxy and now it’s medieval Nottingham. When will our city be the true star of a movie?
Rumor has it that the new James Bond might be filmed here. We can hardly wait, but at the same time, we’re kind of frustrated that the producers and the script writers might change it into an unknown city with some random action scenes. Wouldn’t it be cool if James Bond was actually in Dubrovnik, as part of the plot, and had a chase sequence over the city walls, jumping up and down on the red roofs of the Old Town, escaping from the bad guys and finally, meeting with the Bond girl as the camera takes in the view of the Old Town at sunset?
If Venice or Santorini can be attractive to script writers, we don’t see why Dubrovnik couldn’t be. The movie industry likes Dubrovnik, but for the time being, only as a set, as an artificial location where it’s possible to create something imaginary. Hopefully, one day there will be a movie, political thriller, blockbuster action or historical, doesn’t matter really, that will show Dubrovnik as the true star. This city definitely deserves it.