Sunday, 29 April 2018

Avengers Infinity War - On Location in Edinburgh

Avengers Infinity War is the culmination of ten years and eighteen films of the Marvel Studios and you can read my full 5 star review here that is more glowing than a fistful of infinity stones.
The film's release this weekend is a cinematic event of monumental scale and looks set to have box office records falling before it faster than War Machine out of the sky after being blasted by Vision.
Wind the clock back a year to a cold, dark night in Edinburgh in early April, where hundreds of Marvel fans were patiently camped out on the Royal Mile for a glimpse of some action.

Yes, the Marvel Cinematic Universe had come to Scotland.
Edinburgh was chosen by directors the Russo Brothers as the only location outside of their Atlanta base for filming Infinity War and Marvel Studios spent six weeks in the Capital doing night shoots for a major sequence involving Scarlet Witch and Vision.
Not only was there a night shoot taking place on the Royal Mile and inside Waverley Station but the team took over a hanger at Leith harbour and turned it into a makeshift sound studio for filming.
Reports estimate that the shoot brought in around £10 million to the local economy and furthers the argument for Scotland to have its own proper film studio.
During April, Twitter was alive with rumoured sightings around town of Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany and Chris Evans. Anthony Mackie's Falcon had flown the coop to St. Andrews for a round of golf and Team Thor (Hemsworth, Ruffalo and Tessa Thompson) were spotted at the Waldorf Astoria.
So enamoured with the city was co-director Joe Russo, he returned during the world press tour to screen 20 minutes of footage to a hugely appreciative crowd of fans. Full report here.
With the plot kept a complete secret until the film was released, fans were left to wildly theorise and speculate as to the plot of the sequence shot in Edinburgh.
Based on what was seen, it appeared as though Scarlet Witch and Vision were hiding out in Edinburgh following the events of Captain America: Civil War. They seek to fan the flames of their burgeoning  relationship when they are attacked by Thanos's Black Order, looking to reclaim the Mind Stone.

*Mild spoiler warning - the plot of Avengers: Infinity War will be briefly discussed from this point but nothing that is not already featured in the trailers*

Upon seeing the film, this is pretty much how this storyline plays out but with the addition of Steve Rogers, Black Widow and Falcon arriving to save the day.

What is immediately noticeable to anyone from Edinburgh, is how geographically accurate the sequence is. The action flows from Cockburn Street up to the Royal Mile before heading back down the road to Waverley Station. This level of accuracy is something that T2 Trainspotting could not even achieve!

So if you want to visit the "set" of Avengers Infinity War, here are the spots to go:

Miss Katie Cupcake, 52 Cockburn Street, Edinburgh

Don’t worry if you don’t immediately recognise the location because Miss Katie Cupcake, a vintage inspired store, was transformed into Hüsnü Kebab House for the purposes of filming.

This is where Vision and Scarlet Witch stop to discuss their relationship. Probably before sampling some of that Avengers-favourite schwarma or the Scottish twist on the delicacy - the deep fried kebab - pay attention for the sign in the window.

Laila's Bistro, 63 Cockburn Street, Edinburgh

Scarlet Witch is sent flying through the window of this Mediterranean bistro by Proxima Midnight before returning to save Vision as Glaive attempts to remove the Mind Stone rather forcibly.

St. Giles' Cathedral, High Street, Edinburgh

Located on the High Street on the Royal Mile, St. Giles' is the historic city church of Edinburgh. Some of the fight scene between Vision, Corvus Glaive and Scarlet Witch takes place upon the top of the Cathedral.

City Chambers, High Street, Edinburgh

Down on the street below the Cathedral, Proxima Midnight and Scarlet Witch go one on one outside the City Chambers, resulting in the spectacular explosion that featured in the above video.

Waverley Rail Station, Edinburgh

The site of the biggest night shoot for filming, the attempt to retrieve the Mind Stone from Vision's head climaxes inside Edinburgh's main railway station and sees the appearance of Captain America's beard (no, not Sharon Carter!), Black Widow and Falcon to turn the tide and save the day.

An area towards the rear of the station next to Platform 20 was cordoned off for the duration of filming. A green screen was installed along with a fake coffee shop that could and would be destroyed in the fight.


For those wanting to recreate the moment Steve Rogers emerges from the shadows, you will need to hop over to Platform 1 and look for the third alcove which has some graffiti and a mark on a brick that makes it easier to identify.

The station has installed a couple of standing screens displaying photographs from the filming plus video and still images from the final film to allow fans to check out exactly where the shots were taken. That way you can recreate the scenes from the movie using cosplay, LEGO figures or just yourself.

So there you have it. complete guide to the Edinburgh locations featured in Avengers Infinity War. We'll just all have to wait and see if there is a deleted post-credit scene where Thanos goes for a deep fried kebab to celebrate a job well done!