London on Film

World famous and instantly recognisable, many of London's landmarks have featured prominently on film throughout the years. Alongside Big Ben and the streets of Notting Hill, many of the capital's office buildings have been used as filming locations. With architecture that spans centuries, interiors and exteriors of these architectural wonders are used as settings for all genres of movies and television programmes that are set in contemporary times as well as periods throughout history.

Along with being one of London's most sought-after addresses for businesses, Canary Wharf has been the backdrop for some of the most popular films of recent years. The financial and business hub is home to some of London's tallest buildings, including One Canada Square. The 244-metre skyscraper was the headquarters of village Sauvage, played by John Malkovich, in the 2003 comedy Johnny English. The tower was also the setting for Torchwood Towers on the BBC's Doctor Who and is often featured on The Apprentice. Canary Wharf was also used as the CIA's monitoring station in London for Matt Damon's 2004 thriller The Bourne Supremacy. The foyer of 20 Canada Square was also where the New Year's Eve party scene in Alfie, a 2004 film that starred Jude Law and Sienna Miller. Canada Wharf was also used as a filming location for the Fast and Furious 6, which featured Vin Diesel, Paul Walker and Dwayne Johnson in lead roles. Other films that have includes exterior or internal shots of steel and glass office towers at Canary Wharf include 28 Days Later, Batman Begins, Basic Instinct 2, The Constant Gardener, and The World is Not Enough.

The City's eclectic mix of office buildings are also popular as filming locations. The iconic 'Gherkin', more formally called the Swiss Re Tower at 30 St Mary Axe, was the setting for the fight scene between Thor and Malekith in Thor: The Dark World. Released in 2013, the film starred Chris Hemsworth in the title role. Build between 2005 and 2009, the 161-metre Broadgate Tower was used for the blockbuster hit Skyfall (2012). The twenty-third film used the skyscraper as a stand-in for an office building in Shanghai. City Gate House is the London offices for Bloomberg News, but in the 2015 science fiction films Ex Machina the building serves as the BlueBook offices. In A Good Year (2006) it was used as the office of Max Skinner, who was played by Russell Crowe. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) used several office buildings in Central London as filming locations, including 20 Gresham Street and One New Change. Known as the Inside Out Building, the Lloyd's building was also used for Guardians of the Galaxy. Completed in 1986, the listed building was also used for the television programme Ashes to Ashes (2008), Mamma Mia! (2008), Spy Game (2001), Entrapment (1999), and several other films.

Outside of The City and Canary Wharf, offices throughout London are also sought after by filming scouts for movies and television programmes. Two Kingdom Street opposite Paddington Station was used as the CIA Offices in Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation (2015). The 118-metre Millbank Tower in Westminster was featured in The Vault of Horror (1973), where characters were trapped in a lift. It was also a filming location for Doctor Who. Although buildings in The City and Canary Wharf often offer instantly recognisable views of London's landmarks and skyline, giving viewers an immediate sense of place. This is just one of the reasons they are sought after by productions. Many disused office buildings are also sought after as filming locations. Regardless of the genre and period the film or movie takes place, there's an office building exterior or interior in London that helps bring scripts to life.