8 huge movies you may not have known were filmed in Ireland
We've put this list together because one of the blockbusters was released in cinemas 20 years ago today.
Everyone has an uncle's neighbour's cousin who worked on the set of Braveheart or Star Wars: The Force Awakens or Saving Private Ryan. We all know about those already.
Hollywood continues to come to Ireland to film their huge productions, with upcoming releases like Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves, Disenchanted and Cocaine Bear having recently filmed here.
However, there are some big movies that you might not have realised filmed some or all of their scenes here, starting with...
REIGN OF FIRE
Released in cinemas on 12 July 2002, this post-apocalyptic action-thriller featured Matthew McConaughey, Christian Bale and Gerard Butler battling a flock of huge dragons. The movie's action is set in a destroyed London, but actually filmed in the Wicklow Mountains, however an outbreak of foot and mouth disease across Europe resulted in a curtailed shooting schedule.
MARLEY & ME
During the honeymoon scene where Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston claim to be going to Ireland, they actually did go to Ireland! Filmed in and around Ballynahinch Castle in Connemara, the locals in 2008 would've spotted maybe the biggest TV star in the world caught in sheep traffic.
THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO
Another 2002 release (it may have been shooting Ireland alongside Reign Of Fire), this Jim Caviezel/Guy Pearce historical drama was mostly filmed in Malta, but did have some very important scenes - including the action climax - filmed in Ireland, specifically in Wicklow and Meath.
HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE
The only scenes within the entirety of the Harry Potter franchise not to be filmed within the UK took place for this movie. For the scenes before Harry and Dumbledore enter the cave in search for Horcruxes, the exterior of the cave was filmed at the Cliffs Of Moher in Clare.
THE PRINCESS BRIDE
One of the most beloved fantasy movies of all time, the movie actually shares something in common with the above Harry Potter movie, in that it also filmed a pivotal scene by the Cliffs of Moher. Remember the scene taking place around the Cliffs of Insanity? Yep, that was also just off the coast of Clare.
Anne Hathaway's much-loved family-friendly fairytale was actually a big box office flop upon release, but remains well-remembered to this day. Set in the fictional world of Lamia, all of the internal scenes were filmed in Ardmore Studios, while the external scenes were captured in some of the estates and mountains around Wicklow.
THE ITALIAN JOB
Not the all-star remake, but the 1969 original. While we see a London prison as the exterior for where some of the career criminals are released from at the beginning of the movie, the interiors were actually filmed in Kilmainham Gaol in Dublin.
One of our favourite movies of 2022 so far, the movie was supposed to film more scenes in Iceland, but due to Covid restrictions, director Robert Eggers remained in Antrim to film the majority of the viking epic. So if you spotted the absolute hulking mass that is Alexander Skarsgard around Larne in early 2020, now you know why.