Inspired by true events, ‘Heist 88,’ a Menhaj Huda directorial, is a biographical crime drama film that centers upon a criminal mastermind by the name of Jeremy Horne who has a gift to convince anyone to do just about anything. Right when he is on the brink of going to prison, he decides to pull one of the biggest heists in the history of the USA. After having plotted and planned the bank heist, he goes on to recruit four young employees of the same bank that he plans to rob in an attempt to steal around $80 million dollars and make a mockery of and assault the country’s banking system.
The story is set in 1988, before the widespread computerization and the vast cybersecurity of the modern world, and takes place in the heart of Chicago, Illinois. Given the usage of some interesting locations, including the Chicago National Bank and the place where Jeremy and his crew plan the heist, in the apt setting, the viewers are bound to wonder if ‘Heist 88’ was shot on location in Chicago or not. Well, if you are curious to know about that too, we have got you covered!
Where Was Heist 88 Filmed?
‘Heist 88’ was filmed in Illinois, particularly in the Chicago metropolitan area. As per reports, the production on the heist film got underway in early August 2022 and continued for about 23 days of shooting, before getting wrapped up in early September of the same year. Without wasting any time, let’s navigate all the specific locations where the robbers plan and commit the heist in the Menhaj Huda directorial!
Chicago Metropolitan Area, Illinois
Since the story is set in Chicago, as mentioned above, and is inspired by true events, the production team supposedly wanted to keep things as authentic as possible, even some of the filming sites. Thus, a majority of the shooting for ‘Heist 88’ took place in the Chicago metropolitan area AKA Chicagoland, a metropolitan area consisting of the city of Chicago and its surrounding suburbs and satellite cities. This is evident in the various aerial and exterior shots of Chicago, which also features Chicago O’Hare International Airport at 10000 West Balmoral Avenue in the city of Chicago.
However, the interior scenes of the main international airport that serves Chi-town were probably not shot on location. Instead, they might have utilized the facilities of the Cinespace Chicago Film Studios, which served as the primary production location for ‘Heist 88.’ Situated at 2621 West 15th Plaza in the city of Chicago, the film studio complex consists of 36 active sound stages sprawling across its 1.6 million square feet over two campuses, exclusive on-lot vendors, premium production services, and top-tier security.
While the scenes involving the First National Bank of Chicago were recorded in a building in Chicago, the hotel scenes where the crew plotted the robbery were seemingly taped in a hotel. In real life, they used to meet at a Quality Inn on Chicago’s west side. From the looks of it, Northerly Island served as one of the filming sites too. The aerial and establishing shots of the city of Chicago also feature in a number of sequences, which means you are likely to spot several local buildings and landmarks, such as Chicago Lake, Navy Pier, the Art Institute of Chicago, Buckingham Fountain, and the Chicago Water Tower, in the backdrop of a few scenes.
In a September 2023 interview with EURweb, the screenwriter of ‘Heist 88,’ Dwayne Johnson-Cochran, was asked about how Chicago adds to the narrative. He said, “This story, you really couldn’t really make this film anywhere else because what Chicago was going through in 1988… And, as I mentioned earlier, we had a very popular mayor who died in 1987. And this took place about six to eight months later. Chicago is a racially divided city. Chicago is a have-and-have-not city. Chicago is a city where Black folks and Brown folks and white folks tend to stay away from each other, at least they did in ’88. And I think now in 2023, there’s probably a little bit more hope that maybe the violence that people say it’s in Chicago can be a little bit put to the side.”
Dwayne further expanded, “And then there’s a bit of a political element here. It’s very subtle, but you’ll feel it. And when you do feel it, only people from Chicago understand what I’m talking about. So it’s in there, it’s laid in there in the story, it’s laid in there in the way the characters interact with each other. It’s a subtle bit of texture that I wanted to put into the story, and also into the visuals.”
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