Presumed Innocent: All Filming Locations of the Apple TV+ Show

‘Presumed Innocent’ is an Apple TV+ mystery drama that follows prosecutor Rusty Sabich as he is investigated for the murder of a colleague. Created by David E. Kelley and based on the 1987 novel of the same name by Scott Turow, the show transports us to the gritty urban cityscape of Chicago, where a gruesome murder rattles the prosecuting attorney’s office.

Rusty becomes a prime suspect in the murder as his affair with the victim comes to light, casting a shadow over his marriage and family life. While Rusty insists upon his innocence, he has to fight on the other side of the courtroom to prove it. Rusty’s predicament is framed by somber streets and the looming skyscrapers of Chicago, which are clouded in a haze not dissimilar to the one hanging over his innocence.

Where is Presumed Innocent Filmed?

Filming for ‘Presumed Innocent’ primarily takes place around Los Angeles and Pasadena, California. A cursory shoot is carried out in Chicago, Illinois, to capture most of the city’s exteriors and some establishing shots seen in the show. Principal photography began in February 2023 and was wrapped up for the first season by the end of the year. The production was hindered by the 2023 SAG-AFTRA strike, which served to delay the completion of filming for the first season. Once the strike was over, cast and crew members took to social media to share their positive and educational experiences working with some of the finest minds in the industry.

Los Angeles, California

The City of Angels and its surrounding areas serve as the major shooting locations for ‘Presumed Innocent.’ Filming properties and on-location sites are employed to capture many of the environments seen in the show. Lead actor Jake Gyllenhaal was spotted on set in a suburban LA neighborhood as shooting began on February 1, 2023. Further filming was carried out in downtown Los Angeles, which stands in for the bustling metropolis of Chicago.

Los Angeles’ film-friendly policies and experienced crews further facilitated the smooth production of ‘Presumed Innocent.’ It was among the first new TV series accepted into the California Film Commission’s tax credit program since 2019, alongside projects like HBO’s ‘The Sympathizer,’ Netflix’s ‘The Residence,’ WB Discovery’s ‘My Glory,’ and ‘Star Wars: Skeleton Crew.’ Despite the challenges posed by the 2023 SAG-AFTRA strike, the cast and crew adapted and made efficient use of their time in LA, ensuring that the city played a crucial role in bringing the story’s urban intensity to life.

When asked about the behind-the-scenes atmosphere, actress Nana Mensah said, “The cast contains a lot of theater people. I think theater people are used to going for broke every night, 8 shows a week. So nobody slacked. Everyone brought their vitality, ideas, and ingenuity to their characters and to the scenes. It was a wonderful space to play.” Her co-star, O-T Fagbenle, compared their courtroom set to a theater, which created a perfect dynamic for their performances.

Pasadena, California

Situated northeast of downtown Los Angeles, Pasadena served as another key filming location for ‘Presumed Innocent,’ offering a range of picturesque and versatile settings that complement the show’s dramatic narrative. Known as the Crown of the Valley, the city is a frequent filming destination for production crews. Its Craftsman-style homes provided a distinct backdrop for scenes around Rusty’s neighborhood, contrasting the dark cityscape and adding a layer of cinematic gravitas.

Interior scenes, including those set in more intimate or domestic environments, were filmed in Pasadena’s elegant homes and office buildings. Pasadena’s unique architectural styles provide a versatile backdrop for a variety of film genres. Its Iconic landmarks, versatile filming properties, and eclectic neighborhoods have become recognizable features in many films and shows like Netflix’s ‘You,’ ‘Mad Men,’ CBS’s ‘Ghosts,’ and ‘Disturbia.’

Chicago, Illinois

Although the primary filming for ‘Presumed Innocent’ took place in California, for the first season, the production team spent a few crucial days capturing exterior shots and establishing scenes in Chicago to ensure the series’ authenticity to the novel’s setting. A second production unit traveled to The Windy City in late November and rolled cameras on its iconic skyline and urban environments. Lead actors, including Jake Gyllenhaal, did not make the trip, and the team consisted largely of camera crew members.

In addition to city backdrops, the team makes an effort to recreate the feel of Chicago in its judicial system and trials. “Ultimately, state-to-state things are different, but the trials that we are dealing with in the show are pretty standard with the exception of variations of how the court is set,” said Gyllenhaal in an interview. “In terms of why the show is so great, it’s because it’s set in Chicago… Chicago is a fantastic city; it is the best.”

Read More: Is Presumed Innocent Based on a True Story?