Netflix’s Supacell: Exploring All Filming Locations

The Netflix sci-fi show, ‘Supacell,’ stands out in the genre with its unique blend of superpowers and relationship drama. Created by rapper and showrunner Andrew Onwubolu, popularly known as Rapman, the series follows five young South Londoners who suddenly gain extraordinary abilities. Tosin Cole appears in the lead role of Michael Lasaki, a delivery driver who discovers he can move through time. His newfound abilities set him on a mission to prevent the impending death of his lover, Dionne (Adelayo Adedayo). As various threats keep knocking on their doors, each of the five heroes, unaware of the others at first, ultimately unite to save her life over the course of six gripping episodes.

While ‘Supacell’ is firmly rooted in the realm of science fiction, it also serves as a nuanced social commentary on Black culture and the challenges faced by minorities. The show does not merely focus on the fantastical elements of superpowers but also dives into the deeper issues of identity, community, and resilience. The authenticity and depth of these themes are amplified by the show’s setting and visual style. Unlike many CGI-heavy productions in the genre, ‘Supacell’ opts for real-world surroundings, enhancing the narrative and resonating with viewers, who can’t help but wonder where such action-packed sequences are shot.

Where is Supacell Filmed?

‘Supacell’ is set and filmed in South London, with all five main characters hailing from this diverse part of the city. Filming began on July 4, 2022, and wrapped up on December 10, 2022, all within various locations in London. The commitment to grounded, land-based action over CGI-induced scenes in the open sky lends an authentic feel to the series. The production highlighted numerous Black neighborhoods in London, often overlooked in mainstream media, bringing these locales into the spotlight.

The choice to shoot in London — one of the biggest cities in the world — lays the foundation of the series that transcends the usual associations of its southern with gangs, crime, and violence. Instead, it showcases the region’s rich cultural tapestry and everyday heroism. The production team made deliberate choices to enhance the visual representation of Black skin, employing the latest Arri 35 camera, which was used for the first time in the UK on this show.

Director of Photography Aaron Reid highlighted the camera’s capability to avoid overexposing highlights, ensuring that the predominantly Black cast’s skin tones were captured beautifully. Adding to the cultural richness of ‘Supacell,’ the series features cameos from prominent UK hip-hop artists such as drill artist Digga D and grime artist Ghetts. These appearances enhance the narrative and underscore the show’s connection to the vibrant South London music scene, the home to these subgenres.

London, England

‘Supacell’ was thoroughly filmed in London, primarily in its southern boroughs. Peckham — the vibrant district in the London Borough of Southwark — was among the most significant filming locations within the city. Its crowded streets and diverse populace added an authentic backdrop for various scenes, reinforcing the show’s South London roots. Some of the major spots in this region include the railway bridge at Rye Lane, near the Peckham Rye train station.

While in Southwark, the eastern neighborhood of Bermondsey was also explored and included in several scenes. Deptford High Street at the major locale of Deptford — situated adjacent to the southeast bank of Thames — contributed to the series’ depth. Rapman particularly sought to represent the gritty and real-world essence of his birthplace, which, in his growing years, was often at gang wars with Peckham.

Arriving at Roehampton, the southwest portion of the city, the production team captured several sequences at Alton Estate, a residential development property at Highcliffe Drive, known for its modern architecture. Thamesmead, the quiet residential area known for its lakes intersecting canals and riverside Thames Path, provided an atmospheric setting. Often occupied with cyclists, these streets — particularly during the night — were transitioned from calm and relaxing to chaotic and troublesome, reflecting the turmoil the heroes face.

One notable scene where the heroes showcase their powers was filmed on Saint James Street, in front of Lilywhites at 24-36 Regent Street, a busy shopping area. This scene stands out due to its setting amidst the throng of shoppers, highlighting the extraordinary events happening in broad daylight in an otherwise mundane environment. In a similar manner, King William Street, another highly crowded urban area, appears in the show.

The decision to shoot on location rather than relying heavily on CGI grounds the fantastical elements of the series in reality, making the extraordinary powers of the characters feel more immediate and real. However, Ealing Studios was called in for the more CGI-bound sequences. While most locations mentioned above were used for action-packed showdowns, the well-known hangout spot, Burgess Park, served as the romantic backdrop for a date between Michael and Dionne, subtly echoing the feel-good themes of love and connection amidst the otherworldly plots of ‘Supacell.’

In a featurette, Rapman shared his motivation for setting and filming ‘Supacell’ in London. He revealed how growing up in the city, he often felt that the stories he watched on screen could never happen in his own surroundings. This inspired him to not only set the story in South London but also to film on location, ensuring that the series felt authentic and relatable. While greenscreens were used for certain sequences and post-production edits, these were reserved for impractical and sci-fi elements, not for the actual locations.

Rapman also told IBC that he wanted to showcase his neighborhood’s varied culture, deviating from the usual stereotypical direction. “It was really important that it didn’t come across doom and gloomy like a lot of shows in the UK. I wanted it to be colorful and for people to really know how vibrant South London is,” he said. In another featurette, editor Shannon Connelan also empathized South London is itself a character of ‘Supacell.’

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