A creation of Zak Penn, the man behind ‘Ready Player One’ and ‘Last Action Hero,’ MGM+’s ‘Beacon 23’ is a science fiction thriller series based on Hugh Howey’s serialized short stories of the same name. Set in the furthest reaches of the Milkyway Galaxy, Beacon 23 is the lone space station that effectively serves as a lighthouse for ships venturing into the great unknown. Aster (Lena Headey), a government agent on an inquisitorial mission to the beacon, finds herself waking up on the station, having no memory of recent events.
Halan (Stephan James), the solitary operator of the beacon, informs Aster of the ship’s crash but remains opaque when questioned further by her, as does she when asked about her reason for being there. Their mind games are put on hold as they prepare to combat raiders, who board the station setting their sights on something valuable hidden within it. If the stunning exoplanetary backdrop of ‘Beacon 23’ makes you curious as to where it is filmed, you are not alone.
Beacon 23 is Shot in Toronto
‘Beacon 23’ is filmed in several locations within the province of Ontario, specifically in the provincial capital city of Toronto. As per reports, though the filming for the psychological thriller series was slated to commence in 2021, it was marred by a series of hindrances. As a result, the production of season 1 finally began on April 19, 2022, and concluded over seven months later by December 7, 2022. Just a few months into the shooting of the inaugural iteration, the show was renewed for season 2. Interestingly, it has been revealed that the filming for season 2 wrapped up on July 2, 2023.
The filming for ‘Beacon 23’ extensively takes place in Toronto, the most populous city in the Great White North, which is home to its largest filming studio complex. The city’s sprawling metropolis, the core of skyscrapers, a smattering of parks, and diverse maritime scenery make it an attractive destination for filmmakers across the globe. For taping several sequences of seasons 1 and 2, the cast and crew members visited the beach, presumably simulating the alien waters of the planet seen in the show. In the Fall of 2022, Stephan James and Ben Cain were spotted shooting on set, positioned to have waters of the Atlantic Ocean as a backdrop.
Lena Headey with Marc Menchaca and her Beacon 23 co-stars in Toronto via @/tashamum on IG pic.twitter.com/vKKSrLWoEo
— Lena Headey Updates (@stan__lena) November 19, 2022
To capture scenes on the space station, a set was created at Pinewood Studios Toronto, situated exactly at 225 Commissioners Street. Within the production complex, the team of ‘Beacon 23’ utilized multiple sound stages as they had to build different sections of the space station in each. In an interview with The Movie Guru, producer Glen Mazzara opened up about the filming process. He said, “The show takes place in a lighthouse at the edge of the galaxy. So it’s very important to make it feel like a cylinder, have that spiral staircase going through.”
So fun to visit @PinewoodStudios’ two new soundstages in Toronto! I loved seeing the props of @StarTrekNetflix and got a glimpse of a set for Beacon 23 (but 🤫🤐🚫📸).
This is amazing for Hollywood North and all the 🇨🇦 jobs this will create. pic.twitter.com/8O6gjqKgcO
— Julie Dabrusin (@juliedabrusin) July 14, 2022
Mazzara also added that the attention that went into creating the setting of the show, where the characters cook, live, and sleep, ensured the creation of a believable world. So much so that he would feel claustrophobic thinking about their fictional lives on the station. Pinewood Toronto Studios is the largest filming studio of its kind in the country. Its sound stages have been used for the production of several prominent films, including ‘Suicide Squad,’ ‘Total Recall,’ ‘Robocop,’ and ‘Star Trek: Discovery.’
A big thank you to @Mannydanelonun1, producer of @ExpanseOnPrime for giving CG Crystal a sneak peek into the set of his next production BEACON 23 — a futuristic TV series inspired by American writer @hughhowey’s book. pic.twitter.com/JQIOqWxKHL
— US Consulate Toronto🇺🇸🇨🇦 (@usconstoronto) October 14, 2022
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