Based on the 2014 eponymous novel by Jeff VanderMeer, ‘Annihilation‘ is a 2018 science fiction psychological horror movie that focuses on a biologist and former soldier named Lena whose search for her husband leads her to join a mission to uncover the mystery behind the Area X or The Shimmer. When Lena enters the mysterious zone that is expanding across the American coastline, she finds out that it is a quarantined zone of different kinds of mutating plants and animals which is due to the presence of an alien.
As beautiful as the zone appears on the outside, it is just as dangerous because it threatens the existence and sanity of humans altogether. Written and directed by Alex Garland, the thriller film unfolds in the fictional setting of Area X, which is stunning as well as unique. While most of it is made possible with special effects, the cast and crew shot many portions on location. So, if you are interested in knowing where ‘Annihilation’ was filmed, we have got you covered!
Annihilation Filming Locations
‘Annihilation’ was filmed in England, specifically in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Norfolk, Oxfordshire, Camberley, Suffolk, and Aldershot. According to reports, the principal photography for the Natalie Portman starrer commenced in April 2016 and wrapped up in July of the same year. The filming unit carried out some test shooting in St. Marks, Florida, but as it turned out, the vegetation in the area was too dense to provide any depth perception on screen. Now, without further ado, let’s traverse through all the specific locations that doubled for Area X in the sci-fi movie!
To shoot the scenes involving The Shimmer in ‘Annihilation,’ the production team set up camp in the historic county of Berkshire, which is situated in South East England. In particular, the South Forest and Wood Pond, both in Windsor Great Park at The Crown Estate Windsor Great Park SL4 2HT, served as prominent production locations. Over the years, Berkshire’s locales have been featured in a number of movies and TV shows. Some of the notable ones are ‘Fahrenheit 451,’ ‘From Time to Time,’ ‘The Devil-Ship Pirates,’ and ‘The Vulture.’
— Ann VanderMeer (@AnnVanderMeer) June 22, 2016
A major chunk of pivotal sequences for ‘Annihilation’ was lensed in the ceremonial county of Buckinghamshire, located north of Berkshire. Some key outdoor scenes for the film were shot on location in Marsworth Airfield, which is situated 1 mile southwest of Cheddington in Buckinghamshire. For shooting the field and swamp scenes, the production team utilized the facilities of Pinewood Studios on Pinewood Road in Slough, Iver.
Apart from the legendary 007 stage, the film studio is home to 23 more stages, three TV studios, acres of backlot area, one of the largest exterior tanks in Europe, and ample production office and workshop space. Owing to all these amenities present on the premise of the studio complex, it makes for a suitable filming site for different kinds of productions, including ‘Annihilation.’
Other Locations in England
For shooting purposes, the filming unit of the Alex Garland directorial traveled to various other locations across England, including the town of Aldershot in England’s Hampshire. In July 2016, the cast and crew were spotted on Holkham Beach in North Norfolk taping scenes set on the empty beach with a lone lighthouse standing tall in the backdrop. While the Sun Park office campus in Camberley was utilized to portray the John Hopkins University scenes at the beginning of the film, Carmel College in Oxfordshire is where they recorded the swimming pool scenes.
As for the military compound scenes involving Lena, they were reportedly taped in the old bomb stores at the former Royal Air Force Bentwaters or RAF Bentwaters, which is located near the town of Woodbridge in the county of Suffolk. Furthermore, Royal Air Force Upper Heyford or RAF Upper Heyford in the town of Bicester in Oxfordshire served as yet another pivotal production location for the adventure drama film.
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