Arrival: Where Was the 2016 Movie Filmed?

Based on the 1998 short story ‘Story of Your Life’ written by Ted Chiang, ‘Arrival‘ is a 2016 science fiction drama movie that stars Amy Adams as Louise Banks, a linguistics professor who gets enlisted by the US Army, following the landing of 12 gigantic and mysterious spaceships at different locations around the world. She leads a team of brilliant minds and elite investigators in a race against time to find a way to communicate with the extraterrestrial visitors who have arrived on Earth while tensions between the nations lead to war. With her hopes high, Louise takes a dangerous chance to unravel the mystery that could threaten not just her life but also everyone else on the planet.

Apart from Amy Adams, the Denis Villeneuve directorial features compelling onscreen performances from talented actors, including Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker, Michael Stuhlbarg, and Tzi Ma. Given the backdrop of the Montana meadow where one of the 12 egg-shaped spaceships lands, as well as the interior of the spaceship where Louise tries her best to form communication with the extraterrestrial beings, the viewers are likely to scratch their heads, wondering where the shooting of ‘Arrival’ actually took place.

Arrival Filming Locations

‘Arrival’ was filmed in Quebec, particularly in and around Montreal, Bas-Saint-Laurent, and L’Île-Cadieux. As per reports, principal photography for the Amy Adams starrer commenced in June 2015 and wrapped up in about 56 days of shooting in early August of the same year. So, let’s not waste time and dive right into all the specific locations that feature in the sci-fi movie!

Montreal, Quebec

A significant chunk of ‘Arrival’ was lensed across Montreal, an important center of art, culture, music, aerospace, film and television, finance, education, and more. The important scenes of the university where Louise teaches were taped at the Université de Montréal campus at 2900 Edouard Montpetit Boulevard in Montreal. Different areas of the campus were utilized for shooting, including Place de la Laurentienne as the University Plaza, Garage Louis-Colin as the University Parkade, and the HEC Montréal building.

Most of the interior scenes, especially that of the alien spacecraft, were reportedly recorded in MELS Studios. The film studio is home to 20 sound stages that have amenities to meet all the requirements of all kinds of film and television projects, making it a suitable filming site for different productions. The production team even constructed a 150-foot tunnel with an interview room for the interior of the alien spacecraft.

The shooting of the hospital scenes in ‘Arrival’ took place in Hôpital Santa Cabrini at 5655 Rue Saint-Zotique East in Montreal. Several interior scenes were also shot inside the Place des Arts. Somewhere on Route 132, near 227, in Montreal, the large roadblock scene was recorded. Other than ‘Arrival,’ Montreal has hosted the production of numerous movies and TV shows over the years. Some notable ones include ‘Transformers: Rise of the Beasts,’ ‘The Voyeurs,’ ‘Moonfall,’ ‘The Day After Tomorrow,’ ’12 Monkeys,’ and ‘Plan B.’

Bas-Saint-Laurent, Quebec

A few pivotal sequences for ‘Arrival’ were taped in the administrative region of Bas-Saint-Laurent, situated along the south shore of Quebec’s lower Saint Lawrence River. Specifically, the parish municipality of Saint-Fabien in the area served as one of the primary production locations as its locales were utilized to double for the Montana meadow where the aliens land their gigantic egg-shaped spaceship in the movie. Reportedly, the filming unit took nine weeks to transform the location into a Montana military encampment. The inspiration for the appearance of the spaceships was the 15 Eunomia, a huge asteroid in the middle asteroid belt.

L’Île-Cadieux, Quebec

Additional portions of ‘Arrival’ were recorded in the village and municipality of L’Île-Cadieux, in the Montérégie region of Quebec. The property at 35 Chemin de l’Île in L’Île-Cadieux and the nearby areas were used to shoot the scenes in Banks’ home and neighborhood. The small and isolated village makes a suitable shooting site for a sci-fi production like ‘Arrival.’

Read More: Arrival Ending, Explained