Directed by James McTeigue (‘V for Vendetta’), ‘Ninja Assassin’ is an action thriller film that revolves around the concept of modern-day ninjas. For centuries, ninja clans have existed in the shadows, committing high-profile murders for various governments and private parties. The protagonist, Raizo (Rain), belongs to one such clan. Since he was a child, he has undergone training under the watchful eye of Lord Ozunu (Shô Kosugi). He develops romantic feelings for a fellow disciple named Kiriko (Anna Sawai). After Ozunu orders her death, Raizo embarks on a path of vengeance.
Raizo joins forces with Europol forensic researcher Mika Coretti (Naomie Harris), who has been investigating the clans, to stop Ozunu and his entire operation for good. The martial arts film is predominantly set in Berlin, Germany. The opening scene takes place in a tattoo parlor in Osaka, Honshu Island, Japan. The Ozunu clan headquarters, where Raizo and other ninjas receive training, is supposed to be located somewhere in Japan. If you are wondering if these scenes were filmed on location or elsewhere, here is what you need to know.
Ninja Assassin Filming Locations
McTeigue and his director of photography, Karl Walter Lindenlaub, shot ‘Ninja Assassin’ in various locations in and around Berlin. Several scenes, including the ones set in the Ozunu headquarters, were shot at the famous Babelsberg Studios in Potsdam, Germany. The production began on April 28, 2008, and concluded on June 27, 2008. Let’s look at specific locations in detail.
The neo-noir movie takes place primarily in the German capital and was filmed on location. McTeigue and his crew made full use of the breath-taking urban landscape of the city. However, this is not the first film that McTeigue shot in Berlin. Among several other films, multiple scenes of ‘V for Vendetta’ were also filmed in Berlin. Also known as the Paper City, Berlin has a rich cultural history that dates back hundreds of years. It is also widely regarded as one of the main centers of filmmaking in the world.
According to McTeigue, he has always been impressed by the professionalism that the local crew demonstrates, and they reportedly didn’t disappoint him on the set of ‘Ninja Assassin’ either. McTeigue envisioned the project as a film noir and strove to depict Berlin in such a way that the city comes off as its own character. Some of the other popular films that have been shot in the city-state of Berlin are ‘Inglourious Basterds,’ ‘Octopussy,’ and ‘Captain America: Civil War.’
Potsdam, the capital city of the German state of Brandenburg, is situated right beside Berlin. ‘Ninja Assassin’ was extensively filmed in The Babelsberg Studios, which is the world’s oldest large-scale film studio. The production facility is located in the city’s Babelsberg district at August-Bebel-Street 26-53, 14482 Potsdam.
It was established in 1912 and has emerged as a vital entertainment hub in Europe since the fall of the Berlin Wall. Films like ‘The Bourne Ultimatum,’ The Grand Budapest Hotel,’ and ‘The Hunger Games’ were also filmed in the same studio.
Read More: Is Ninja Assassin a True Story?