Where Was Safe (2012) Filmed?

Written and directed by Boaz Yakin, ‘Safe’ is a 2012 action thriller movie starring Jason Statham as Luke Wright, a former cop and an ex-cage fighter whose family was killed by the Russian mob due to a fixed match in his days of cage fighting. Filled with grief and loneliness, Luke winds up coming to the aid of a young Chinese girl named Mei who gets in trouble with the same gangsters who destroyed his life. Now, his hunger for vengeance lands him in the middle of a high-stakes action-packed war with the Russian mafia.

Mei is not just an ordinary girl; she is a gifted child who holds in her head a priceless numerical code, which is the reason she is getting chased not only by the Russian mafia but also by the Chinese Triads and corrupt police officers. Besides Statham, the film also features impressive performances by Catherine Chan, Chris Sarandon, Robert John Burke, and James Hong. A majority of the movie unfolds in New York City as Luke and Mei get chased around the city, leading to the constant change in the backdrop. So, if you find yourself curious about the filming sites of ‘Safe,’ we have got you covered!

Safe Filming Locations

‘Safe’ was filmed in Pennsylvania and New York, especially in the Philadelphia metropolitan area and New York City. According to reports, principal photography for the action film commenced in October 2010 and wrapped up in a couple of months, in December of the same year. Now, let’s not waste any time and dive right into all the specific locations where Luke takes on the responsibility of keeping Mei safe in the crime movie!

Philadelphia Metropolitan Area, Pennsylvania

Many pivotal sequences for ‘Safe’ were lensed in the Philadelphia metropolitan area AKA Delaware Valley, with Philadelphia being the urban core of the metropolitan region. Also known as Philly, the city of Philadelphia served as one of the primary production locations for the Jason Statham starrer as the filming unit made the most of different locales and establishments. For instance, several exterior scenes were recorded on Broad Street between City Hall and Spruce Street on the nights and early mornings of November 17, 18, and 19, 2010.

In late October 2010, a few other outdoor portions were taped on 15th Street and Moravian Street in Philadelphia. In order to depict a class in China, the director and his team set up camp inside a class from a Catholic School in downtown Philadelphia. Besides that, Girard College at 2101 South College Avenue is yet another institutional facility that features in the action movie. Numerous thrilling action sequences were also filmed in and around The Bellevue Hotel – The Unbound Collection by Hyatt at 200 South Broad Street in Philadelphia. In addition, the township of Bensalem Township and the community of Radnor are another couple of sites in the Philadelphia metropolitan region where several key parts were lensed.

New York City, New York

The shooting of ‘Safe’ also took place across New York City as the production team utilized the city’s locales, such as the nearby areas of 2nd Street and 54th Avenue in the residential and commercial neighborhood of Long Island City. A number of action sequences for the movie were recorded outdoors on the streets of the Manhattan borough, including Mott Street, Grand Street & Bowery in Chinatown, the subway on Rutgers Street & Canal Street, and East Broadway & Rutgers Street, and Times Square. Besides Manhattan, the cast and crew members of ‘Safe’ were also spotted taping pivotal sequences around Plymouth Street & Pearl Street in the Brooklyn borough of NYC.

In a late April 2012 interview with The Film Stage, Boaz Yakin was asked about the toughest moment of shooting ‘Safe.’ Yakin responded, “I would say shooting on the subways in New York. It was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done in my entire history of making movies.” Then he was asked a follow-up question to explain the specifics of the difficulty he and his team faced. Yakin explained, “Physicality, safety issues, things you can and can’t do, the time you have to get it done, specificity. It was just – it was very difficult. That was the hardest thing I had to do. (And) we had a tight shooting schedule.”

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