Helmed by F. Gary Gray, the 1998 crime thriller ‘The Negotiator’ is arguably one of the classics of the 90s. The story revolves around Danny Roman (Samuel L. Jackson), plunged deep into a nationwide conspiracy. When he is wrongly accused of corruption, money laundering, and murder, police negotiator Roman finds himself on the other side of the spectrum. He takes several hostages in a government building while his trusted buddy Chris Sabian (Kevin Spacey) looks for the truth.
With an A-lister cast ensemble and an invigorating noir ambiance, the movie presents an irresistible adrenaline-filled journey enough to entice the genre fans. Most of the story unveils in government buildings in Chicago, while a few establishing shots showcase the city’s architectural wonders. If you feel like knowing more about the movie’s locations, let us take you out on tour.
The Negotiator Filming Locations
‘The Negotiator’ was filmed in and around locations in the US and UK, especially in California and Illinois. Filming commenced on September 1, 1997, and it wrapped by November 25 of the same year. Russell Carpenter, known for his work in ‘Titanic,’ served as the cinematographer for the movie, while Holger Gross (of ‘Stargate‘ fame) handled the production design. Let us now take you to the specific locations where the movie was filmed.
Greater Los Angeles, California
Although the story almost exclusively unfolds in Chicago, Los Angeles seemingly offered the production team a more receptive movie production climate. Several scenes, including some studio work, were carried out in the City of Angels. The crew got hold of Raleigh Studios Hollywood, a vast movie studio situated at 5300 Melrose Avenue East in the iconic Hollywood district of LA. The historic studio lies at the heart of Hollywood and offers 13 fully functional soundstages to facilitate productions of various sizes.
A commercial establishment situated at 635 South Mateo Street stood in for the police station scenes in the movie. A portion of filming took place in the nearby community of Long Beach, within the same LA County. The park scenes, which presumably unfold in Chicago, were filmed in the sprawling El Dorado Regional Park, located at 7550 East Spring Street in the community of Long Beach. The crew also showcased the famous Duck Pond, which forms the park’s center.
As the movie is set in Chicago, the production team visited the city to keep some semblances to the original setting. They toured the city extensively, filming sequences in Downtown Chicago and Near West Side. Several scenes were filmed at 77 West Wacker Drive (formerly the United Building), a towering office building located in the central business district of Loop.
The crew also chose Penn Central Freight Yards, a now-defunct freight yard in the vibrant Near West Side community, to film some scenes. In a dynamic scene in the movie, a SWAT team descends on a rooftop. The sequence was filmed at Quaker Oats Building, a 17-story high-rise building situated at 555 West Monroe Street, in the Near West Side neighborhood. The construct formerly housed the global headquarters of PepsiCo.
On occasion, the cast and crew went to the other side of the Atlantic to film some scenes. They created the ideal environment for filming in a studio environment. Pinewood Studios, a vast and prestigious movie studio located in the village of Iver Heath, around 18 miles west of Central London, lent its premises for filming some sequences. Over the years, the studio has been home to several global-scale movie productions, especially the ‘James Bond‘ movie franchise.
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