The MCU visits Germany for the filming of the third Captain America film.
As discussed on last week’s MCU: Location Scout, the MCU release of Captain America: Civil War was a global film, but was deceptive in its scope. This week will focus on a major section of the location filming that actually took place in Germany.
There’s no question that the airport battle in Civil War between Team Cap and Team Iron Man was the highlight action sequence from the film. It also marked the conclusion of the productions visit to Europe. A number of other sequences were also filmed in Germany, including the Vienna bombing and Bucharest chase sequences, concluding with the motorcade transporting the Winter Soldier, and the Airport battle.
The sequence at the Leipzig/Halle Airport features some incredible footage that was actually captured with the actors on location. This is different than some of the other films that shoot background plates in a location and film the actors back in Atlanta on the backlot, combining the footage in post-production. Avengers: Infinity War did this for the beginning of the New York sequence when Tony Stark came from out of Doctor Strange’s house. Regardless, it’s impossible to tell which action was filmed at Leipzig/Halle Airport and which was shot in Atlanta!
Based on the behind the scenes footage available of the DVD set it appears that most of the tarmac footage was shot on the Pinewood backlot outside Atlanta. The shots of the airport were filmed with drones and a 2nd unit crew and stitched together in post production. Also looking at the footage, the filmmakers redesigned the airport a bit, converting a parking lot and vintage aircraft into the jetway, and adding in a secondary parking structure to the East. Footage from inside the terminal appears to have been shot on location. Scenes with Bucky, Falcon, Black Widow & Captain America, who were on location for other German filming, appear to be the primary individuals shot at the actual airport, though it seems as if Robert Downey Jr may have been involved in the German shoot as well. The Hollywood Reporter has a great technical article about the filming.
There’s one additional sequence that was also shot in Germany at the airport, that no one discusses. Under the roadway, just prior to the airport sequence, Sharon Carter returns the hero’s weapons from the trunk of her car. This could have been shot at any underpass, and for a while I was sure it was filmed in Atlanta, due to the use of the Volkswagen that Steve drives in that scene. The following shot of the Steve’s car pulling into the parking garage at the airport appears to be in Germany, but was really shot in a garage in downtown Atlanta. It wasn’t until I sought out a location that had the same column design that I discovered this scene was filmed at the Leipzig/Halle Airport just under the tarmac, where it crosses the highway. There’s no Google Street View of that location, but you can see the under-bridge design from this video showing airplanes taxiing at the airport!
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Behind every scene in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is a location. Some are iconic. Some are functional. Some are completely fantastic. But all of them are there to support the story.
Here at the MCU: Location Scout, Jovial Jay digs deep to uncover the real-world filming locations behind your favorite super hero films. From Iron Man to Inhumans and everything in between!
Having grown up on comics, television and film, “Jovial” Jay feels destined to host podcasts and write blogs related to the union of these nerdy pursuits. Among his other pursuits he administrates and edits stories at the two largest Star Wars fan sites on the ‘net (Rebelscum.com, TheForce.net), and co-hosts the Jedi Journals podcast over at the ForceCast network.