Culture
Lights, camera, action! Here are 11 movies that featured Malta as a backdrop
How many of these have you watched?

Francesca Vella

In anticipation of the Mediterrane Film Festival happening later this month, we take a look at the role Malta has played as a filming location for several decades.

From films like Gladiator to Popeye, here are just some of the famous names that made Malta a primary filming location.

Gladiator II (2024)

This epic historical drama that serves as a sequel to ‘Gladiator’ (2000), which was also filmed in Malta, was directed by Ridley Scott and stars some of the biggest names in Hollywood right now including Paul Mescal, Denzel Washington and Pedro Pascal. Some of these actors were spotted roaming the island while filming was taking place a few months ago!

The film is set to be released in cinemas in November of this year, and will show scenes from Fort Ricasoli, as well as areas of Maltese countryside close to Miżieb.

Napoleon (2023)

Another of Ridley Scott’s epic dramas filmed on the island tells the historical story of Napoleon Bonaparte and his rise to power. Joining the director was Joaquin Phoenix, who was in Malta over 20 years before for the filming of ‘Gladiator’.

Also making use of the dramatic backdrop provided by Fort Ricasoli, the film also spotlit various locations around Malta, including Attard, Senglea, Valletta, Mellieħa, Siġġiewi, Mdina and the Malta Film Studios.

Jurassic World Dominion (2022)

This film that garnered over a billion dollars at the box office saw all kinds of dinosaurs terrorising Malta's capital city of Valletta and it was epic! 

Murder on the Orient Express (2017)

This classic Agatha Christie classic film saw Valletta standing in for a fictional version of Jerusalem.

Assassin’s Creed (2016) 

The majority of the action scenes from this dystopian film were shot in none other than Malta.

By The Sea (2015)

The majority of the film starring one of Hollywood's most famous couples was filmed in Gozo, mostly in the idyllic beach of Mġarr ix-Xini. 

Captain Phillips (2013)

This Oscar-nominated film based on a true story starring none other than Tom Hanks was largely filmed on a large ship docked in Maltese waters. 

World War Z (2013)

This was one of the few horror films that was ever shot in Malta and the film terrifyingly depicts the city of Valletta being over run by zombies. 

Troy (2004) 

This movie starring none other then on of Hollywood's biggest ever stars, Brad Pitt saw Malta being transformed into the historic and epic city of Troy.  

The Count of Monte Cristo (2002)

This historical adventure film was largely filmed all across Malta but it mainly saw the main city of Valletta stand in as a fictional replacement of the city of Marseilles. 

Gladiator (2000)

Arguably, Gladiator is one of the most iconic if not the most legendary film that was ever filmed in Malta. In fact, Gladiator two is also expected to film in Malta and we can't wait to see it in cinemas. 

Popeye (1980) 

This was the first film that really put Malta on the Hollywood map. In fact the set still stands today and has been converted into a fun attraction park for all to visit. 

How many more films can you think of that were shot in Malta?

14th June 2024


Francesca Vella
Written by
Francesca Vella
Francesca has always felt most at home in a cinema or theatre, particularly if musicals are involved. She loves to read, write, and share about her experiences of both the fictional and the real world.

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