Bulgaria – In the last 15 years Bulgaria has become a popular destination among the Hollywood filmmakers due to the great professionals and excellent environment in the country, where except from the pretty urban landscape, in very close proximity, you can also find lakes, mountains and rivers.
Bulgaria is a place where producers have numerous options whether they shoot an action movie, a period piece or small romantic comedy…everything is available here. So let us take a look at the most expensive Hollywood movies shot in this Slavic land.
The Expendables 2 and The Expendables 3:
I still remember the moment when in 2010 became clear that most iconic men of Hollywood come to Bulgaria for shooting the second part of The Expendables. My heart leaped with joy at the thought of seeing Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason Statham, Bruce Willis, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Jet Li and Chuck Norris who for 5 weeks shoot the movie here. Apart from the Boyana Film Studios, the band used some natural resources of our country. The production team used the Devetashka cave as one of their numerous spots where they unsettle the endangered bat species. Because of this, many environmentalists were not satisfied that such an expensive large-scale production was allowed to entered the protected area and destroy the natural habitat of the bats. After months of trials In Bulgaria and abroad, the producers were sentenced to pay a fine.
However, in 2013 the Hollywood team came back to shoot the The Expendables 3, this time together with Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson and Antonio Banderas on board. During the filming of the movie, Bulgarians were able to see dangerous stunts and powerful explosions which are not something usual in our country.
The budget of each of the episodes of The Expendables, shot in Bulgaria is about 90 million dollars. Probably one of the positives sides was that the production hired hundreds of Bulgarians, some of whom were able to touch the stars on the set.
In 2007, the 25-million-dollar Hollywood production was shot in the capital of Bulgaria. The popular Luc Besson came to Sofia for shooting the car chases which led to the closure of many of the main streets and boulevards in the Bulgarian capital. However, not the cars or Besson himself, but the Ukrainian beauty Olga Kurylenko impressed Bulgarians. Unfortunately, her visit to our country went completely unnoticed by fans and paparazzi who were waiting to see her in front of her hotel for days without success. They could not catch her because the former model crept unnoticed through rear entrances.
300 Rise of an Empire, 2014
In 2012 one of the most popular and beautiful actresses in Hollywood, Eva Green, came to Bulgaria to shoot scenes from the movie 300 Rise of an Empire. Her stay in Sofia lasted 2 months during which Bulgarian producers and specialists were involved into the creation of the movies special effects. Apart from the working tasks, Eva Green spent some time exploring the Bulgarian capital. Her colleagues, however, focused on famous Bulgarian nightlife and many of them were seen by locals in clubs, bars and discos. The rumor has it, that the screen partner of Eva Green – the actor Sullivan Stapleton, irritated the producers of the film with his continuous attempts to flirt with Bulgarian girls.
The budget of the movie was 110 million dollars which makes it one of the most expensive Hollywood productions shot in Bulgaria.
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