Star Trek: Discovery Features Iceland’s Otherworldly Landscapes

Star Trek: Discovery

Iceland was a prominent filming location for the third season of CBS TV show Star Trek: Discovery. The season’s first episode begins with a crash landing on Hverfjall mountain in the country’s north. The producers chose Iceland’s otherworldly landscapes to portray the planet Hima in the year 3188. Vísir reported first.

Goðafoss waterfall, Kleivarvatn lake, and the Blue Lagoon are also pictured in the series’ third season. Shooting in Iceland took place last year and the production took advantage of the Icelandic state’s payback program, which reimburses 25% of the cost of TV and film production incurred in Iceland as an incentive to encourage both local and international filming.

“[W]e jumped to the future, and so we wanted a place that looked very different,” executive producer Alex Kurtzman told TrekCore of the filming location. “I’ve wanted to shoot in Iceland for a really long time, so we looked at a bunch of different options and Iceland turned out to be doable – so we did it!”

Star Trek: Discovery is not the first series to use Iceland to depict other planets. Interstellar (2014) used Iceland’s Svínafellsjökull glacier and other locations to depict two different planets. Star Wars films have also cast Iceland in the role of another planet, including Star Wars: Episode VII and Star Wars: Rogue One.

Watch the Star Trek: Discovery third season opening scene on Hverfjall.

Trapped Season 3: Filming Begins in North Iceland

Ófærð (Trapped)

Filming of the third season of Icelandic crime drama Trapped (Ófærð) is scheduled to begin shortly in Siglufjörður, North Iceland, trolli.is reports. Between 60 and 80 people will be working on the shoot, which is to take place between September 24 and October 9. Both season one and two of the popular show were filmed in part in Siglufjörður.

All cast and crew will be staying at hotels and guesthouses in the town of 1,174. One scene will be filmed at the Siglufjörður swimming pool, which will be closed to the public for the duration of filming. The gym and sports facilities at the same location will remain open.

Iceland’s largely successful response to COVID-19 has made it possible for many large-scale film projects to go ahead as planned this year. Regulations have been put in place, however, to minimise the risk of transmission. Presently, production companies in Iceland must apply for a special filming permit that allows actors to be exempted from distancing rules. A COVID safety supervisor must be on set at all times, and makeup and costuming staff are required to wear masks, as is the film crew in spaces where distancing cannot be maintained. Cast and crew will all have their temperature taken daily when arriving on set.

The Trapped team has been working on the show’s third season since as early as December 2018.

Will Smith Filming Secret Project in Iceland

Will Smith is currently in Iceland to film a TV series, RÚV reports, although information about precisely what show he’s working on is being kept tightly under wraps. All that is currently known is that the Academy Award-nominated star—known for roles in AliMen in Black, Bad Boys, and I Am Legend among dozens of others—has been spotted in the north of the country.

Icelandic production company Truenorth, which co-produced the Netflix series The Valhalla Murders, is assisting on the project, although again, it’s unclear in what capacity.

The film crew has been abiding by strict quarantine rules in order to maintain a safe set. New guidelines that go into effect tomorrow specifically allow for contact in stage rehearsals, music performances, and filmmaking.

Netflix Continues Production in Iceland, Crediting Strong COVID Response

Vatnajökull Grímsfjall Grímsvötn Bárðarbunga Kverkfjöll Jöklar Jökull Vísindi

With people quarantined around the world during the COVID-19 pandemic, viewership on streaming services such as Netflix has surged, even as production on new content has basically come to a halt. Even so, Netflix is currently in production in both South Korea and Iceland, thanks to those countries’ strong response in containing and tracking the novel coronavirus. This was among the information shared as part of the streaming giant’s first-quarter earnings report and a subsequent call with company executives.

“When it comes to production, almost all filming has now been stopped globally, with the exception of a few countries like Korea [sic] and Iceland,” Netflix content chief Theodore A. Sarandos explained. Both South Korea and Iceland have been “very aggressive about testing and tracking early,” he continued, which he says “lays out a good framework for future rollouts” in other parts of the world.

While Sarandos did not indicate specific productions that are underway in either country, previous Netflix shows and/or co-productions that have been filmed in Iceland include Sense8 and The Valhalla Murders.

Extensive testing in a country or state is a prerequisite for Netflix relaunching production efforts, Sarandos noted – “We have to be able to look our employees and cast and crew in the eyes and say, ‘This is a safe place to work.’”

George Clooney to Film in Iceland This Fall

George Clooney will be filming his next movie in Iceland this fall. Backstage.com reports that Clooney will both star in and direct Good Morning, Midnight, a post-apocalyptic drama based on the 2016 novel of the same name by Lily Brooks-Dalton.

The story follows “two isolated survivors [as they] try to maintain contact to help each other navigate the circumstances.” One of these is Augustine (played by Clooney), a scientist in the Arctic, and another is an astronaut on a spaceship attempting to return to Earth. English actress Felicity Jones will be co-starring in the film, although her role has yet to be confirmed.

The movie is being produced for Netflix and will be filmed in both the UK and Iceland, starting in October. Netflix has a demonstrated fondness for Iceland, both as a filming location and a destination. Several of its notable series were filmed in the country in recent years—Sense8, Black Mirror, and Lost in Space, among them—and the streaming giant also made headlines in Iceland earlier this month when it brought 900 of its employees to the country on a work-sponsored vacation.