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Meet the Stars of Malta: A Movie Buff’s Paradise

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A small archipelago in the centre of the Mediterranean Sea might seem about as far away as you can get from Hollywood. It doesn’t have the jet-set reputation of other European destinations like Monaco, but you might be surprised to learn that Malta has hosted many of the movie industry’s best and brightest.

Over 150 films have been shot around the islands since 1925, from Oscar-nominated dramas like Captain Phillips to little remembered curiosities like Popeye. Read on to learn more about some of the films made here – and then book a flight and a Malta airport transfer so you can get out there and see these breathtaking locations for yourself.

Gladiator

A contender for one of the most successful epics of the past few decades, Ridley Scott’s swords-and-sandals masterpiece used some key locations. Filming in 2000, Scott and crew looked to the islands’ rich traditions to double as historical settings. A 15.8m tall scale model of the Roman Colosseum was built here, and the beautiful seventeenth-century Fort Ricasoli was prominently featured in the background. What’s more, movie buffs will love a trip to ‘The Pub’ – a creatively named establishment dedicated to the late, great Oliver Reed, who unfortunately died before completing Gladiator.

Troy

Another old-world epic, Troy may not have had the lasting appeal of Gladiator, but it more than holds its own in terms of star power and scale. Actors Brad Pitt, Orlando Bloom and Sean Bean filmed here for several months, focusing especially on the crystal-clear waters of Blue Lagoon and, again, Fort Ricasoli, A huge set was also built at Fort Rinella, although sadly you can’t see it today as it was burnt down for the movie’s climax.

The James Bond series

Although Ian Fleming’s world-famous superspy has never officially been to Malta, the islands have been used in several films, especially in the 1970s and ‘80s. The off-brand Never Say Never Again, starring a returning Sean Connery and his conspicuous toupee, made great use of the islands, while Roger Moore visited for For Your Eyes Only. The famous ending of his classic The Spy Who Loved Me was also filmed in Maltese waters, with Bond’s immortal closing line, ‘keeping the British end up’, spoken all the way out here in the Med. Luckily, the islands avoided any association with Moonraker’s similar ‘attempting re-entry’ groaner – although Bond aficionados may be partial to making that particular joke between landing and taking their Malta airport transfer to their hotel!

By the Sea

A little known and little loved drama from 2015, By the Sea is notable for two things: it marked the directorial debut of Angelina Jolie, and it was filmed entirely in the Maltese islands. Although it’s set in France, the movie was shot on Gozo, and it makes an excellent showreel for the beautiful island. It’s almost worth watching with the sound off, just to drink in the sumptuous images captured by cinematographer Christian Berger.

How to Get There

As an increasingly popular holiday destination, the archipelago is well served by regular and affordable flights from London. The journey takes around three hours, and you’re well advised to pre-book a Malta airport transfer for the other end, ensuring you arrive at your destination in comfort and on time.

With all this on offer, film buffs have no reason not to start planning a Maltese movie getaway right now. If you’re lucky, you might even bump into some stars. Apparently Brad Pitt loved the islands so much he bought a place here after wrapping up on Troy …
About author: Desiree Michels

Lukas Johannes is a driver for Shuttle Direct, the number one provider of shared and private airport transfers all over Europe and northern Africa. If you’re looking for an affordable Malta airport transfer service Lukas and his colleagues can make sure that you and your luggage get to and from the airport swiftly and safely.

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