Top producers and major film companies have been using Kamloops as a backdrop for star-studded films and box-office slams for years. A-list celebrities such as Jennifer Lopez, Harrison Ford, Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper, Gillian Anderson, Robert Redford, Morgan Freeman, Greg Kinnear, Blake Lively, and Chris Pratt have roamed Kamloops while being cast in Hollywood hits such as The A-Team, The Stand, Power Rangers, Jurassic World: Dominion, The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants, Monster Trucks, An Unfinished Life, and more. Here are a few more films that have put the Kamloops area on the big screen.
One of the most iconic features in Kamloops are the hoodoos. These large, pillar-like sandstone formations tower over a landscape of sagebrush covered hills. For the film, Afghan Knights, the hoodoos on the land of the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc doubled for the Afghanistan foothills in a scene where Michael Madsen and his Navy Seals team are ambushed and escape through a cave. The whole scene unfolded along the hoodoos of Shuswap Road.
The long-time hit series, The X-Files starring Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny, was filmed on the outskirts of Kamloops. The bee husbandry farm and farm housing are featured in the tiny community of Walhachin, just west of Kamloops. As an unworldly backdrop, The X-Files producer/director, Chris Carter, chose Ginseng farms, a new crop for British Columbia, as its background to signify something sinister was going on.
Maze Runner: The Death Cure
Maze Runner: The Death Cure is the third installment of The Maze Runner film series, adapted for the screen from the novels by James Dashner. Released in 2018, it stars Dylan O’Brien from the popular TV series, Teen Wolf. Produced by 20th Century Studios, the Kamloops area was chosen for its desert background and unique arid environment to create an otherworldly (actually “dystrophic”) landscape. Scenes were filmed around Kamloops, Cache Creek, and Ashcroft where Gladers and Right Arm Resistance members on ATVs try to hijack a train through desert terrain.
Kamloops became an entirely fictional planet in this space-age series starring Jamie Bamber. The desert and hoodoos on the land of the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc doubled for Planet Algae in season 3, episode 11 as the Battlestar Galactica crew search for food and fight the Cylons. If you’re looking for an otherworldly destination, it turns out Kamloops can be just that.
The Wicker Man
Starring A-list celebrities Nicholas Cage and Leelee Sobieski, The Wicker Man features an opening scene where a car is hit by a semi-truck while Nicholas Cage as a California Highway Patrol Officer tries to save the family. The Director chose Hamilton Hill Road in Merritt, just south of Kamloops, to double as a northern Californian highway. The arid landscape and rolling hills help create the scene for this mystery thriller.
Kamloops and surrounding area has graced the big screen many times, and the area is becoming even more popular with film crews and Hollywood directors. For detailed information on movies and TV shows filmed in the Interior of BC, visit the Thompson Nicola Film Commission’s website.