‘The Courier’ is an espionage drama film that follows a regular British businessman as he falls under the radar of the MI-6 and CIA and gets embroiled in a top-secret mission to avert the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 between the U.S. and the Soviet Union and save millions of lives. Greville Wynne is a middle-class man who frequently travels through Eastern Europe for work, which is why the secret service chooses him to extract top-secret Soviet intelligence from a high-ranking GRU officer, Oleg, and transport it to London.
After becoming a double agent, problems arise in Greville’s household as he strives to hide his dual identity from his wife and children. As Greville and Oleg delve deeper into the den of the enemies, they develop a genuine friendship and are forced to make life-or-death decisions that would change their lives forever. Based on the true story of two unsung heroes British spy Greville Wynne and Soviet officer Oleg Penkovsky, the historical drama is set in the 1960s and throws light on how the real-life Greville and Oleg pulled off the herculean task with their valiant effort and strong partnership. Dominic Cooke is at the helm of the movie, which is written by Tom O’Connor. Curious to know where was ‘The Courier’ filmed? Don’t worry, we have got you covered!
The Courier Filming Locations
Originally released under the title ‘Ironbark’ the movie opened to a favorable response from the critics who lauded Benedict Cumberbatch’s terrific transformation to portray the British spy. Some even called it the actor’s best work to date. Apart from the performances and crisp writing, the movie was praised for its beautiful visual setting. The movie was filmed in several parts of the United Kingdom and the Czech Republic. Here are the exact filming sites!
Principal photography for the film commenced on October 15, 2018, in the capital and largest city of England. One of the producers, Adam Ackland, shared a picture on Twitter along with the caption, “First days shoot on Ironbark! We feel incredibly lucky to have such a brilliant cast and crew.”
First days shoot on Ironbark! We feel incredibly lucky to have such a brilliant cast and crew. pic.twitter.com/K6HM7BZC37
— Adam Ackland (@adamackland) October 15, 2018
In November 2018, the production team shot several scenes in and around Bury Place, in the district of Holborn that covers the south-eastern part of the London Borough of Camden and a part of the Ward of Farringdon Without. London Review Bookshop, a famous book store located at 14-16 Bury Pl, Holborn, shared a series of pictures on Twitter, announcing the filming of the movie to its customers. The area was transformed to recreate the streets of 60s London.
— LRB Bookshop (@LRBbookshop) November 11, 2018
Hornsey Town Hall Arts Centre, set in the heart of Crouch End, doubled up as South Kensington tube station in the film.
The iconic Nell Gwynn House, located on Sloane Avenue in Royal London borough of Kensington and Chelsea served as a filming location for a few scenes in the film. It was transformed to look like the London Royale Hotel.
The weekend saw Nell Gwynn House transformed into London Royale Hotel for Benedict Cimberbatch's latest film #Ironbark. Look out for us next year when the movie opens! #nellgwynnchelsea #nellgwynnhouse #servicedapartments #chelsea #london #onlocation #benedictcumberbatch pic.twitter.com/XqwMu2zzWo
— Nell Gwynn Chelsea (@NellGwynnUK) November 21, 2018
While filming one of the scenes of the third act, Benedict made good use of his time and enjoyed live music from an orchestra that was performing near the filming location in London, England.
The scenes in the airplane and airport were filmed at Duxford airfield, which is owned by the Imperial War Museum and is located in Duxford, Cambridgeshire, England. The G-ALWF British European Airways Vickers Viscount airliner was used to film the interior scenes of the airplane. It is regarded as Britain’s largest aviation museum and is home to nearly 200 aircraft, military vehicles, other artillery, and naval vessels.
Prague, the Czech Republic
All the scenes in the USSR are actually shot in the city of Prague, which is the capital and largest city in the Czech Republic. Situated on the Vltava river, the city is known for its temperate oceanic climate, especially the chilly winters. A fan shared an on-location picture from the set, featuring Benedict and Adam in the background. Check it out below!
— yasammez (@Yassammez) November 24, 2018
The filming concluded on December 7, 2018, except for four scenes that required Benedict to undergo a drastic physical transformation. After rejecting to go the ‘Benjamin Button’ way, the actor took three months to lose oodles of weight and after he achieved the desired weight for the role, the filming resumed in March 2019.
However, it wasn’t devoid of challenges as the scenes required Benedict to shoot “semi-naked in real ex-prisons” and the freezing temperatures during the winter of Prague took a toll on his health. Despite the efforts from the crew to keep his temperature at a normal level, the actor fell ill but made sure he gave it all to the role. Looking back at the whole filming process, Benedict confessed to Entertainment Weekly that he doesn’t regret it one bit for he believes “It’s nothing compared to what [Greville] went through.”
Read More: Is The Courier Based on a True Story?