Star Trek Into Darkness | 2013
Good to see that St Paul’s Cathedral has survived to 2259.55, though it seems to be lost in a forest of glitzy hi-rises, in the overview of ‘London’. There’s no filming in the real London of course.
Away in the green hills overlooking the city (good to see that these have survived, too), stands the ‘Royal Children’s Hospital’, where John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch) claims he can save the daughter of a distraught couple – at a price. With just a little CG added to the exterior, the hospital is the familiar Greystone Mansion, 905 Loma Vista Drive, set in the bucolic greenery of Beverly Hills. The same house is a screen regular – it was the interior of the ‘Pasadena’' mansion in the Coen brothers’ The Big Lebowski, the Osborne home in the Spider-Man films, the mansion of Robert Angier (Hugh Jackman) in Christopher Nolan’s The Prestige, and many others. The house is closed, but the extensive grounds are open to the public.
The ‘Kelvin Memorial Archive’, into which Thomas (Noel Clarke) smuggles an explosive device, is another screen favourite. It’s the old bank building at 650 South Spring Street in downtown Los Angeles, seen in Se7en, Marathon Man, Spider-Man 2 and Bridesmaids.
Once inside, though, its Beaux Arts lobby is that of the Pac Mutual Building, 523 West 6th Street, between South Olive and South Grand Streets.
There’s a different Starfleet HQ from the previous film, but ignore the digital addition of the Golden Gate Bridge – it’s still nowhere near San Francisco.
It’s now the J Paul Getty Museum, 1200 Getty Center Drive, in the hills overlooking classy Brentwood village. Opened in 1997, the purpose-built art complex houses Western art from the Middle Ages to the present and receives around 1.3 million visitors a year. It’s reached by a three-car, cable-pulled hovertrain funicular from the visitors' parking centre at the bottom of the hill.
Down in Playa Vista, near Marina Del Rey, the vast, shadowy bay of Marcus’s mega-ship, where Scottie (Simon Pegg) opens the doors for Kirk (Chris Pine) and Harrison/Khan, is the empty space of Howard Hughes’s old Spruce Goose Hangar, which has served as a soundstage for productions including Titanic and Avatar.
The working heart of the Enterprise, as it was for the previous Star Trek film, is the Budweiser Brewery Anheuser-Busch Inc, 15800 Roscoe Boulevard, just west of the San Diego Freeway (I-405) in Van Nuys in the San Fernando Valley.
As the ship loses power, Kirk braves radiation and climbs into the ship’s ‘Warp Core’. This is the the laser bay and target chamber of the National Ignition Facility (NIF) at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, 7000 East Avenue in Livermore, about 50 miles east of San Francisco. The laboratory was previously seen as the 'ENCOM' lab in the original 1982 TRON.
Khan eventually shows his true colours, flying his ship past the Getty and crashlanding in a futuristic ‘San Francisco’.
In truth, it’s still Los Angeles, as Khan finds himself in the large open plaza behind the Creative Artists Agency Building, 2000 Avenue of the Stars in Century City. The building has seen a lot of action recently – it was not only a hotel lobby for Christopher Nolan’s Inception, it provided the office of The Daily Sentinel in the 2011 version of The Green Hornet, with Seth Rogen.
With Spock beaming down in hot pursuit, Khan smashes into the entrance of the CAA Building, and immediately out onto South Grand Avenue, several miles east in downtown Los Angeles.
Spock chases Khan across the South Grand Avenue crosswalk linking Wells Fargo Plaza and California Plaza. You can briefly glimpse the row of circular details at the base of 2 California Plaza, 350 South Grand Avenue, before Khan manages to leap aboard a passing craft.
It’s in front of the curved frontage of the Richard Meier-designed Visitor Center of Christ Cathedral, 13280 Chapman Avenue, in Garden Grove, formerly (and better known as) the Crystal Cathedral, that Captain Kirk gets to make the “to boldly go...” speech at the re-christening of the USS Enterprise, which ends the film.