Aquaman in Sicily

by | miscellaneous, places of interest

The image above is not a photo of a real Sicilian coastal town, but 100% CGI (Computer Generated Imagery, so completely made with a computer) and can be seen in the blockbuster “Aquaman”! Director James Wan was inspired by the beautiful coast at Scopello and the nature reserve Lo Zingaro and by the medieval town of Erice when he visited Italy in the writing phase of the movie, so he decided to have an Aquaman action scene take place in a Sicily inspired location.

In 2017, a film crew went to Sicily and filmed in places such as Scopello and Erice, so that the CGI department employees would have references for what would ultimately become a nice mix of various, well-known locations in Sicily.

In this blog post we’ll show where the director got his inspiration from, but we’ll start with an old map of Sicily that can be seen in the movie and that indicates that Aquaman and the red-haired Mera will leave for this sunny island.

An old map of Sicily used in the movie Aquaman
However, the red dot on the map does not indicate either Scopello or Erice, but rather points to the town of Terrasini. Below you can see where these places would be on the map (Erice on the map in the middle and Scopello on the right).
The correct locations of Erice and Scopello shown on the movie map
The introduction of “Sicily” starts with an impressive “helicopter / drone shot” from the sea to the coast.
The coast of Sicily in Aquaman
The camera passes beautiful rocky mountains when moving towards the coastal town
In this opening scene you can clearly see which locations serve as inspiration. First the famous faraglioni (rocks in the sea) near the quaint town of Scopello.
On the right the faraglioni die which can be seen in the movie
There are several typical watchtowers in our region on the coast. On tower can also be seen in the first scene.
The scene from the Aquaman movie and one of the towers that can be found in our region
Later in the movie you see the Sicilian coastal town from above.
The Sicilian coastal town in Aquaman
If you compare this photo with a photo of the famous tonnara in Scopello, you’ll see how many elements of the real coastline have been used!
A comparison between the place from the movie and the coast at the tonnara near Scopello
Before all hell breaks loose, the heroes go to an ancient temple on top of a mountain.
Inside the temple overlooking the sea
The temple itself is not a copy of an existing temple, but the coastline is clearly inspired by that of the nature reserve Lo Zingaro.
The temple and the coastline in the movie
The coastline in the movie and the coast in the nature reserve.
After a fighting scene with the “Black Manta” the action moves to the town itself. The director wanted this to look like Erice, because he thought the roofs of this place were ideal for a spectacular action scene.
Mera on the roofs in "Erice"
Mera jumps over the roofs in "Erice"
Erice seen from the clock tower.
De daken van de huizen in het plaastje Erice
The roofs of the place in the movie.
The roofs in the fictional place in the movie.
The roofs and a church in the fictional town in the movie.
It is easy to see which buildings in Erice were used for the movie, like the tower of the San Giuliano church.
The San Giuliano church in Erice and the church in the movie
This tower is ultimately completely destroyed in the movie.
The destruction of the tower of the San Giuliano church
Another church in the movie is also based on one of the churches in Erice.
Another church in the movie is also based on one of the churches in Erice.
When Aquaman hangs from a gutter, you can see that even the streets of Erice are copied.
When Aquaman hangs from a gutter, you can see that even the streets of Erice are copied.
One of the streets of Erice compared to the scene in the movie.
We think the director has really succeeded in creating a place that could be in Sicily. What do you think?

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