The Acolyte Filming Locations

The Acolyte Filming Locations

‘The Acolyte’ is a new show set in the beloved ‘Star Wars’ universe, created by Leslye Headland. This series takes us back to the final days of the High Republic era. The story revolves around Jedi who start noticing signs of the dark side emerging. Their journey takes them across various planets, filled with diverse and intriguing landscapes. The visually stunning backdrops of the show have made many fans curious about where it was filmed.

Primary Filming Locations

The principal filming for ‘The Acolyte’ took place in parts of the United Kingdom and Madeira, Portugal. The filming began on October 30, 2022, and wrapped up for the first season by June 6, 2023. Unlike some recent productions that rely heavily on digital sets, ‘The Acolyte’ made extensive use of real-world locations. This choice added an authentic feel to the series. Interestingly, the show was produced under the working title ‘Paradox’ to maintain secrecy during production.

Filming in Reading, England

A significant portion of the filming was done in Reading, a historic town in Berkshire, west of London. The production was based at Shinfield Studios, located on South Avenue. Shinfield Studios is a massive complex with 18 soundstages spread over a million square feet. Established in 2021, it quickly became a top choice for filmmakers thanks to its state-of-the-art facilities, including sound stages, production offices, editing suites, and various amenities catering to film and TV crews.

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Amandla Stenberg in The Acolyte (2024)

The film team also explored the lovely forests of the Englefield Estate, which can be found on Englefield Road. Englefield House, a historic structure that has been in the Benyon family for generations, sits on this wide estate. The house, with its old architecture, 12 acres of formal gardens, and large forests, was the ideal site for the alien forest sequences in ‘The Acolyte.’

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Amandla Stenberg in The Acolyte (2024)

Filming was done on the estate in four distinct locations, two of which were heavily wooded. One section was beside a lake, while another was in a clearing. To create the alien setting of the series, the crew adorned existing trees and added artificial rocks and trees.

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The Acolyte (2024)

Scenes in Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales

To capture more natural and broad scenes, the team filmed in Wales’ Brecon Beacons National Park. The park is called for the towering peaks of the Brecon Beacons mountain range, which dominate the park’s horizon. The park, known for its gorgeous beauty, including rolling slopes and untamed moorlands, served as an ideal setting for the series. The park’s wide green expanses and rugged topography were used to recreate other planets. Other prominent projects featuring the Brecon Beacons include ‘The Dark Knight Rises,’ HBO’s ‘His Dark Materials,’ and ‘An American Werewolf in London.’

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Amandla Stenberg in The Acolyte (2024)

Filming in London, England

London, the bustling capital of England, also served as a filming location for ‘The Acolyte.’ The city’s rich history and modern infrastructure make it a popular choice for filmmakers. “We did a lot of our filming practically in London,” said Headland in an interview. London is home to some of the most advanced movie studios in the world, such as Pinewood Studios, which was also visited by the crew of ‘The Acolyte.’ The city’s blend of historic and contemporary sites provided a perfect setting for various scenes in the series.

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Dafne Keen in The Acolyte (2024)

Filming in Madeira, Portugal

A second filming unit for ‘The Acolyte’ traveled to the beautiful islands of Madeira to shoot additional scenes. Madeira is an archipelago situated southwest of Portugal and northwest of Africa, consisting of four main islands: Madeira, Porto Santo, and the uninhabited Desertas and Selvagens islands. The main island of Madeira, also known as the Pearl of the Atlantic, is renowned for its stunning scenery, including sheer cliffs, lush valleys, and a rugged coastline dotted with charming towns.

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Amandla Stenberg in The Acolyte (2024)
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Madeira’s dramatic landscapes were ideal for creating the visual range needed for the show. The islands have a unique, otherworldly quality that made them a perfect backdrop for the ‘Star Wars’ universe. The islands are a hidden gem for filmmakers and were first prominently featured in the 1956 film ‘Moby Dick.’ Besides their cinematic appeal, Madeira is also popular among outdoor enthusiasts for activities like hiking, mountain biking, snorkeling, and scuba diving.

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Official Trailer

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) – The Acolyte

Q: Where was ‘The Acolyte’ filmed?
A: ‘The Acolyte’ was primarily filmed in various locations in the United Kingdom and Madeira, Portugal. Major filming took place in Reading, England, utilizing the facilities at Shinfield Studios. Additional scenes were shot in the scenic Brecon Beacons National Park in Wales, as well as in the historic city of London. Madeira, an archipelago in Portugal, also provided stunning backdrops for the series.

Q: What specific locations were used for filming in the UK?
A: In the UK, significant portions of ‘The Acolyte’ were filmed in Reading, particularly at Shinfield Studios, which offers state-of-the-art facilities. The production also made use of the Englefield Estate in Berkshire for its woodland scenes, and various areas in Brecon Beacons National Park in Wales were used to depict alien landscapes. Additionally, London provided urban settings and advanced studio facilities for some of the series’ scenes.

Q: When was ‘The Acolyte’ filmed?
A: Principal photography for ‘The Acolyte’ began on October 30, 2022, and concluded by June 6, 2023. Filming took place over several months, encompassing both studio shoots and on-location filming across the UK and Madeira.

Q: When is the release date for ‘The Acolyte’?
A: ‘The Acolyte’ was premiered on June 4 2024.

Q: Why were the specific locations chosen for filming ‘The Acolyte’?
A: The locations were carefully selected to provide diverse and visually stunning backdrops that fit the ‘Star Wars’ universe’s aesthetic. The UK offered historical and picturesque settings like the Englefield Estate and Brecon Beacons National Park, which were perfect for the show’s alien and rustic landscapes. Madeira’s dramatic natural beauty provided an exotic and otherworldly feel, enhancing the series’ visual appeal. The use of these varied locations helped create an immersive and authentic environment for the story.