Kriti Shah


Architecture has made its presence felt in many fields and facets. When it comes to the movie business, one of the unmissable elements that shape the way we perceive a film is its setting. The landscape directs the eye from the beginning and sets the mood of the film. It is a language on its own. Throughout the years, there have been numerous instances, where the buildings have gained as much importance as the cast of the film. More often than not, the audience tends to miss its significance in the presence of other cinematic elements. However, the architecture silently weaves a tale that is unlike any component. 

Empire State Building, built-in 1930 in New York, unarguably remains one of the most famous high-rises in the world. It has been extensively used in movie franchises for years as a venue for action or as a prop in the background to accentuate the New York skyline. Taking a trip down memory lane to 2005 was when the blockbuster movie, King Kong was released. The film featured the gorilla traversing the length of the then tallest building in the world in its penultimate scenes before being shot down by military jets. The 2003 movie Elf starring Will Ferrel also features the famous structure in a few scenes. Whereas, the building makes an appearance in many iconic films like Sleepless in Seattle, Empire, and The Independence Day.

Ever wondered where the Avengers headquarters sit in real life? The famous high-rise is none other than the MetLife building on 200 Park Avenue in Midtown Manhattan, a jewel on the Manhattan skyline. The audience gets glimpses of the interiors in the 2012 movie, The Avengers while the exterior was designed through CGI. In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Tony Stark buys the MetLife building and remodels it into the facade as shown in the movies. The MetLife building also appears in Godzilla, where the monster creates a massive hole destroying the structure.

Talking about the tallest buildings in the world reminds us of one of the most unforgettable scenes in the history of Hollywood films. The Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol released in 2011 featured Tom Cruise climbing the high rise without the aid of a harness. In reality, though, all the safety precautions were put in place meticulously to avoid any accidents. The scene was difficult to film as the team had to take permission and punch holes in the building. To everyone’s delight, the result was equally jaw-dropping.