Have you ever found yourself watching a new movie when suddenly, you’re hit with a serious case of deja vu? Hollywood recycles movie plots and twists every year, but the places the films are set can be even easier to spot. But really, when you find a perfect set, why waste it on just one movie?
Here are Screenrant’s 10 Movies That Stole Their Sets From Other Films.
Mr. & Mrs. Smith (The Quality Cafe)
Some sets being reused can be explained by studios or producers who find one spot to fit the bill, but sometimes, a single location becomes the go-to set for dozens of films. If you’ve seen Mr and Mrs Smith – or just about any movie set in Los Angeles – you’ve probably seen The Quality Cafe. It’s hard to know if studios all got in on the same joke or the diner was just the perfect fit, but movies like Se7en, Gone in 60 Seconds, Training Day, Catch Me If You Can (DreamWorks 1:06:36), and too many others to count have set scenes inside the diner. 500 Days of Summer and Old School even recreated one shot perfectly. The diner has been closed for years, making more money from films these days than food.
Batman (Acton Lane Power Station)
When Aliens director James Cameron needed an alien-infested space colony right here on Earth, he found it in the disused Acton Lane Power Station in West London. The building had to be stripped of toxic materials and painted silver, but it did the job. Just a few years later, Tim Burton decided it was the perfect place to create his Joker, finding the Aliens sets still intact, and redressing it to create Axis Chemical Works for his Batman. Take a close look at some of the catwalks and stairways and you can see the Joker walking the same steps as Ellen Ripley just years apart.
Star Trek Into Darkness (Greystone Mansion)
The Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills may have been built by an oil tycoon in 1928, but once it was made into a city park in 1971, its life as a Hollywood regular began. The mansion’s checkerboard floors have stood out in The Big Lebowski, There Will Be Blood and The Muppets, and the hallways, gardens and massive staircase have been used in dozens of films and TV shows. But the cleverest use came in Star Trek Into Darkness, when the mansion was given a CG makeover as a futuristic London hospital.
Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (Hatfield House)
You would think that finding a huge, centuries old mansion in England wouldn’t be hard, so it’s unclear why Lara Croft shares a house with a DC Comics billionaire. The Hatfield House is one go-to location for the movie wealthy, with its Long Gallery used in the modern Sherlock Holmes films not long after Lara Croft walked through the same spot in Tomb Raider. In Tim Burton’s Batman, fans can get a view of the hallway from the opposite side, not to mention a look at the exact same library used in both films.
X-Men (Parkwood Estate)
Long before superheroes were Hollywood staples, Marvel fans saw the mutant X-Men re-imagined for the big screen. The movie had plenty of milestone moments, but the appearance of Charles Xavier’s school for gifted youngsters is chief among them. X-Men fans may appreciate the scene even more when they realize it’s the same mansion Adam Sander chased an imaginary penguin around in Billy Madison. The movies don’t have much in common aside from the mansion in Ontario, Canada, but it does explain who owned the school before Charles took over.
Speed (Fox Plaza)
Every movie buff knows that Die Hard turned to the real-world Fox Plaza for its tower of destruction, but the studio’s corporate headquarters weren’t limited to just one blockbuster film role. The tower’s distinctive lobby was used for the opening sequence of Speed, when Keanu Reeves rushed past the spot where Hans Gruber’s gang made their last stand on his way to save an elevator full of office workers. The lobby would make a less-epic cameo in the comedy Airheads, all released by 20th Century Fox.
The Artist (The Bradbury Building)
With a story set around 1930, it made sense for The Artist to feature a scene set on and around an eye-catching staircase that is clearly the mark of old-world ingenuity. But the stairs should look familiar. They belong to the famous Bradbury Building, one of the oldest office buildings in Los Angeles, and a recognized Historical Landmark. Over the years, the interior was most famously used for one eerie, shadow-filled set in Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner. And its appearance in the final scene of 500 Days of Summer shows a movie doesn’t need to be a sci-fi or period drama to add some extra flair.
It was part of the charm of the original Ghostbusters that they chose a decommissioned Firehouse for their base of operations, with a very real New York City building used for its exteriors. For the interior of their building, though, a fire hall in Los Angeles did the trick. Apparently its appearance in the supernatural comedy and its sequel gave it a taste for fame, since its unmistakable architecture was later used for an auto shop in The Mask, starring Jim Carrey. The movies may not be seen as equals these days, but it’s nice to know the hall didn’t close up shop along with the Ghostbusters.
Is it still a “set” if it’s millions of years old? Either way, the Vasquez Rocks are about as famous as a movie or TV location can get. The California rock formation named for the outlaw who used them as hiding place were used to add some character to desert movie and TV scenes since the 1930s. But when the jagged rocks appeared in the now-infamous episode of : The Original Series titled “Arena,” where Kirk traded blows with an enemy Gorn, they took on a life of their own.
The rocks would be used in the likes of Blazing Saddles, Army of Darkness, and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. But J.J. Abrams took the cake when he used the so-called “Gorn Rocks” to create the entire landscape of the planet Vulcan in his 2009 reboot.
The Netflix series following Marvel’s “man without fear” was the Daredevil story fans had always hoped for, and there were even a few hints that the blind hero was soaring over the same New York rooftops as Spider-Man. They haven’t teamed up in live-action as much as they have in the comics, but in one episode of Daredevil, Wilson Fisk meets one of his fellow crime bosses in a familiar spot.
The rooftop garden in the heart of Manhattan was the same spot where Peter Parker dropped Mary Jane off in the first Spider-Man movie. If you ask us, that’s all the hint of a team-up we need to start hoping.
So what do you think of our list? Did we miss any of your favorite reused sets or iconic locations? Let us know in our comment section and don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more videos like this one!