Although Hollywood filmmakers have been making movies on Kaua‘i for many years, recent big-budget films with A-list stars continue to catapult Hawai‘i into the spotlight. PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDES, starring Johnny Depp and Penelope Cruz, was filmed here, as was 2011’s THE DESCENDANTS, starring George Clooney, which earned an Oscar.
The family favorite SOUL SURFER, starring AnnaSophia Robb, Dennis Quaid, Helen Hunt and Carrie Underwood, showcases Kaua‘i and tells the story of beloved island surfer Bethany Hamilton.
Hollywood has been using Kaua‘i as a backlot for feature movies since 1933, when the film WHITE HEAT was shot on the island.
The draw is 552 square miles of uninterrupted beauty parceled out in landscapes that vary widely from one short distance to another, which allows producers the imagery, diversity and red-dust haze needed to transform the island into the backdrops that shape their stories.
In Dustin Hoffman’s OUTBREAK, Kaua‘i mimics Zaire. Danny Glover’s FLIGHT OF THE INTRUDER finds Kaua‘i doubling for both Vietnam and the Philippines. In JURASSIC PARK, the island is meant to mirror an island in Costa Rica, and in RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, a South American jungle. Kaua‘i even played a role in the sci-fi blockbuster AVATAR.
In the recent blockbuster, JURASSIC WORLD, audiences re-visited Isla Nublar, located in Central America, and Kaua‘i’s stunning scenery stood in for the fictional island. BLUE HAWAIIAN HELICOPTERS helped to capture the beauty of the island (and even made a cameo appearance!) for the movie.
In fact, Blue Hawaiian Helicopters’ Kaua‘i Eco Adventure takes passengers high above Mana Waiapuna, also known as “Jurassic Park Falls,” Bali Hai Cliffs, Waimea Canyon and the Nāpali Coast — all settings found on the silver screen.
POLYNESIAN ADVENTURE TOURS also offers a KAUA‘I MOVIE ADVENTURE tour around the island. Visit polyadhawaiitours.com.
BLUE HAWAIIAN HELICOPTERS 808-831-8800