7 Amazing Big-budget Movies & Series Filmed in Alberta

Growing up in Alberta we sometimes forget how fortunate we are to be surrounded by so many beautiful landscapes. 

It’s funny to think that people living outside of our province may not know such amazing places exist – we have beautiful green trails and rivers that flow through cities and small towns. A short drive west from where we are located (Edmonton, Alberta) and you’re in the Rocky Mountains. Amazing. It’s awesome to see that our landscapes make appearances in big budget movies and TV Series and portrayed as other parts of the world. If you’re Canadian, or better yet, an Albertan, you’ll recognize these locations almost immediately. The movies and TV series below have scenes shot in Alberta and reminds us of how lucky we are to have access as residents and filmmakers to venture out and explore all of this right in our own backyard.


1. Brokeback Mountain (2005)


Poster design by BLT Communications, LLC

This 3-time Oscar-winning flick starring Heath Ledger and directed by Ang Lee was a commercial and critical success. Mostly filmed in and around Alberta’s gorgeous Rocky Mountains in areas such as Kananaskis Counrty, Fort Macleod, Lacome, Calgary and more.

2. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007)


Photo Credit: Copyright 2007, Warner Bros

January 2005, Brad Pitt was cast, and filming began on August 2005 in Calgary. Our very own Fort Edmonton Park took place in the film showcasing the steam train from 1919. Filming also took place in other parts of Alberta, including McKinnon Flats, Heritage Park, the Fairmont Palliser Hotel, the Kananaskis area, several private ranches and the historical Fort Edmonton Park. The historical town of Creede, Colorado was recreated at a cost of $1 million near Goat Creek in Alberta.

3. Inception(2010)


Poster art copyright Warner Bros. Pictures

The final phase of principal photography took place at a temporarily closed ski resort; Fortress Mountain in Alberta around November 2009. An elaborate set was assembled near the top station of the chairlift, taking three months to build! The production had to wait for a huge snowstorm, which eventually arrived.

4. Hell on Wheels (TV series) (2011-2016)


Poster design by: OTMentertain, Photography by: Frank Ockenfeld

Filming of the first season took place in Calgary, as well as areas in central and southern Alberta, Canada. The T’suu T’ina Native Indian Reservation, an Indian reserve in southern Alberta, was the location for most of the exteriors. For the majority of the seasons filming was done along the Bow River in Calgary. Interior filming was in a building near Calgary’s airport. Filming of the third season was suspended part way through the sixth episode when the location was included in the mandatory evacuation area due to the flooding in southern Alberta.

5. Interstellar (2014)


Photo credit: Poster art copyright Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures

Filming began in August 2013 right in Alberta! Small towns in southern Alberta such as Nanton, Longview, Lethbridge, Fort Macleod and Okotoks were fortunate enough to be included in the film. Filming in our province lasted till September 2013, and involved over 100 local extras and crew members.

6. Fargo (TV series) (2014-2015)


Photo courtesy of IMDB

Production began in fall 2013 with filming taking place in and around Calgary, Alberta. The second season of Fargo was filmed in the downtown core of Calgary and other regions in southern Alberta such as Fort Macleod and Didsbury.

7. The Revenant (2015)


Photo credit: Poster art copyright 20th Century Fox.

Filming took place in Calgary and Fortress Mountain (Temporarily closed ski resort). While the initial plan was to film entirely in Canada, the weather was ultimately too warm, leading the filmmakers to locations at the tip of Argentina with snow on the ground, to shoot the film’s ending. Hundreds of extras, as well as some actors, were sought from First Nation communities around Alberta, including Tsuu T’ina, Sunchild and Maskwacis.

Tell us what your favourite big-budget works filmed in Alberta are in the comments section!