Tetris Filming locations – Tetris is a biographical thriller film directed by Jon S. Baird and written by Noah Pink: starring Taron Egerton, Nikita Efremov, Sofia Lebedeva, Anthony Boyle, Toby Jones and Roger Allam. Based on real events during the late 80s during the Cold War era competition to secure a patent for the popular video game Tetris, this biographical thriller tells the story of these individuals striving to secure it.
Tetris premiered at SXSW Film Festival on March 15th, 2023 and then hit Apple TV+ a week later on March 31st, 2023. Critics generally enjoyed the nostalgic atmosphere and musical score; however, some expressed disappointment with Taron Egerton’s casting as Willie Rogers.
The film’s plot is inspired by the true story of Henk Rogers, a Dutch-American businessman who travelled worldwide in the late 1980s to negotiate video game rights for consoles and handheld devices. While in Japan, Rogers becomes intrigued with Tetris by Russian game designer Alexey Pajitnov. To acquire these rights, he must enter into an unsettling agreement that uses his home as collateral for a loan; nonetheless, he manages to secure them.
Rogers eventually discovers a prototype Game Boy that appears to come preloaded with Tetris. He travels to the Soviet Union in search of the state-owned company that owns Tetris rights but is met with hostility and suspicion at every turn. After being placed under KGB surveillance and threats, Rogers ultimately befriends Alexey Pajitnov.
Filming for the Tetris movie began in late 2021 and continued into early 2022, despite high political tensions between Russia and other countries. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, however, filmmakers could not shoot any scenes set in Moscow, so they had to find another location – discover where Tetris was actually shot!
Filming a parade scene for the movie 'Tetris' a year or so ago. Glasgow doubled as Moscow for a few days…..🎥Apparently its being released on AppleTV at the end of this month pic.twitter.com/j1tUagFNKN
— mark shoolivan (@1007CRN) March 21, 2023
Where was the “Tetris” Movie Shot? Filming Locations
Filming of the Tetris movie took place in Scotland, specifically Glasgow and Aberdeen, due to a lack of permission in Russia. Director Jon S. Baird, born and raised in Aberdeen, chose to shoot here because he wanted to showcase northern Scotland’s potential for filmmaking.
The University of Aberdeen’s Zoology Building was one of the locations used for the film, serving as headquarters for ELORG, a Russian corporation. Additionally, scenes were shot on Aberdeen streets, such as Tillydrone Avenue, Seamount Court and Gerrard Street.
Crews camped out in various locations around Glasgow to capture some of the film’s most important scenes, set in 1980s Moscow. The hotel depicted in the movie was actually an empty office building on Tradeston’s Morrison Street; other streets used for shooting included Charlotte Street, Bothwell Street, Ayr Street, Old Dumbarton Road and North Frederick Street.
Being nosey at the Tetris filming location. Couldn’t see anything going on, but PANAVISION lorries and the cherrypicker-mounted Arri were 🤓. The old soviet cars are away in the car park already.
I really hope they’re filming scenes in the weird zoology museum in the basement! pic.twitter.com/CYlLKfRR1w
— Rob (@nemo_fishy) February 19, 2021
In addition to Glasgow and Aberdeen, the crew also shot some scenes at Prestwick’s Glasgow Prestwick International Airport, which was transformed to look like Soviet Russia during the 1980s.
Interestingly, many of the Kremlin sequences were filmed in West Parliament Square, Edinburgh. Producer Gillian Berrie revealed in an interview for the production notes that many Moscow buildings were designed and built by Scottish architects – an admiration shared by Catherine the Great, who brought over some of Scotland’s top architects to construct some iconic landmarks.
In conclusion, while Russia could not host the Tetris movie, Scotland served as an excellent substitute for Moscow and other locations required for production.