The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen | 2003
Stephen Norrington’s film of Alan Moore’s graphic novel is too compromised and too slam-bang to do justice to the promising conceit that the events of late Victorian fantasy fiction actually happened. And a major falling out between director and star didn’t help matters.
Apart from water tank scenes which were filmed in Malta, the film was made entirely in the Czech Republic – including even the opening ‘Kenya’ scene, where the ‘Britannia Club’ was built on farmland about an hour from Prague (though the basic set was much enhanced with CGI).
The entrance to the ‘London’ club to which Allan Quartermain (Sean Connery) is summoned, is the Rudolfinum, Alšovo nábrezí 79/12 in Prague. Built in 1885 as a multipurpose cultural building, the Rudolfinum was converted to the House of Commons of the Czechoslovak Republic in 1919, until it was converted back into a concert hall under German occupation. In 1992, the Rudolfinum became the home of the Czech Philharmonic and the Rudolfinum Gallery. The hall also provides the exterior of the theatre where Xander (Vin Diesel) meets Gibbons (Samuel L Jackson) in Rob Cohen's 2002 XXX.
The elaborately decorated library, where M (Richard Roxburgh) begins to assemble the league, is the Theological Hall of Strahov Library in the Strahov Monastery in Strahov, a district of Prague on the west bank of the Vltava. It appears again as the interior of 'Buckingham Palace' in Albert and Allen Hughes's From Hell, with Johnny Depp, as the 'Vatican library' in the 2006 remake of The Omen, and you can see the adjoining Philosophical Hall, being used by a very different M, in the 2006 Bond movie Casino Royale.
The library of Dorian Gray (Stuart Townsend), though, is no more than a studio set, as was the city of ‘Venice’, which was built outdoors at CKD, a former heavy machinery factory in Prague.