Where Was News Of The World Filmed?

Where Was News Of The World Filmed

For a film based in the Old American West, you can imagine that the News of the World used locations from those very same states.

The film was released in the United States on 25th December 2020 and follows a Civil War veteran as he returns a young girl who was taken in by the Kiowa Tribe.

Released in theaters and on Netflix, the film received Academy Award nominations for Best Original Score, Best Sound, Best Production Design, and Best Cinematography.

That final nomination has a lot to do with the real locations where News of the World was filmed.

With little need for many computer-generated images, some of those real locations that were used in the film can still be visited to this day, if you can get onto a certain ranch and make your way to New Mexico.

If you want to take in the splendor that News of the World featured then read on to find out where it was filmed.

Where Was News Of The World Filmed

The Filming Of News Of The World

News of the World was well-received by critics and audiences alike, you can see why by just how accurate its depiction of the Old American West is.

As well as using real locations, such as those in Santa Fe, New Mexico, the film was commended by members of the Kiowa Tribe.

This includes their Tribal Chairman, Matthew Komalty, who went on record to praise just how accurate the crew was in portraying life as it was back then. 

The production crew involved in the film even collaborated with the New Mexico State Film Office in their preparation.

To that extent, the film even used a Kiowa Tribe member to coach Helena Zengel (who played the young girl Johanna) on various aspects of the Kiowa language.

Dorothy WhiteHorse also provided Zengel with details of how Native Americans behaved and lived at the time the film was set.

In the film, Johanna is unable to speak English which adds to how Tom Hanks’ character (Captain Kidd) struggles through various disputes. 

The production crew’s collaboration with the New Mexico Film Office helped facilitate partnerships all across the state.

This included retail services and crew members as about 200 New Mexican staff workers were involved to produce the film.

Another 25 New Mexican actors were also included and as the film’s production was made easier, such a huge project also went some way to add to the local economy in Santa Fe. 

Specific Filming Locations

If you did want to try to see yourself in the News of the World then you would need to get to Western Town Movie Set.

Several of the scenes that appear to take place in a town in the film were created in the Bonanza Creek Ranch which is close to Santa Fe.

This includes a scene in the film when Captain Kidd finds Johanna when he visits Wichita Falls, North Texas.

The church featured in that second village is in Bonanza Ranch and was built in 1955. 

When Kidd heads to Dallas, he is still in the same Bonanza Ranch filming location.

If you look closely, you can see the church in the background.

Alas, some scenes cannot be seen in the real world as they were computer-generated which includes the huge view of San Antonio which includes a Spanish-style Mission Church. 

Filming of News of the World commenced on September 2nd 2019 and also included scenes which were shot at El Rancho de Las Golondrinas, which is also in Santa Fe.

The ranch is a working farm so the extras would be shot plowing the field and doing typical farm work which added an authenticity to the film.

As a living history museum, several scenes included real locations such as the home where Captain Kidd brings Johanna back to, as well as the stove which was an original and is featured in the film. 

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Other Films And TV Shows Filmed In Santa Fe, New Mexico

The vast vistas and landscapes in Santa Fe may be harder to recognize than the odd Manhattan street corner yet they have been widely used in other films and TV shows.

With little urban development to spoil the scene, the huge expanse of desert landscape has been used in Independence Day and Terminator: Salvation.

Other film projects to be shot in Santa Fe include Bordertown, Natural Born Killers, City Slickers, A Million Ways to Die in the West, The Lone Ranger, and True Grit. 

Santa Fe has also been used as a filming location for the popular streaming show, Breaking Bad.

This does make sense as the city where the show is set, Albuquerque, lies south of Santa Fe and the Bonanza Creek Ranch. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Film, News of the World, Based on?

Alas, News of the World, is not based on a true story but is an adaptation of the 2016 novel, also called News of the World.

The book was written by Paulette Jiles and in May 2017, Fox 2000 Pictures had bought the distribution rights.

Following the merger of Disney with Fox, the film was then transferred to Universal Pictures with Paul Greengrass as Director, Luke Davies as screenplay writer and Tom Hanks as the lead. 

How Many Academy Awards did News of the World Win?

Though the film was nominated for four Academy Awards, it did not win a single one.

The nominations were for Best Cinematography, Best Sound, Best Production Design, and Best Original Score.

The film was also nominated for four British Academy Film Awards and failed to win any of them either.

However, the film did win in the Hollywood Music in Media Awards in the category of Best Original Score in a Feature Film. 

Final Thoughts

Once you watch News of the World, you can quickly see why it was nominated for Best Cinematography.

Though it did not win the Academy Award, the film does extremely well to portray life in the Old American West.

By using real locations that date back to that era and members of the Kiowa tribe, that authenticity was key to the landscapes that made their way into the film. 

If you enjoyed this article, you might enjoy our post on ‘Where Was Safe Haven Filmed?‘.