15 Hollywood Movies That Were Shot in India (At Least Partially)

One of the biggest gripes of being a desi fan of Hollywood is that we hardly see any representation. Most Hollywood movies can be stereotypical and caricaturish in their depiction of our people and our country, but thankfully that is a trend that seems to be slowly changing. However, nothing quite lights up our faces than finding a similar looking person or place in a Hollywood movie. For those of you hoping to see Indiana Jones on this list, you’d be surprised to know that it was actually shot in Sri Lanka. Weird AF, right? Here are some Hollywood movies that were (at least partially) shot in India.

1. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button – Varanasi

Seven-year-old Daisy meets Benjamin, a strange man who seems to be ageing backwards. The two strike a friendship, and eventually fall in love together, but their ages do not line up well – for the most part. The movie was shot partly in Varanasi.

2. Lion – Kolkata

A young boy is separated from his family and ends up in Calcutta. After run-ins with various sinister people, he finally is found by the police and is put in an orphanage. He is then adopted by an Australian couple, who raise him as his own. Once a grown up man, he looks for the family he lost as a kid. 

3. Jobs – Delhi and Vrindavan

Based on the life of the late co-founder of Apple Steve Jobs and starring Ashton Kutcher in the titular role, Jobs follows the life and times of Steve as he revolutionizes the world. It is no secret that Jobs visited India as a young man with his friend, and stayed in the country for a couple of months. 

4. Zero Dark Thirty – Chandigarh

After the attack on the twin towers on 9/11, Osama Bin Laden became the most wanted criminal of the world overnight. He was finally killed in Pakistan by US Navy SEALs after they stormed his house. Zero Dark Thirty is based on the decade-long man-hunt that finally ended in 2011. The movie was partly shot in Chandigarh. 

5. A Mighty Heart – Pune and Mumbai

Based on the real-life kidnapping and murder of Daniel Pearl, an American journalist working for Wall Street Magazine, A Mighty Heart focuses on Mariane Pearl, wife of Daniel, who spent over a week desperately looking for her husband – all while she was pregnant. Daniel, who was at Karachi, Pakistan, while covering George Bush’s “War on Terrorism”, was kidnapped and then decapitated by terrorists. The film was shot in Mumbai and Pune.  

Also take a look at: 25 Interesting Facts About Hollywood Movies before you move on to the rest of our list of Hollywood movies shot in India. 

6. Eat Pray Love – Delhi and Pataudi

Based on the bestselling book of the same name by author Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat Pray Love follows its protagonist Elizabeth who embarks upon a journey of self discovery after her husband divorces her. A major part of the movie was shot in India – specifically in Delhi and Pataudi. 

7. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol – Mumbai

After the IMF is wrongly blamed for bombing the Kremlin, IMF agent Ethan and his team must figure out who actually did it and why – all while on a deadline. The movie was shot partly in Mumbai, and also starred Anil Kapoor in a minor role.

8. The Dark Knight Rises – Jodhpur

The final installment of Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight trilogy and starring Christian Bale, Tom Hardy and Anne Hathaway in major roles, The Dark Knight Rises follows Batman, as he tries to save Gotham City from Bane, a terrorist who wreaks havoc in the city. Part of the movie was shot in Jodhpur. 

9. Extraction – Ahmedabad

After the son of an imprisoned crime lord is kidnapped and taken to Bangladesh, a black market mercenary is hired to retrieve him. Although supposed to be set in Dhaka, most of the scenes in the movie were actually shot in Ahmedabad. 

10. Tenet – Mumbai 

As the only movie that showed up in theatres at one point in time during the Pandemic, Tenet had a bit of an awkward run. The trippy Christopher Nolan movie was partly shot in Mumbai. 

11. Million Dollar Arm – Mumbai and Agra 

Based on the real story of sports agent J.B. Bernstein and baseball players Dinesh Patel and Rinku Singh, Million Dollar Arm follows Bernstein, who’s on the lookout for baseball players after most of his clients have retired. After realising that because of its high population India has a lot of potential, Bernstein comes to India to scout for talent, where he finds Dinesh Patel and Rinku Singh. 

12. Gandhi – Bihar 

As the name clearly suggests, the movie follows the story of Mahatma Gandhi, a lawyer who returns to India from South Africa and begins a nation-wide movement of resistance against British rule. The movie was shot in various places including Koilwar Bridge in Bihar. The movie also holds a place in Guinness Book of World Records for using the most extras in any film as over 3,00,000 people appear in the scene leading to Gandhi’s funeral.  

13. Slumdog Millionaire – Mumbai 

As far as Hollywood movies go, Slumdog Millionaire is fairly Indian. Shot entirely in India, the movie revolves around Jamal, a young impoverished boy from the slums of Mumbai who makes it to Kaun Banega Crorepati – and wins it. The movie was shot extensively in Mumbai. 

14. A Passage to India – Bihar, Bangalore and Jammu & Kashmir

Based on E.M Forster’s novel of the same name, A Passage to India directed by David Lean was an especially popular movie at the 57th Academy Awards, receiving eleven nominations and winning two. The movie follows Adela, who during a trip to India accuses her Indian companion, Dr Aziz Ahmed, of trying to rape her. This puts a strain on the relationship between India and England. The movie was shot extensively in India and across several states, including Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir, and Karnataka. 

15. Octopussy – Udaipur 

This 1983 James Bond movie was partially filmed in Udaipur. The movie follows the MI6 agent who’s tasked with foiling a nuclear attack on NATO. To do so, he must seek help from a circus group and its leader, Octopussy. 

Did you like our list of Hollywood movies shot in India? Comment below to tell us how many on this list you’ve already watched!

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