Glasgow's iconic Hydro arena moved to Edinburgh for new Eurovision movie

It is one of the most iconic symbols of modern-day Glasgow.

Glasgow's iconic Hydro arena is relocated to Edinburgh for the new Netfix movie set at the Eurovision Song Contest. Picture: Andrew Milligan

But now the city's Hydro arena has been relocated to Edinburgh's historic Old Town for a new Netflix movie which sees the Eurovision Song Contest staged in the city.

Hollywood star Will Ferrell faces a desperate race against time to get to the venue in the finale of the film, Eurovision Song Contest: The Story Of Fire Saga, which is launched by Netflix this weekend.

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He and Rachel McAdams play a pair of Icelandic musicians vying to win the long-running contest, which was actually held in the city in 1972.

Ferrell's character Lars is shown racing around the streets of a deserted Old Town after hitching a lift with a group of American tourists minutes before he is due on stage.

As they speed down George IV Bridge, towards where the National Museum of Scotland and Greyfriars Kirkyard can normally seen, the familiar shape of the Hydro is seen lighting up the horizon.

Ferrell and McAdams filmed scenes in and around the 14,3000 arena for the movie, which also features footage shot at the real finale of the contest in Tel Aviv in Israel last year.

However temporary Eurovision banners were erected in several key locations around the city for scenes Ferrell and McAdams filmed last autumn.

The film, which sees Ferrell and McAdams perform together as the double act Fire Saga, also stars former James Bond star Pierce Brosnan, who was spotted during location filming in Edinburgh, as Lars' father.

There are glimpses of Calton Hill, Princes Street Gardens, the Ross Fountain, the Grassmarket, Victoria Street, Arthur's Seat and Albany Street, in the New Town.

Ferrell, who is best known for his starring role in Anchorman, co-wrote the script for the Netlix movie, Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga, which is directed by American filmmaker David Dobkin, whose previous credits include Wedding Crashers and The Judge.

A spokeswoman for the Film Edinburgh commission, which works with visiting film and TV productions in the city, said: "You can imagine the excitement when the production team approached us with a parody of the world's ultimate song contest, the Eurovision Song Contest. "Why Edinburgh?" we asked, to which director David Dobkin replied that he loved the city and it would be the perfect location for a parody about the Eurovision Song Contest.

Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams filmed key scenes in Edinburgh and Glasgow last autumn. Picture: John Wilson/Netflix

"The city hosted the (real) Eurovision Song Contest back in 1972 and this was our chance to host it again.

Eurovision banners festooned the streets over the two weeks of filming in October 2019.

"Not to give any spoilers away but the favoured mode of transport of Lars and Sigrit fits in beautifully with the city's green credentials."

The Netflix production arrived in Edinburgh last autumn shortly after filming had wrapped on scenes for the ninth instalment of the Fast & Furious franchise.

Rachel McAdams and Will Ferrell plays a par of Icelandic musicians vying to win the long-running contest. Picture: Aidan Monaghan/Netflix

Edinburgh is set for a starring role in another Netflix movie after former High School Musical star Vanessa Hudgens spent several weeks in the city shooting the Christmas movie The Princess Switch: Switched Again.

The three productions helped ensure it was a bumper year for location filming, worth £14.4 million to the economy in total - the second most valuable since records began.

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