Highlands & Islands

Scarlett Johansson, Batman, James Bond and Scots roads

Girl running to car
Image caption The film Shell was partly inspired by its director's childhood holiday road trips

A Scottish trunk road will be an unlikely feature of a world premiere at the Venice Film Festival on Tuesday. But Under the Skin, the movie starring the A82, is the latest on a long and winding list of Scottish movie road trips.

This journey starts in Achiltibuie, near Ullapool, where scenes for one of the more unusual "trips" were shot.

In the hills around the small community, filming was done for 2011's The Eagle.

It sees Channing Tatum's Roman soldier trek deep into Scotland in search of his father's lost standard, guided by a slave played by Jamie Bell.

Following the single track road from Achiltibuie to the A837 then south on to the A835 before taking a right on to the A832 leads to Dundonnel.

Image caption Scarlett Johansson filming scenes in Glencoe for Under the Skin

Just north of Dundonnell, writer-director Scott Graham and his production team built a replica petrol station for his debut feature, Shell.

While writing the script, Graham drew on memories of his childhood caravan holidays that started from his home in Fraserburgh to headed into the Highlands.

The film's filling replica station was so convincing that motorists pulled and tried to buy fuel.

Returning to the A835 and heading south towards Inverness leads to the A9, a road which two years ago was linked to the Batman movie The Dark Knight Rises.

Newspapers reported that a section of the trunk route near Inverness would be shut to allow a Hercules C130 aircraft to land on it.

Police said they had not been approached about closing the trunk road.

However, while not naming the film involved, Northern Constabulary did say it had been asked to assist a crew with filming in Badenoch and Strathspey.

Image caption Daniel Craig in the Highlands during filming of Skyfall

Scottish government agency, Transport Scotland, said it had been approached by the Batman movie's production company about using roads at locations across Scotland.

Journeying south on the A9 then turning off on to the A86 at Kingussie eventually leads to the A82 and Glencoe where Scarlett Johansson was filmed for scenes in Under the Skin.

Transport Scotland granted permission for filming south of Loch Ba on the trunk road.

The section of A82 was closed for 10 minute periods to allow queuing traffic to clear before the next closure was made.

Johansson plays an alien who prowls the highway, preying on humans.

Image caption A road sign warning of delays on the A82 because of filming involving Johansson

The film is loosely based on a novel by Michel Faber, who used the A9 in his story.

Further along the A82 is a minor road leading to the White Corries where a car chase for last year's Bond movie Skyfall starring Daniel Craig were shot.

Returning along that single track road and back on to the A82 eventually leads to a turn off for the A85 and Oban Airport.

Here scenes for Scottish film The Last Great Wilderness were shot.

Starring Alastair Mackenzie of Monarch of the Glen fame, it features a road trip which, like the other films that have followed since, leads to trouble and strife.

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