Highlands & Islands

How Scotland is tartan up comic book movies

Image copyright BBC/Marvel
Image caption Inverness actress Karen Gillan played Nebula in Guardians of the Galaxy

Whether today's blockbuster superhero movies are adapted from the comic book universes of Marvel or DC Comics they all seem to have one thing in common - a link to Scotland.

Here are some of those connections from the Avengers and Batman to Wonder Woman and the X Men.

Edinburgh's Ewen Bremner is probably best-known, and best-loved for his role as Spud in 1996's Trainspotting.

He has appeared in Hollywood box office hits in the past including Pearl Harbor and Black Hawk Down but looks set to raise his profile again after being cast in Wonder Woman's first standalone film.

Wonder Woman appears in forthcoming Batman Vs Superman before her own movie is released next year.

Image caption Ewen Bremner is no stranger to Hollywood blockbusters
Image copyright AP
Image caption David Tennant in superhero TV series Jessica Jones

In cinemas later this year is Captain America: Civil War.

The script draws on a series of graphic novels written by veteran Scots comic book writer Mark Millar. The 2011 film, Captain America: The First Avenger, included scenes shot in Culross in Fife.

Also on the big screen this year is X Men: Apocalypse which will see James McAvoy reprising his role as goody mutants' high heid yin Charles Xavier.

Fellow Scots Brian Cox and Alan Cumming have previously appeared in the X Men series.

The X Men comic books also have a Scottish character called Dr Moria MacTaggart, but she is not played with a Scots accent by actress Rose Byrne in the films.

Meanwhile, McAvoy has had his head shaved for his latest outing as Xavier.

Inverness actress Karen Gillan went to similar lengths, or should that be shorts, to play space pirate Nebula in 2014's Guardians of the Galaxy.

She is reported to be in the next Guardians film, but with special effects expected to applied so she does not have to shave her head again.

Image caption Tilda Swinton, who is said to be descended from a Scots king, will appear in Doctor Strange

Way back in 2008, Gillan appeared in Doctor Who episode The Fires of Pompeii. David Tennant, who played the Doctor at that time, has also been making a foray into the superhero genre.

He plays Kilgrave in US TV series Jessica Jones.

More tenuous links include that to this year's Deadpool. Its star, Ryan Reynolds gave an evil cat a Scottish accent in last year's Indy film, The Voices.

And Tilda Swinton, who has lived and run arts projects in Nairn and, say genealogists, is descended from Scots king Robert the Bruce, will appear in Doctor Strange later this year.

Image copyright Arrow Films
Image caption Ryan Reynolds gave a cat a Scottish accent in The Voices

Scotland's landscape has also been a star of superhero franchises.

Scenes for Batman flick The Dark Knight Rises were shot over the Cairngorms.

The action involved a C130 transport plane that was based at Inverness Airport for several weeks.

Stuntmen and a film crew also made parachute jumps over Cairngorm Gliding Club's airstrip at Feshie Bridge for the scenes.

The fuselage of a Jetstream aircraft that had belonged to bust Inverness-based airline Highland Airways plane was used to portray the interior of the CIA aircraft in the movie.

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