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Searcy's Restaurant at The Gherkin in Thor: The Dark World

Date posted: 01.10.2013

Thor: The Dark World continues the adventures of Thor (Chris Hemworth), the Mighty Avenger, as he battles to save Earth and all the Nine Realms from a shadowy enemy that predates the universe itself. In the aftermath of Marvel's Thor and The Avengers, a primeval race led by Malekith (Christopher Eccleston) is out for revenge and intends to plunge the universe into darkness. Thor must embark on his most perilous and personal journey yet, one that will reunite him with Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), forcing him to make the ultimate sacrifice.

Based at Shepperton Studios, Thor: The Dark World saw filming take place across the capital including significant scenes at the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich. In addition, 30 St Mary Axe, widely and informally known as the Gherkin, was chosen as a backdrop for many dramatic scenes. Location Manager Tom Crooke, says "there are few buildings in London more instantly recognisable and universally appreciated than the Gherkin". Searcys Restaurant, located on the upper levels of the building, was able to accommodate the ambitious production.

The highly organised shoot incorporated filming within the restaurant as well as filming externally, which was realised through the use of the building's window cleaning cradle. In establishing the shoot, Crooke explains that "the intention was to lift the camera team high above the apex of Searcys Restaurant, from where the views are breathtaking."

In order to achieve the complex shoot, it was vial to negotiate crew members to the top of the Gherkin with minimum disruption to visitors and workers within the building. Emma Pill, Supervising Location Manager, recognised the efforts by all involved given the tight turnaround for the shoot and the logistics of external filming on the 36th floor explaining that "all dressing, shooting and reinstatement was achieved in one day, with Searcy's and 30 St Mary Axe's management team and the film crew all working together".

Coordinating the shoot for Searcys, Sales and Marketing Manager Sarah McQueen explains Searcys' involvement beyond the logistical elements, "they filmed a restaurant scene using our Operations Manager and our waiting staff plus roughly 20 actors." The action sequence finds one of the characters descend upon the Gherkin in a spectacular fight sequence. Recounting her experience of this particular scene McQueen says "it involved our team having to pretend to see a character falling on the top of the building and gasping about 20 times - lots of fun!"

Standing 180m tall, the Gherkin is one of London's most prestigious and iconic venues. Searcys Restaurant occupies the top 3 floors exclusively. It is a modern venue and includes a restaurant and bar area on the top two floors, plus two stunning private dining rooms and a members' club lounge. A unique location, Searceys boasts spectacular 360° views of the capital. 

Films that have shot here include Red 2, Match Point and Basic Instinct 2.

For filming at Searcys please contact Danny Kaljee, General Manager, danny.kaljee@searcys.co.uk /  07870571496

Distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, Thor: The Dark World is released on 8 November.

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