M3gan is the latest horror movie to be released by Blumhouse production, written and produced by James Wan, one of the biggest names in the horror genre over the past two decades. The movie will certainly have you on the edge of your seat the entire time, and the trailer revealed some really amazing locations. So, where was M3gan filmed?
M3gan was mainly filmed in Auckland, New Zealand, and Los Angeles, California. However, the movie’s IMDb page suggests some scenes were also shot in Poughkeepsie, New York, meaning M3gan wasn’t just a cross-country but a worldwide project.
It makes sense, as James Wan comes from the ‘Down Under,’ and he is one of the movie’s executive producers and writers, along with his production company, Atomic Monster. Also, Blumhouse Productions is involved in the project, and their headquarters are in LA. Let’s dive deeper into all the beautiful locations where M3gan was filmed.
What is M3gan about? A brief synopsis
M3gan is a psychological techno-horror/thriller produced by James Wan and Jason Blum. Wan also worked on the story, along with the main writer, Akela Cooper. The movie was directed by Gerard Johnstone, who was chosen because of his skill set but also due to the fact that the film will feature a lot of elements of a black comedy.
The plot revolves around Gemma, a brilliant scientist that specializes in robotics. Gemma develops M3gan (Model 3 Generative Android), an artificial intelligence robot that appears as a life-like doll of a child. Her programming is set to make M3gan a ‘child’s greatest companion, and a parent’s greatest ally.’
Gemma’s niece, Cady, ends up an orphan after her parents die in a car accident, so Gemma takes her in and uses a M3gan prototype to help take care of Cady. However, the programming works all too well, and M3gan becomes overly protective of Cady, stemming a horrifying series of events riddled with murder and mayhem.
Although James Wan already has a ‘killer doll’ horror franchise behind him with Annabelle, he said they chose to go with M3gan with a completely different message and approach in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter:
“Pretty much the concept is about embracing technology too much and relying too much on it. And what happens with technology runs amok. It’s a commentary on the world we live in, and it feels relevant.”
Before the movie’s release in November 2022, The New York Times revealed that Universal is already planning the production of a M3gan sequel, as they were incredibly happy with how the first movie turned out.
Where was M3gan filmed?
When James Wan is involved, you better believe it will be a global project. M3gan is no different, as there are several locations across the globe where the movie was filmed. Here are all known filming locations revealed.
Los Angeles, California
Several sources confirmed that the filming of M3gan started on July 5, 2021, in Los Angeles, California. It makes sense, as the main two production companies behind the movie are Jason Blum’s Blumhouse Productions and James Wan’s Atomic Monster Productions.
Both companies have headquarters and studios in Los Angeles, which is likely where most of M3gan was filmed. I say most of the film because it’s mostly an indoor plot, so it’s likely that most of the film was shot inside a studio.
Auckland, New Zealand
Principal photography started in Auckland, New Zealand, around the same time when it started in Los Angeles – meaning early July 2021. The producers shared that the suburbs of Auckland were used to create a “Denver, Colorado-type feel.”
To add to it, James Wan is Australian-born, so I’m sure he had input, knowing the landscape and the overall appearance of the locations they were filming in and how well they worked with the vibe they were going for in the film.
Poughkeepsie, New York
Lastly, the movie’s IMDb page suggests that at least some of the filming was done in Poughkeepsie, New York, probably in studios located there. However, no details about where the location was used in the film were disclosed.
What we do know is that filming finished in a little more than a month, around mid-August 2021, right before the COVID-19 lockdown was reinstated in New Zealand.
M3gan Trailer & Release Date
M3gan was initially slated for release on January 13, 2023. However, due to House Party and A Man Called Otto having their international premieres the same week, the producers of M3gan decided to pull the premiere a week earlier, to January 6, 2023.
The world premiere of the movie was held on December 7, 2022, in Los Angeles, and even that premiere had some highlight moments involving the life-like dolls. Seeing how positive the early reviews were, it wouldn’t be crazy to assume that there will be more M3gan-related projects in the future.