History of Films shot in Thailand
Dozens of foreign films have been shot in Thailand, with the kingdom either playing itself or standing in for a neighboring country, such as Vietnam or Cambodia.
The availability of elephants, exotic jungle and beach settings, relatively low production costs, and a mature domestic film industry that provides a legion of experienced crew members, have made Thailand an attractive location for many Hollywood films and other foreign productions.
Films set in Thailand include
Around the World in Eighty Days, The Big Boss, The Man with the Golden Gun and The Beach. And Thailand has been used as a stand-in setting for such Vietnam War-era films as The Deer Hunter, Good Morning Vietnam, Casualties of War and The Killing Fields.
In addition to providing work for Thai film crews and extras (including the Royal Thai Army), films that use Thailand as a location help Thailand promote itself as a tourist destination. As a result, the
Tourism Authority of Thailand is keenly interested in attracting production companies to make films in the Kingdom.
However, over the months, the locations of some films have been criticized as being harmful to the environment. The island used to depict villain's hideout in The Man with the Golden Gun is now a major draw for tourism operators in Phuket's Phang Nga Bay. Environmentalists also protested the filming of The Beach, in which the film crew made alterations to the location that were viewed as damaging.
Hollywood has played an important role in the development of Thailand's film industry. One of the first feature films made in Thailand, 1923's Miss Suwanna of Siam, was a Hollywood co-production, made with the royal assistance of King Vajiravudh, who gave the production free use of his 52 automobiles, 600 horses, use of the Royal Thai Navy, the Grand Palace, the railways, the rice mills, rice fields, coconut groves, canals and elephants.
The 1927 documentary, Chang, by Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack, was made in Thailand. In recent years, even the Bollywood film industry has chosen Thailand as location.
List of foreign films shot in Thailand
- Chang (1927) – Directors Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack were assisted by Prince Yugala Dighambara in the production of their silent docudrama about a family of subsistence farmers living in the jungle, battling elephants, tigers and other animals. Among the cast is a gibbon named Bimbo.
- Around the World in Eighty Days (1956) – Director Michael Todd was able to borrow one of the royal barges of King Bhumibol Adulyadej when the production was in Bangkok.
- The Ugly American (1963) – Thai statesman Kukrit Pramoj appeared on screen with Marlon Brando, portraying the prime minister of the fictional Southeast Asian country of Sarkhan. He was later elected Prime Minister of Thailand, serving in office in 1975-76.
- The Big Boss (1971) – Bruce Lee portrays a young fighter from Guangdong who comes to Thailand to sort out his life and finds a job working in an icehouse. He tries to be peaceful, but they just keep pushing him.
- Duel of Fists (1971) – David Chiang travels to Bangkok looking for his long-lost brother ( Ti Lung), who's a muay Thai boxer in this Shaw Brothers Studio film by Chang Cheh. Pawana Chanajit co-starred as a love interest for Chiang's character. Locations include the Dusit Thani Hotel on Rama IV Road, long before overpass bridges and the Bangkok Skytrain were built, as well as the Siam Intercontinental, since razed to make way for Siam Paragon.
- The Man with the Golden Gun (1974) – Filmed around Bangkok and Phang Nga Bay near Phuket. Bond attended a boxing match at Ratchadamnoen Boxing Stadium in Pom Prap Sattru Phai district. One of the islands seen in the film is known as the "Nail" island (or Ko Khao Tapoo). This island houses the solar panels. The hideout of Scaramanga (Christopher Lee) is actually Ko Kow-Phing-Khan. Both islands are now tourist attractions. The "nail" island is referred to as "James Bond Island" in tourist literature. The location was extremely hard hit by a tsunami following the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake.
- The Deer Hunter (1978) – The Russian roulette bar was in Patpong in Bangkok, while the POW camp was in Sai Yok, Kanchanaburi Province.
- The Killing Fields (1984) – Locations in Hua Hin and Phuket stood in for Khmer Rouge-era Cambodia. Actor Spalding Gray recounts the film's shoot in his monologue, Swimming to Cambodia.
- Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985) – Sylvester Stallone's super soldier goes to Vietnam (actually Thailand) looking for his POW buddies. Followed by Rambo III', set in Afghanistan but partially shot in Thailand.
- Good Morning Vietnam (1987) – Thai actress Jintara Sukapat portrayed the love interest for Robin Williams' character.
- Off Limits (1988) – Christopher Crowe's Vietnam War crime thriller featured Willem Dafoe and Gregory Hines. The film is also known as Saigon.
- Casualties of War (1989) – Brian De Palma's Vietnam War saga was filmed around Phuket.
- Kickboxer (1989) - [Jean Claude Van Damme]' Movie about a westener who learns mauy thai. [Thailand]
- Air America (1990) – Mae Hong Son Province in northern Thailand stands in for Secret War-era Laos. The film later attracted tourism to the region and was featured on the cover of Conde Nast Traveller in May 1993.
- Heaven & Earth (1993) – Oliver Stone's Vietnam War-era drama was made in Thailand.
- Operation Dumbo Drop (1995) – Walt Disney Pictures' Vietnam War comedy-drama features Thai elephants.
- Cutthroat Island (1995) – Renny Harlin's swashbuckler was filmed on location in Maya Bay, which would later be used for The Beach.
- Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997) – Tony Jaa worked as a stunt double and went on to become a major Thai action star. Filming was in historic old Ayutthaya, where a minor stir was caused when scantily-clad foreign women were filmed dancing on top of some sacred ruins. Mortal Kombat also was made in Thailand, around Sukhothai historical park.
- Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) – Another Bond film and another Bond. Michelle Yeoh co-stars, as Bangkok stands in for Ho Chi Minh City. Scaramanga's island is seen, as Phang Nga Bay substitutes for Halong Bay, Vietnam.
- The Beach (2000) – Environmentalists protested the film because the production crew altered the beach of Ko Phi Phi Leh. A 2006 court ruling held that 20th Century Fox was among the parties responsible for damages.
- In the Mood for Love (2000) – Wong Kar-wai's love story starring Maggie Cheung and Tony Leung Chiu Wai is set in 1960s Hong Kong but exterior scenes were filmed in Bangkok.
- City of Ghosts (2002) – Matt Dillon's noirish thriller was set in Cambodia and mostly filmed there, but some scenes were shot in Thailand, and many of the crew were Thai people.
- The Medallion (2003) – Jackie Chan's action picture was filmed in Thailand under the working title, Highbinders.
- Belly of the Beast (2003) – Steven Seagal portrays a former CIA agent who searches in Thailand for his kidnapped daughter. Co-st ars Thai actors Sarah Malakul, Pongpat Wachirabanjong and Chakrit Yamnam. 
- 2046 – Wong Kar-wai's follow-up to In the Mood for Love was filmed partially in Bangkok, and the film underwent post-production processing at Bangkok's Kantana Group labs, where the director made last-minute edits to the film before delivering it late to the 2004 Cannes Film Festival.
- Two Brothers – This family-friendly story about two tigers had some scenes made in Samut Prakan Province, at a tourist site called Mueang Boran (Ancient City), which has scaled-down replicas of many of Thailand's important structures. The tigers used in the film were from the Si Racha Tiger Zoo near Pattaya. The film was set in neighboring Cambodia, and many locations were used there was well.
- Alexander – Oliver Stone's epic starring Colin Farrell as Alexander the Great was filmed along the Mekong in northeastern Ubon Ratchathani Province and in Saraburi Province. Royal Thai Army soldiers were used as extras. Thai actors Bin Bunluerit and Jaran Ngamdee portrayed an Indian king and an Indian prince respectively.
- Around the World in 80 Days – This Jackie Chan/Steve Coogan remake of the 1956 film was also filmed in Thailand, with scenes shot in Krabi that were meant to take place in a rural village in China. Sammo Hung makes an appearance as Wong Fei Hung.
- Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason – Made in Bangkok and Phuket, including Bangkok's Soi Cowboy. Tabloid reports that Hugh Grant was chased by bargirls were false.
- Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith (2005) – The approach to Kashyyyk, the Wookiee homeworld, was filmed around Krabi Province by Santa Film International. 
- Stealth (2005) – Jamie Foxx, Jessica Biel and Josh Lucas portray high-tech US Navy aviators. Rest and relaxation scenes are set in Thailand and were filmed on The Beach island, Ko Phi Phi Leh. Neighboring Myanmar is the setting for a missile target, but those scenes were filmed in Australia.
- Blackbeard (2005) – with Angus Macfadyen, Stacy Keach, Richard Chamberlain, Rachel Ward - was filmed in Suratthani and Nakorn Si Thammarat in southern Thailand by Living Films. The story depicts the exploits of English pirate Edward Teach, better known as Captain Blackbeard. Blackbeard roamed the Caribbean in the 18th century. The swashbuckling adventure story appears to take place primarily in the Caribbean city of New Providence in 1717.
- Journey from the Fall – Unable to make his film at home, Vietnamese director Ham Tran came to Thailand to make his drama about Vietnam's re-education camps and the experience of boat people.
- Tsunami: The Aftermath (2006) – The HBO-BBC joint production came to Phuket in April-June 2006 to film mini-series about the December 26, 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and the resulting tsunami that hit Phuket.
- American Gangster (2007) – directed by Ridley Scott and starring Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe, the story of an American heroin smuggler was filmed in November 2006 in Chiang Mai.
- Croc (2007) - This Thai Occidental Productions movie about a large man-eating crocodile, was filmed in Thailand in 2006. Michael Madsen, who plays a crocodile-hunter in the film, was in Thailand for the filming. The movie has played on Sky One in the U.K., the Sci Fi Channel (United States) channel in the U.S., and Star Movies in Asia.
- Rambo (2007) – Sylvester Stallone returned to Thailand to make the fourth installment in his Rambo franchise, directing and starring as the Vietnam War veteran who takes on a mission to protect Christian missionaries delivering aid to the Karen people in Myanmar. Filming was due to start in January 2007.
- Rescue Dawn (2007) – Werner Herzog came to Thailand in August 2005 to direct this true story of pilot Dieter Dengler and his escape from a POW camp during the Vietnam War. Stars Christian Bale and Steve Zahn.
- Return To The Bronze Forest is a movie about elephant in Thailand and life in forest hill and watering-place elephant life in town and why elephant back to the forest then life start in forest and friends
- Bangkok Dangerous (also called Big Hit in Bangkok or Time to Kill) (2008) – A remake of Bangkok Dangerous by the Pang Brothers, it stars Nicolas Cage and Charlie Yeung and started shooting in Bangkok in August 2006. Production was delayed by a coup d'état.
- The Marine 2." ... The Marine 2 shot in Thailand, and specifically on the southern island of Phuket, often called the “Pearl of the Andaman Sea,” for its pristine white beaches and warm azure waters. The biggest challenge for filmmakers was finding a resort that would allow filmmakers to take it over and in effect, destroy it, during the busy tourist season.
- Survivor Philippines The second season was announced by GMA on February 2009 with nine audition venues in eight cities already being announced to be held in March 2009. The season, later known as Survivor Philippines: Palau, started airing on August 17 of the same year. It took place in the island of Peleliu in the said country with 16 castaways taking part. The show also aired for 13 weeks from August to November 2009. The winner was Amanda Coolley Van Cooll, a construction worker from Mindoro.
- Croatian Big Brother is scheduled to begin on Friday 5th September 2008. RTL Televizija is the first television that will have a Big Brother house outside their country. Croatian Big Brother 5 was run in Thailand
Shanghai Harvey Weinstein and company are film in UK and Thailand.Under the direction of Mikael Hafstrom Gong Li , Ken Watanabe, and John Cusack cast in the 1940s drama Shanghai, which tells of the story of an American who stumbles upon government secrets while investigating the death of a friend. The piece depicts a war-torn Japanese-occupied Shanghai.
Street Fighter There are several major players in the plot of the movie: Guile, Chun-Li, Ken, Ryu, Dhalsim, and Charlie (Blanka) and M. Bison. The plot described below follows primarily Guile.The movie takes place in the fictional nation of Shadaloo in South East Asia (the movie was shot in Thailand, and maps at the beginning of the movie show Shadaloo occupying a segment of modern-day Burma).
Storm Rider Ekin Cheng and Aaron Kwok are the only actors reprised in their roles as Wind and Cloud from the original cast in the first movie. The production crew and producers have also changed. The Pang Brothers replaced director Andrew Lau and Universe Entertainment have gained the rights in production from Golden Harvest (as their 10 year production rights to the movie expired). The entire movie is shot in BangKok, Thailand in custom-made sets. It will be the first Chinese film to be