We all get stressed out from time to time and dream of being left alone on a deserted island just to get a little peace. Cast Away may give you a glimpse of what that may entail. Of course, it’s one thing to dream about it and it’s quite another when you are forced into the situation. I don’t know about you but my dream usually involves a tropical beach resort with plenty of hospitality and service! But Cast Away has none of that. Let’s see how Tom Hanks handled his fictional time on a beautiful deserted island. So where was Cast Away filmed? Let’s check out the storyline first.

Where Was Cast Away Filmed

Where Was Cast Away Filmed?

Cast Away was mainly filmed on the island of Monuriki (also known as Modriki Island) in Fiji. This small deserted island was discovered by the filmmakers and used as a location because of its beauty and potential for creating an authentic, uncharted atmosphere. Located in the South Pacific Ocean off the coast of Fiji, this remote and mysterious island was chosen to simulate a deserted island in the middle of nowhere.

Where Was Cast Away Filmed? Monuriki Island, Fiji
Monuriki Island, Fiji

The crew visited Monuriki for two weeks and set up their own production village for use during filming. They had to bring all equipment, supplies and personnel to the island with no outside assistance. This allowed them to create a unique atmosphere for filming and also helped to create a feeling of authenticity for the movie.

The crew made use of the island’s natural beauty by utilizing its wide variety of terrain and vegetation. They used various beaches, lagoons, grassy hills, forests and other features as backdrops for their scenes. The majority of the filming took place on the beach, where Tom Hanks’ character created his masterpiece – a volleyball named Wilson.

Where Was Cast Away Filmed - Monuriki Island BTS

Other scenes were also shot in Los Angeles, California and Virginia Beach, Virginia. However, it is the stunning beauty of Monuriki that makes Cast Away so unforgettable and iconic.

Where Was Cast Away Filmed - Wilson
Where Was Cast Away Filmed – Wilson (IMDb.com)

What is Cast Away About?

Cast Away centers around Chuck Noland, a Federal Express executive who’s job is to resolve productivity problems. At Christmas, he is summoned at the last minute to fix an issue in Malaysia. The cargo plane he’s in crashes during a violent storm and he manages to make it to an uninhabited island.

Federal Express packages begin washing up on shore and Chuck has to source his own food and shelter in the hope that a passing ship will find him. Chuck maintains his sanity by talking to a volleyball he names Wilson. Wilson is his only “friend” while on the island.

Where Was Cast Away Filmed - Chuck Writing on Rock
(Courtesy of IMDb.com)

The Cast of Cast Away

The cast list is pretty short. The three main actors were Tom Hanks, Helen Hunt, and Nick Searcy.

where was castaway filmed - tom hanks 50lbs

Tom Hanks took his character very seriously. He gained 50 pounds before shooting the movie so he could lose the weight during filming to make it more realistic.

Who Directed Cast Away?

Cast Away was directed by Robert Zemeckis, an American filmmaker and screenwriter who is best known for his work on the Back to the Future series. Zemeckis has also been involved in other successful films such as Forrest Gump (1994) and What Lies Beneath (2000).

Cast Away Box Office Details

  • Cast Away Film Budget: $90,000,000
  • Opening weekend: $28,883,406
  • Gross (US & Canada): $233,632,142
  • Gross (World): $429,632,142

Fun Facts About Cast Away

  • Cast Away was released on December 22nd, 2000 and grossed over $429 million worldwide.
  • The volleyball, Wilson, in the film was made of real leather, which meant it had to be repaired after every scene.
  • Tom Hanks personally endured days of solitude on Monuriki to prepare for his role in the film.
  • The island of Monuriki has since become a popular tourist destination for fans of Cast Away.
Where Was Cast Away Filmed Backdrop

Awards 

Cast Away received numerous awards and nominations at various award ceremonies, such as the Golden Globe Awards. At the 2001 Golden Globe Awards, Tom Hanks won Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama for his role in Cast Away, while Alan Silvestri won Best Original Score – Motion Picture. The film was also nominated for Oscars and BAFTA awards, among others.

Can You Visit the Set of Cast Away?

There’s no set to visit but you can indeed visit the island of Monuriki where Cast Away was filmed. It looks exactly like it did when the film was shot in 1999.  The beach is affectionately called ‘Cast Away Island Beach.’ There are no restaurants, hotels or any other amenities on the island.

Day tours to Monuriki Island can be booked in advance. The island is incredibly tiny measuring only half a mile wide and .06 miles long. But that shouldn’t stop you from enjoying it. You can take a self-guided tour as well as enjoy swimming and snorkeling around the island.

Check out the map below of Monuriki Island which has the actual beach named ‘Cast Away Island Beach’. Zoom out of the map so you can get a sense of how far away and small it is.

Where Was Cast Away Filmed 02

And That’s a Wrap!

Fiji is an amazing place to have a relaxing island vacation. To truly experience island life, plan on staying at least a week. If you are traveling from a distance you may want to extend your trip. 

The best time to visit is between May and September. October to April is considered the wet season and is the hottest time of year. The islands are also at risk for cyclones during this time.

So what do you think? Ready to book your Fiji vacation? Have you been to Fiji already? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

Other Films With Tropical Filming Locations

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9 Comments

  1. I absolutely loved reading about the filming locations for Cast Away, Alanna Birmingham! It’s fascinating how a place can become a character of its own in movies. Makes me want to rewatch it this weekend and appreciate all the details I missed!

  2. The detailed box office stats are particularly intriguing. It’s interesting to see how a film’s success is not just artistic but also commercial. Helps put things in perspective for an aspiring filmmaker like myself.

  3. Has anyone thought about the cultural impact of a film like Cast Away? I mean, it’s a story of isolation, but I wonder how it connects with audiences globally. Maybe it says something about our universal fear of being alone?

  4. Really digging the fun facts section. It’s always cool to learn the small details, like how tech was used behind the scenes or any quirky gadgets the cast might have used. Adds a whole new layer to watching the film.

  5. The idea that you can visit some of the Cast Away set locations is incredibly exciting! Always looking for my next adventure, and this has sparked some major inspiration. Great piece, Alanna!

  6. Wondering how films like Cast Away manage their environmental footprint, especially in such pristine locations. It’s vital that we preserve these treasures while still telling impactful stories.

    1. That’s a great point, Alex. Do you know if they had any sustainability practices in place during filming?

  7. I’m always on the lookout for films like Cast Away that can help illustrate broader human themes in my classes. Thanks for sharing, not just the surface-level details but also deeper insights into the movie’s making and impact.