Dark Matter is set in Chicago, but was it really filmed in the Windy City?

The new Apple TV+ series Dark Matter is set in Chicago, but was it actually filmed in the Windy City? Here's what we know!
Dark Matter - Cr: Apple
Dark Matter - Cr: Apple /

Dark Matter is set to be Apple TV+’s newest sci-fi drama with a story set in Chicago. Was it really filmed in the Windy City? 

Apple TV+ has been doing a good job building up sci-fi series like Severance and Silo. Dark Matter is their latest, based on the 2016 novel by Blake Crouch, who also produces the series. It focuses on Jason Dessen (Joel Edgerton), a mild-mannered physicist living in Chicago.

After blacking out, Jason suddenly finds himself in a much different world where he has no family and other events are different. It turns out he’s in an alternate reality as another version of himself found a way to access worlds where his life turned out differently. He’s now taken over Jason’s own life with his family and Jason is racing to get back. 

This will lead Jason to other realities, seeing ways his life could have turned out as some worlds are worse than others. It’s a flashy show with big special effects and a fine cast, including Jennifer Connelly as Jason’s wife and Alice Braga as an aide to Jason. The show appears to use the Chicago setting well, but was it actually filmed there?

Courtesy: Apple TV+ /

Where was Dark Matter filmed?

It would be easy to assume that Dark Matter was filmed somewhere other than Chicago, say Toronto, which is often used to stand in for various American cities on TV.

As it happens, Crouch insisted that the show be filmed in Chicago to maintain credibility. According to Meaww, the show utilized much of Chicago for filming as residents will recognize landmarks like Millenium Park, Logan Square and the University of Chicago for Jason’s job. There are also shots of a stunning Lake Michigan. 

Crouch told the Chicago Sun-Times he wanted this to be a “love letter” to the city and that setting it in Chicago was a big deal. Thus, filming in the actual city was a must for the series.

"It was super special to get to shoot at Millennium Park, We shut down Lake Shore Drive one Sunday morning. We shot at the beautiful reading room at the University of Chicago, which was one of the coolest, most visually spectacular places. We shot in an old abandoned hospital in Blue Island. There’s so many riches visually in Chicago that are really untouched by film, so you get to shoot the city in a way that feels really fresh."

The show uses the Loop and other areas as well with upcoming episodes likely to touch on the various museums and other spots.

Of course, as Jason travels realities, he finds other versions of Chicago, from one destroyed by war to another completely frozen over. Yet when watching Dark Matter, fans can be assured that the Chicago locations are all the real city to add an interesting touch to this fantastic new sci-fi show.

The first two episodes of Dark Matter are now streaming on Apple TV+.

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