Clint Eastwood filmed the stunning Iwo Jima invasion scenes in back-to-back war epics LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA and FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS in Iceland to respect the dead buried on the sacred Japanese island.
The movie maker was granted special access to the infamous World War Two battleground, where US troops killed 12,000 Japanese soldiers - but chose not to shoot the "pyrotechnics" of the invasion in an effort to respect the dead.
He says, "I went and I talked to the Governor of Tokyo... and he ironically is a filmmaker - he has directed a few movies and he has written a few movies.
"I explained to him what I wanted to do and how I wanted to tell the story of this and he kind of said OK... but he didn't know quite the pyrotechnics.
"It's (Iwo Jima) a shrine for them (Japanese) because there's 12,000 unaccounted-for bodies still there, so I knew they weren't going to go for the pyrotechnics of a re-invasion, so we went to Iceland, which is also a geothermal island with black sand beaches.
"Iceland in August is probably the same climate as Iwo in February, so it all worked out fine and then we went back to Iwo for a few tune-ups."