From major box office hits to cult classics, Austin has provided a spectacular landscape for filmmakers to bring their vision to life. Visitors have flocked to destinations featured in iconic locally made films like "Dazed and Confused" and "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre." With over 50 years of production, there are many film tourism locations in the Austin area to experience including those seen in "A Scanner Darkly."

About "A Scanner Darkly"

Based on the Philip K. Dick classic, "A Scanner Darkly" is set in the totalitarian near-future. Substance D, a powerful drug that causes bizarre hallucinations, has swept the country. The rotoscoped film follows undercover detective Bob Arctor (Keanu Reeves), who maintains privacy by wearing a "scramble suit" that changes his appearance. On the trail of the source of Substance D, Bob crosses paths with a colorful cast of characters who may or may not be who they say they are, including a small-time group of drug users Charles Freck (​​Rory Cochrane) and Ernie Luckman (Woody Harrelson), fellow undercover officer Jim Barris (Robert Downey Jr.) and a dealer named Donna Hawthorne (Winona Ryder). Bob hopes to purchase large enough quantities of D from Donna so that she will introduce him to her own supplier but in deep cover, Bob begins to lose his own identity and experience schizophrenic behavior as reality spins out of control.

Details: Warner Bros. / Rated R / 100 minutes / Animation, Sci-fi, Thriller
Director: Richard Linklater
Cast: Keanu Reeves, Robert Downey Jr., Woody Harrelson, Winona Ryder and Rory Cochrane
Streaming On: @YouTube, @PrimeVideo, @GooglePlay, @VuduFans, @MicrosoftStore


Scene: The Cafe

A Scanner Darkly screengrab showing Jim Barris wearing sunglasses and sitting at a booth inside a cafe, talking to Bob Arctor

A paranoid conversation between Jim Barris (Robert Downey Jr.) and Charles Freck (​​Rory Cochrane) takes place at a local cafe. This was filmed at what was then Arkie’s Grill and is now the New Orleans-inspired Sawyer & Co.

Location: Sawyer & Co. (4827 E Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX 78702)

Iconic Filming Location Map


Explore more iconic filming locations during your next visit to Austin. The Austin Film Tourism Guide has details on the where scenes from your favorite movie and television series were filmed in and around Austin.