Movies in Morocco

For almost 115 years, Morocco has been one of the top destinations for film producers and directors. The trend of shooting movies in Morocco has seen a dramatic surge in recent years – some of the most famous directors return time and again, including Ridley Scott, Stephen Sommers, Paul Greengrass, and Martin Scorsese. Blockbusters and popular movies shot in Morocco include Gladiator, The Mummy, The Mummy Returns, Alexander, The Bourne Ultimatum, Body of Lies, Sex and the City 2, and Inception.

What persuades all these well-known film makers to come and shoot their movies in Morocco? They simply know that, whether their movies are talking about events happening today or deep in a distant past, be they set in cities, mountains or the desert, Morocco film locations will fit wonderfully, as if tailored just for their stories. They also know that, by filming all or part of their projects in Morocco, they will surround their characters with a certain exoticism they wouldn’t find anywhere else.

One of the major benefits is the proximity of Morocco to Europe and to the USA. In addition, Morocco has the most developed cinema infrastructure in the region, with experienced film companies providing production services, location scouts, hiring of crews, shooting permits, equipment rental in Morocco or abroad, transport, catering, accommodation and more. Location fees are arguably the lowest in Africa and annual sunshine levels are more than 8 hours a day at the most wanted filming locations, such as Marrakech, Ouarzazate, Ait Ben HaddouErfoud, Essaouira and Agadir.

The following list covers most of the major films entirely or partially shot in Morocco:

1897: Le Chevalier Marocain, directed by Louis Lumière
1930: Morocco, directed by Josef von Sternberg, starring Marlene Dietrich
1949: Othello, directed by, and starring Orson Welles
1953: Flight to Tangier, directed by Charles Marquis Warren
1955: The Man Who Knew Too Much, directed by Alfred Hitchcock, starring James Stewart and Doris Day
1962: Lawrence of Arabia, directed by David Lean, starring Peter O’Toole and Omar Sharif
1970: Patton, directed by Franklin Schaffner, starring George C Scott
1975: The Man Who Would Be King, directed by John Huston, starring Sean Connery and Michael Caine
1981: Rollover, directed by Alan Pakula, starring Jane Fonda and Kris Kristofferson
1985: The Jewel of the Nile, directed by Lewis Teague, starring Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner and Danny DeVito
1987: The Living Daylights, directed by John Glen, starring Timothy Dalton and Maryam D’Abo
1988: The Last Temptation of Christ, directed by Martin Scorsese, starring Willem Dafoe
1994: Highlander III: The Sorcerer, directed by Andrew Morahan, starring Christopher Lambert
1997: Kundun, directed by Martin Scorsese
1998: Hamilton, directed by Harald Zwart
1998: Hideous Kinky, directed by Gillies MacKinnon, starring Kate Winslet
1999: The Mummy, directed by Stephen Sommers, starring Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz and John Hannah
2000: Gladiator, directed by Ridley Scott, starred Russell Crowe
2000: Rules of Engagement, directed by William Friedkin, starring Tommy Lee Jones, Samuel L. Jackson and Guy Pearce
2001: The Mummy Returns, directed by Stephen Sommers, starring Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz and John Hannah
2001: Spy Game, directed by Tony Scott, starring Robert Redford and Brad Pitt
2001: Black Hawk Down, directed by Ridley Scott, starring Eric Bana, Josh Hartnett and Ewan McGregor
2002: Live from Baghdad, directed by Mick Jackson, starring Michael Keaton
2002: Astérix et Obélix: Mission Cléopâtre, directed by Alain Chabat, starring Gérard Depardieu and Jamel Debbouze
2004: Hidalgo, directed by Joe Johnston, starring Viggo Mortensen and Omar Sharif
2004: Alexander, directed by Oliver Stone, starring Colin Farrell, Angelina Jolie and Val Kilmer
2004: Les Temps Qui Changent, directed by André Téchiné
2004: Exorcist: The Beginning, directed by Renny Harlin, starring Stellan Skarsgård
2005: Sahara, directed by Breck Eisner, starring Matthew McConaughey, Steve Zahn, Penélope Cruz and William H. Macy
2005: Kingdom of Heaven, directed by Ridley Scott, starring Orlando Bloom, Eva Green and Jeremy Irons
2005: Syriana, directed by Stephen Gaghan, starring George Clooney, Matt Damon and Amanda Peet
2006: Babel, directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu, starring Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett
2006: The Hills Have Eyes, directed by Alexandre Aja
2007: Arn – The Knight Templar, directed by Peter Flinth
2007: The Hills Have Eyes 2, directed by Martin Weisz
2007: Charlie Wilson’s War, directed by Mike Nichols, starring Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts and Philip Seymour Hoffman
2007: In the Valley of Elah, directed by Paul Haggis, starring Tommy Lee Jones, Charlize Theron, and Susan Sarandon
2007: The Bourne Ultimatum, directed by Paul Greengrass, starring Matt Damon, Julia Stiles, Joan Allen and David Strathairn
2007: Rendition, directed by Gavin Hood, starring Reese Witherspoon, Meryl Streep, Peter Sarsgaard and Jake Gyllenhaal
2008: Arn – The Kingdom at Road’s End, directed by Peter Flinth
2008: Body of Lies, directed by Ridley Scott, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe
2009: Pope Joan, directed by Sönke Wortmann, starring John Goodman and Johanna Wokalek
2010: Green Zone, directed by Paul Greengrass, starring Matt Damon and Greg Kinnear
2010: Of Gods and Men, directed by Xavier Beauvois, starring Lambert Wilson and Michael Lonsdale
2010: Sex and the City 2, directed by Michael Patrick King, starring Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis and Cynthia Nixon
2010: Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, directed by Mike Newell, starring Jake Gyllenhall, Gemma Arterton and Ben Kingsley
2010: Inception, directed by Christopher Nolan, starring Leonardo De Caprio, Ken Watanabe and Ellen Page

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