10 Movies You Didn’t Know Were Filmed In Morocco

Strangely enough, Casablanca isn’t one of them.

Morocco is an ideal place for filming due to its range of landscapes. It has especially been used as the setting for films set in the Middle East, because of its political stability and architectural similarities. Filmmakers are drawn to Morocco because of its fantastic desert, massive fortifications, and beautiful cities. Morocco is very hospitable to filmmakers, as well, making it a relatively easy location to work in.

Most of these movie scenes were shot in Ait Benhaddou or Ouarzazate, in what is considered the film capital of Morocco.

1. Jesus of Nazareth

This 1977 miniseries was filmed in Ait Benhaddou. It tells a version of the story of Jesus’s life from the Bible.
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2. Gladiator

The Gladiator and its tale of Roman battlegrounds premiered in 2000. The scene where Russell Crowe is sold into slavery is filmed in Ait Benhaddou.

3. The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)

Jason Bourne sprints through the streets of Tangier and is seen climbing on the flat rooftops that are common in Morocco.
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4. Inception

Remember when Cobb goes to Mombasa, Kenya and hires Eames and Yusuf? What was supposed to be Mombasa, Kenya in this 2010 movie was actually Tangier. A foot chase was filmed in the old city, or medina of Tangier.

5. American Sniper

11 days of this Eastwood film was shot in Morocco. Parts of Rabat doubled as Iraq, due to the similarity in appearance between the two.

6. Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones was filmed in two different locations in Morocco. Yunkai, the Yellow City, was filmed in Ait Benhaddou and Astapor, the Red City was filmed in Essaouira.
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7. Black Hawk Down

This 2001 war film was filmed in Sale, Rabat and Kenitra. Scott, who had already been familiar with filming in Morocco for the Gladiator, decided that Rabat presented the best representation of Mogadishu, a location that was too dangerous to travel to at the time.
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8. The Four Feathers

Heath Ledger and Kate Hudson headed to Ait Benhaddou in 2002 to film this story about love and war.

9. What a Girl Wants

This 2003 chick-flick with Amanda Bynes and Colin Firth had scenes shot in Ouarzazate in Morocco. It’s briefly mentioned in the beginning of the movie that Daphne’s parents met and were married in Morocco.
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10. Lawrence of Arabia

Filmed in 1962, this film was one of the more famous ones to show scenes from Ait Benhaddou and the Ouarzazate region. The Kasbahs of Ait Benhaddou are the desert regions from the movie.

These are just a few of the movies that had scenes filmed in Morocco! As it becomes a rising location for the film industry, we are sure to see more.

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