Morocco’s unmatched beauty can be seen in its historic Medinas, where you can find traditional handicrafts, as well as in its highlands, including the Rif Mountains in the north and the Atlas Mountains that cut through the country’s center. As a result, many Hollywood directors were not blind to the country’s charm and decided to travel to Morocco to shoot their big motion pictures. For example, Christopher Nolan’s Inception, F. Gary Gray’s Men in Black: International, and Ridley Scott’s Body of Lies have all been filmed in various Moroccan cities like Ouarzazate, Casablanca, and Marrakech.
It looks as though Ridley Scott can’t get enough of Morocco as his latest movie, “Gladiator 2” is rumored to be shot there. Morocco World News reported that Scott is expected to arrive in Morocco soon in order to hold negotiations with Ouarzazate’s Atlas Studios and then hopefully shoot scenes from the Gladiator sequel in the city of Ouarzazate, dubbed, “Moroccan Hollywood.” In an interview with Collider, Scott suggested that the sequel will be following Lucius (Spencer Treat Clark), the son of Lucilla (Connie Nielsen), and a 25-30 year time jump will take place. Russell Crowe, who portrayed Maximus, is still expected to appear in the film (even though he died at the end of the first film).
It’s also important to note that Gladiator, the first sequel, won Best Picture and four additional Oscars as it claimed victory at the 2000 Academy Awards. Crowe even won the Best Actor award for his performance, rightfully so, who can forget his famous line as he addressed the arena, “are you not entertained?”.
First, a Moroccan city like Ouarzazate is able to serve as a backdrop for prominent productions thanks to its varied geographical locations and filming studios. In addition, the ancient vibes of this city offer the perfect cinematography for history and fantasy productions.
Second, Morocco “offers a solution to the Hollywood studios who want to shoot films that are set in the Middle East as they tend to have a more liberal and open attitude toward movies with controversial narrative,” according to William Higbee, a professor of Film Studies at the University of Exeter and researcher on transnational Moroccan cinema in an interview with CNN.
Also, the Moroccan Film Institute is extremely accommodating and will even assist Hollywood directors in negotiations with the Moroccan government and armed forces, according to Higbee. For instance, it wouldn’t be difficult to import any weapons or military hardware if directors needed to do so. They may also provide extra military equipment or vehicles required for a particular scene.
In April 2022, Morocco featured among the top 10 countries of the world’s most popular filming destinations, according to a study by Kuoni. But that’s not all as the fifth place for most searched filming locations was ‘Gladiator.’ There have been a total of 22,000 Google searches for the movie.
The first Gladiator had incredible battle scenes and a unique look, which helped it become one of the most popular movies of all time. In this new sequel, we anticipate more iconic scenes as we are all eager to learn what Scott has in mind and the settings he’ll pick for the scenes to be filmed.