Tell the truth: Do you think you could look at a picture of the desert and tell whether it was taken in Iran or Morocco?
Mike Newell, director of the upcoming big-screen adaptation of Prince of Persia: Sands of Time, is betting you couldn’t — Variety reports that his production has settled on Morocco as a stand-in for the country formerly known as Persia. From the article:
Epic project is a live-action feature based on the videogame. “Prince of Persia” has a script by Jeffrey Nachmanoff (“The Day After Tomorrow“) and vidgame creator Jordan Mechner. The vidgame spawned six installments and numerous spin-offs, boosting Disney execs’ hopes for a lucrative new tentpole.
Jimmy Abounouom, whose Dune Films is handling the Moroccan shoot for Disney, breaks it down for Variety, saying “Producers are always looking for cheap places to shoot, and Morocco is one of them.” Newell follows Ridley Scott and Paul Greengrass into the North African country; Scott’s Body of Lies recently wrapped a shoot there, as did Greengrass’ “untitled Iraq war thriller.” Dune also handled the Moroccan shoots for Charlie Wilson’s War and Stop-Loss.
According to Abounouom, Prince of Persia should start rolling in Morocco by mid-June — providing, of course, a SAG strike doesn’t bring everything grinding to a halt.