x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

The truth about movie locations

Even eponymous films are often not set where they claim to be.

Part of Sex and the City II was set in Abu Dhabi, but filmed in Morocco.
Part of Sex and the City II was set in Abu Dhabi, but filmed in Morocco.

The producers of Sex and the City II set part of the movie in Abu Dhabi but filmed in Morocco, so we're expecting hordes of befuddled tourists asking for directions to the atmospheric old souq. This follows a long tradition of doppelganger movie locations.

Locations don't get much more French that Moulin Rouge! But Baz Luhrmann filmed the romantic musical in his native Sydney, not Paris. When filming overran and they were forced off the set, scenes were shot in Madrid.

Russell Crowe's sword-and-sandals epic began in Germania, were enslaved in what is now Algeria and then payback in the Coliseum in Rome. Except the sets were in Surrey, Morocco and Malta.

The tale of Argentine rugby players forced into cannibalism to survive when their jet crashed in the Andes is one of modern history's most compelling real-life stories. But it was filmed in the hills of British Columbia and not South America.

While Morocco is standing in for Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi has stood in for another capital, with Riyadh's Kingdom Tower CGI-ed into place in Abu Dhabi and Emirates Palace serving as a Saudi palace.

Where else would you film Chicago, the musical that won Best Picture and five other Oscars, than Toronto? Some of the scenes were even filmed in the Canada Life building.