CNN explores Ouarzazate; “Morocco’s little Hollywood,” where “people are very movie friendly and very efficient”:
In “Game of Thrones,” Yunkai might be a fictional city ruled by an oligarchy of slave merchants, but the scenes had to be filmed in the real world.
The citadel of Ait-Ben-Haddou in Morocco near Ouarzazate (pronounced Wa-za-zat) was chosen as the location, and is one of the most popular film-making destinations in the region.
And scenes set in the ancient city of Astapor, which was a big part of the final episode of season three, was filmed in Essaouira — also in Morocco.
But the creators of “Game of Thrones” were not the first to use the region’s beauty as the backdrop for a major international production. More than a decade before them, Ridley Scott chose the North African country to film the gory glory of ancient Rome in his epic “Gladiator” starring Russell Crowe. And so did the producers of “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time” which starred Jake Gyllenhaal…[Full Story]