The action thriller movie ‘Kandahar’ stars Gerard Butler as Tom Harris, who is an undercover CIA operative stuck in hostile territory. Soon, when his identity and mission get exposed due to an intelligence leak, his and his Afghan translator’s life is at risk. So, Tom must find a way to fight his way out of the territory along with his translator and reach a designated extraction point. In the meanwhile, the two must survive the attacks from the elite special forces unit, whose mission is to hunt them down.
Directed by Ric Roman Waugh, the thriller unfolds in the titular city of Afghanistan, especially in the desert, the surrounding barren lands, and the city. While the explosive visuals and car chase scenes keep the viewers hooked on the film from the beginning to the end, they also make them wonder where ‘Kandahar’ was actually shot. If you are one such curious soul, you might be interested in what we have to share about the same!
Kandahar Filming Locations
‘Kandahar’ was filmed in Saudi Arabia, particularly in Al-‘Ula, Jeddah, Tabuk, Haʼil, and Taif. As per reports, the principal photography for the action thriller movie commenced in early December 2021 and wrapped up in late January 2022. Now, without much ado, let us take you through all the specific locations that make an appearance in the Ric Roman Waugh directorial!
Al-‘Ula, Saudi Arabia
Also stylized as AlUla, Al-‘Ula reportedly served as one of the primary production locations for ‘Kandahar.’ Situated in Saudi Arabia’s Medina province, the ancient Arabic oasis city stood in perfectly for the Afghan locales portrayed throughout the movie, mainly due to the similar terrains and desert areas of the two locations. In addition, you might be able to spot some popular attractions in the backdrop of a few scenes, including the Oasis Heritage Trail, Hegra UNESCO Heritage Site, Jabal AlFil (Elephant Rock), Harrarat Viewpoint, and Jabal Ikmah.
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
In order to shoot the scenes set in the city, the production team set up camp in the port city of Jeddah, which is located in the Hejaz region of western Saudi Arabia. They seemingly tape various interior as well as exterior portions against suitable backdrops in and around Jeddah. In the exterior shots, you are likely to notice some of the main sights situated in the city, such as the Abdul Raouf Khalil Museum, Al-Jawhara Stadium, NCB Tower, IDB Tower, and King Fahd’s Fountain.
Other Locations in Saudi Arabia
Several reports also suggest that a significant portion of the shooting also took place in other cities of Saudi Arabia. For instance, the cities of Tabuk, Haʼil, and Taif reportedly hosted the production of ‘Kandahar.’ In February 2022, one of the producers, Christian Mercuri, sat down for a conversation with Deadline where he was asked about their decision to choose Saudi Arabia as the filming site. He explained that multiple aspects convinced them to do so as the filmmakers went to the country to scout the locations before coming to a decision.
Mercuri added, “We just became enamored with the location with the look, the feel, the authenticity of it all. So that was really phase one. If you don’t have that, if it doesn’t work creatively, there’s really nothing else to talk about. After that, it was about the support that we would get from the region and what we would get from the government when it came to financial matters. There was a rebate they were working on and then we took on a partner, MBC, the biggest broadcaster out there, and we put it together.”
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