Ben Kingsley is set to star in Spike TV’s ‘event’ series Tut, which will film on location in Morocco and Canada. Kingsley will in fact play the Grand Vizier to King Tutankhamen, among the most famous of the ancient Egyptian kings since the discovery of his tomb in the 1920s.
“Tut is the biggest and most ambitious project in Spike’s history,” said Sharon Levy, Executive Vice President for Original Series at Spike TV: “Who better to lead the cast than one of the greatest actors of our generation – Ben Kingsley. The character he plays, Ay, is the true power behind the Tutankhamen throne. We are so fortunate to have an actor of Ben Kingsley’s stature bring this character to life for Spike.”
Added Michael Prupas, CEO of production company Muse Entertainment: “We are confident that Ben Kingsley’s talents will help elevate this fascinating six-hour limited series to the highest international levels. Kingsley’s acting experience will enhance this drama about Tutankhamen, the boy-king of Ancient Egypt, in a way that has never been told before.”
Morocco is a hugely popular international filming location and a frequent double for the Middle East region. The country in fact recently hosted scenes for the pilot episode of separate drama series Hieroglyph, also set in ancient Egypt. Fox Entertainment planned to then base the production in New Mexico, but the series was abruptly cancelled.
A specific Canadian filming location hasn’t been confirmed, although the Spike TV press release was issued from Montreal. The city in Quebec offers the 27-acre studio facility Mel’s Cité du Cinema and a 25% filming incentive that’s recently hosted X-Men: Days of Future Past and White House Down.
Stories drawn from ancient history are regaining their popularity. Ridley Scott’s upcoming Exodus: Gods and Kings (above) doubled the Spanish desert for ancient Egypt and filmed studio work at Pinewood in London, while Australian director Alex Proyas is shooting Gods of Egypt in Sydney. Dwayne Johnson’s imminent Hercules was based in Budapest, while rival production The Legend of Hercules limped into cinemas back in March.
- New TV drama Hieroglyph to recreate ancient Egypt filming in New Mexico
- BBC returns to Morocco for season two filming of adventure series Atlantis
- Historical epic Gods of Egypt to film on location in Sydney
- UK period drama Tutankhamun to film on location in South Africa
- New TV series Olympus to film gods and monsters in London and Vancouver
- Mission Impossible 5 closes Morocco highway as Tom Cruise films North Africa