How the Middle East Has Enticed Hollywood With Stunning Locales and Generous Incentives

When Denis Villeneuve got the thumbs up from Warner Bros.

and Legendary to shoot “Dune,” he knew he was headed back to the Middle East.Specifically, to the deserts of Jordan and the United Arab Emirates, which are inextricably tied to the Canadian director’s passionate vision of the planet Arrakis.

These countries have also played key roles in several of the “Star Wars” installments, giving all these films a soul they never could have attained using green screens and the CGI visuals of most sci-fi movies.Villeneuve in several interviews has said he started scouting for “Dune” a decade ago in Jordan when he first came to the region to make his 2010 Oscar-nominated breakout film “Incendies.” Even then, he was dreaming of bringing Frank Herbert’s book to life.

As heard in promotional materials for the film, Villeneuve vowed to himself that if he ever got to make “Dune,

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