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Ancient World Production Design: 'The Scorpion King' (2002)

A look at how Ed Verraux turned the Universal back lot into Gomorra circa 3000 B.C.


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Credited cast:
Ed Verreaux ...


A look at how Ed Verraux turned the Universal back lot into Gomorra circa 3000 B.C.

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Documentary | Short





Release Date:

1 October 2002 (USA)  »

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References Spartacus (1960) See more »

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Sodom and Gomorra in beautiful downtown Burbank
16 August 2009 | by (Rijswijk (ZH), The Netherlands) – See all my reviews

Production designer Ed Verreaux work close together with director Chuck Russell and D.O.P. John R. Leonetti to create the ancient world in which the Scorpion King is set, and all of it was filmed in Southern California (by comparison, the straight to DVD sequel would be filmed in South Africa).

Just like Stephen Sommer's Mummy films were meant to be a callback to the 1930's studio bound way of film-making, so did Verreaux, Russell and Leonetti seek out a lot of classic locations that had been seen on film and television countless times. These include the entrance to the Batcave from the 60's TV version of Batman and the long standing set that is part of the Universal tour known as 'Spartacus square'. Of course, since this story takes place some centuries before Spartacus, all the Roman arches had to be disguised and changed, as well as a giant statue of the evil Memnon put in place.

Verreaux reveals some interesting little trade secrets, like the fact that a lot of the concrete walls are just painted canvas and most of the walls don't actually go all the way up to the top. It's really a shame this doc is only 3 minutes long, for this commenter would certainly have enjoyed a better look at where the set ends and movie magic begins, but alas. It's on to the next segment on the DVD special features.

7 out of 10

P.S. for all his good work Ed Verraux got to play a rich man on top of an elephant in one of the establishing shots to Gomorra. Just goes to show that if you're good to Chuck Russell, he'll be good to you.

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