The Night Manager filmed in Morocco and Majorca
The six-part, £20m series stars Tom Hiddleston as Jonathan Pine, a hotel night manager with a military background who is recruited by a branch of the British government to bring down Hugh Laurie’s elusive international arms dealer Richard Roper.
Filming took place primarily in Morocco and on the island of Majorca in the Spanish Balearics partly because members of The Night Manager’s key crew already had experience of working in each location. Spanish tax incentives were available for the Majorca shoot.
“We had ten weeks to prep the production,” comments Tom Howard, the series’ supervising location manager. “We needed locations that had an Arabic or Mediterranean feel and we had to find them very quickly. We looked at places in France and Spain, but then found La Fortaleza on Majorca, which at the time was available for filming.”
La Fortaleza is a 17th century fort that’s now one of the most luxurious private homes in the Mediterranean. For The Night Manager, the location became the closely-guarded fortress home of Richard Roper.
Parts of the fort and other regions of Mallorca also doubled for additional locations and countries throughout the series. Palma Pictures serviced the shoot locally.
Morocco doubled for Egypt, where The Night Manager’s story starts. The team spent six weeks on location, filming at the Es Saadi Hotel Marrakesh and recreating the riots of Cairo’s Arab Spring in the streets outside (pictured above) with the assistance of servicing company K Films.
“We looked at filming in Egypt and also in Turkey, but we decided that Egypt especially was not quite settled enough for us,” Howard adds. “Instead we had a two-man camera crew travel to various cities to shoot GV (General View) shots, which we used to establish the locations in the final edit.”
Three weeks of filming took place in London, with some locations set in places like Turkey with the aid of visual effects. Scenes were also shot in Devon (pictured left) where Pine crafts his new identity after accepting his government assignment.
The Night Manager also filmed scenes in Zermatt, Switzerland, where Pine meets Roper for the first time.
Switzerland is an expensive filming location, but the production team wanted to realistically portray Roper’s luxurious lifestyle by shooting in a high-end part of the world.
“Places like the Alps were considered for these scenes, but Zermatt was a more suitable location as a playground for the world’s highest earners and we lowered production costs by travelling there with a reduced crew,” Howard says.
“There’s a real pressure for high-end TV productions to compete internationally so you want to make sure your full budget is up there on the screen. That’s certainly true of The Night Manager.”
Morocco image: Tom Howard
BTS Images: AMC Holdings