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Iraq war drama The Yellow Birds to film in Morocco

New war drama The Yellow Birds is doubling Morocco for Iraq. The story is based on the 2012 novel of the same name written by war veteran Kevin Powers.

Although drawn partly from Powers’ own experiences as a machine gunner in the early years of Operation Iraqi Freedom, the story itself tells a fictional tale of a young soldier’s promise to protect his friend in battle.

The Yellow Birds is directed by Alexandre Moors, and is set to star Jack Huston, Jennifer Aniston and Alden Ehrenreich.

Morocco is one of the most popular parts of the world for desert filming locations and also recently doubled as Iraq in Clint Eastwood’s true-life military drama American Sniper (above).

The country had a hugely successful 2014, with almost 40 international productions spending the equivalent of $120m, according to a recent AP report.

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation was one of the highest-profile productions to film in Morocco last year. The shoot closed part of the Casablanca-Agadir Highway for a key motorcycle chase sequence.

Bill Murray and Bruce Willis recently doubled Morocco for Afghanistan in Rock the Kasbah, in which Murray plays a burned-out record producer taking a client through a local talent competition.

For more on filming in Morocco, see our production guide.