The Scorpion King movie cover Movie Locations Guide

Where was The Scorpion King filmed?

2002

About The Scorpion King

The Scorpion King is a 2002 American pre-Egyptian pharaoh sorcery and action flick. It is directed by Chuck Russell and helped launch Dwayne' The Rock' Johnson as a lead actor. The movie takes place in a pre-dynastic setting with ancient civilizations like the Mycenaeans, Assyrians, Mesopotamians, Sumerians, Nubians, and Akkadians mentioned. The Scorpion King and its subsequent parts are the prequels to the hit blockbuster The Mummy franchise, which is set on Egyptian Kings, priests, and sorcery.

The Scorpion King, set 5,000 years before the events in The Mummy, received mixed critics' reviews, with some applauding the effort and storyline and others considering it a little lackluster compared to The Mummy and The Mummy Returns. The Scorpion King had a $60 million production budget and a gross global collection of $180 million.

The events of this film reveal the origins of the Akkadian warrior, Mathayus (Dwayne' The Rock' Johnson), his struggles to become a legendary hero, and eventually be known as The Scorpion King. His name is a tribute to King Scorpion of the Naqada III period of Egyptian prehistory.

The story starts with an introduction to the fierceness of the last three remaining warriors of the Akkadian tribe, Mathayus (Dwayne' The Rock' Johnson), his half-brother Jesup (Branscombe Richmond), and their Akkadian friend, Rama (Esteban Cueto). The three Akkadians are hired as assassins by King Pheron (Roger Rees) to kill the sorcerer of King Memnon (Steven Brand) for a price of 20 blood rubies. Eventually, King Pheron's son, Takmet (Peter Facinelli), betrays the Free Tribes and beheads his father to join King Memnon. Mathayus realizes that King Memnon's sorcerer is a beautiful woman named Cassandra (Kelly Hu), who helps Mathayus escape Memnon's clutches and heals him from a fatal injury.

Since King Memnon's oppressive reign has to be ended, Cassandra and Mathayus, along with the other gathering of Free Tribes, overthrow the evil warlord, with Mathayus ruling in peace with Cassandra at his side.

City Locations

Los Angeles, California, Yuma, Arizona

Location Types

Architectural, Cabins, Castles, Mansions, NatureScapes, Rustic, Studios

Location Styles

Rustic

The Scorpion King Locations

Most of The Scorpion King locations were in California. However, one filming sequence with Balthazar and the other Free Tribes was shot at the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge, Palm Canyon Rd, in Yuma, AZ. The National Wildlife Refuge was perfect for this scene as it was meant as a sanctuary for all remaining free people opposing Memnon's rule.

The scene sequence with the cave was shot at Bronson Caves in California. These caves are easily accessible from all significant Californian towns and are a popular filming destination. Apart from these, The Scorpion King film scene where Cassandra heals Mathayus is shot in Malibu. The tent and the makeshift clinic were all a set that was taken down after filming was completed.

Considering the period setting of the film and the places devoid of modern architecture, technology, and science, the production and location team did a fantastic job of finding locations that made audiences believe everything happening on-screen was real.

Teaser: Apart from the locations mentioned here, audiences could also plan a trip to Castle Dome Peak at Yuma in Arizona. Castle Dome Peak was also a filming location used in The Scorpion King.

Fun fact:

At the film's start, the horde leader talks about Mycenaeans. In reality, according to the film timeline, the Mycenaeans didn't exist when the sequence of events in The Scorpion King took place.

Jesup is tied up scene in The Scorpion King

June Mountain Ski Area, June Lake, CA

A rebel village with a bloodthirsty horde captures the Akkadian Jesup (Branscombe Richmond). The horde has Jesup tied up and on display in front of everyone. The horde's leader is a brutish warrior with battle scars all over his body. While the horde and other villagers are partying, drinking, and performing lewd acts in front of Jesup, the leader proclaims, "We have killed Babylonians!" While he gets the crowd's attention, he continues, "We have killed Mesopotamians! We have killed Assyrians, Mycenaeans, Sumerians! But, we have never had the pleasure of killing an Akkadian. Which limb do I take first?"

Jesup looks at the leader and growls, "May the Gods have pity on you because my brother will not." Just as the leader is about to drive his sword into Jesup, there is a blast at the entrance of the log palace, and arrows come flying through the smoke killing a few from the horde.

The filming location of The Scorpion King's ancient log palace scene is the parking lot of the June Mountain Ski Area near June Lake in California. Visitors have unimpeded views of Mono, June, and Gull Lakes, and the resort is gorgeous in winter. Fans can visit by following the US-395 S and turning onto CA-158 S. The June Mountain Ski Area is to the left.

Introduction to Memnon scene in The Scorpion King

Agua Dulce Movie Ranch, 34855 Petersen Rd, California

As the film title rolls out, a narrative introduces Memnon (Steven Brand). The narrator says, "Before the time of the pyramids, a fearsome horde came from the East and swept across the barren lands of the ancient world. By the law of the horde, their greatest warrior was proclaimed King. His name was Memnon. He was the greatest swordsman the world had ever seen. With the predictions of a sorcerer who could foretell the outcome of every battle, Memnon slaughtered all who resisted him, until only a brave few remained."

Of all The Scorpion King action scenes, this is the one where audiences were quite horrified since Memnon kills hundreds of unarmed innocents just for refusing to submit to him. The filming location of this scene in the introduction is Agua Dulce Movie Ranch, 34855 Petersen Rd, California.

It has also been utilized in other films like Thor, Iron Man 2, War of the Worlds, and the hit TV series Supergirl. Fans of The Scorpion King can reach via CA-14 N to Agua Dulce Canyon Rd. To get to the ranch, take Exit 15 from the CA-14 N and continue for 10 minutes. Fans can call ahead to check which filming is taking place and opt for a viewing.

Mathayus nearly being eaten alive by fire ants scene in The Scorpion King

Vasquez Rocks 10700 W. Escondido Canyon Rd, Agua Dulce, California

Mathayus (Dwayne' The Rock' Johnson) and the horse thief, Arpid (Grant Heslov), are buried in the sand with only their heads visible. As Mathayus gains consciousness, he opens his eyes and sees a human skull in front of him! Mathayus sees Memnons' soldiers dropping pieces of burning paper and cloth into ant hills around him as he looks around.

Next to him, Arpid tells him in a conversational tone, "Fascinating, isn't it? The smoke, it causes the fire ants to abandon their homes, you see? All the sooner to feast on our naked heads," and starts laughing at their impending doom.

As Mathayus looks at the ant hills, he's horrified to see thousands of fire ants coming out of the ant hills. He turns to Arpid and asks him incredulously, "You think this is funny?"

Out of all the funny scenes in The Scorpion King, this one is weird yet brings a smile to audiences' faces. The irony of Mathayus and the horse thief isn't lost on anyone. The filming location of the fire ant scene is the famous Vasquez Rocks at Agua Dulce, California. To get here, take the CA-15 N Sierra Highway onto Davenport Rd. The natural rock formations will be visible within a couple of minutes.

The street urchin nearly loses his hand scene in The Scorpion King

Square of Warriors, 100 Universal City Plaza, California

Memnon shows off his superior fighting and training skills to the crowd gathered to see their King train in this scene. Mathayus is on the roof of a nearby structure with a clear line of vision to Memnon.

As Mathayus readies his bow and arrow to take a killing shot, he sees the street urchin (Tutu Sweeney) who helped Mathayus get into Memnon's castle captured by the Red Guards. Memnon finds a blood ruby in the street urchin's pocket and tells him, "You know the penalty for thievery." Takmet (Peter Facinelli) is about to chop the street urchin's hand off when Mathayus lets loose an arrow that stops Takmet's raised weapon.

The Scorpion King filming location of this near-fatal scene is the Square of Warriors, at 100 Universal City Plaza in California. The site was called Spartacus Square, but the name was changed after filming The Scorpion King. The Square of Warriors is now getting rebuilt since the existing structure was in a dilapidated condition. Fans can still see the Square from the outside. Getting here is fastest via the Metro B Red Line. Simply get off at the Universal/ Studio City Station and walk for 15 minutes to the Square of Warriors.

Thorak's men are killed in the cave scene in The Scorpion King

Bronson Caves, 3200 Canyon Dr, Los Angeles, CA

Thorak (Ralf Moeller) and his team of Red Guards try to capture Mathayus and bring the Sorceress Cassandra (Kelly Hu) back to King Memnon. Mathayus uses the upcoming sandstorm to his advantage and sets a trap for the guards and Thorak. He lures them into dangerous caves without a visible escape.

While the guards are in the cave, they can hear the sandstorm raging outside. Two guards step onto a sandy patch between rocks, fall through, and disappear. Seeing this, Thorak tells his men, "Stay on the stones." Thorak's men follow his direction and step only on the raised stones. Suddenly two guards are killed, and Thorak and the remaining men realize they are being stalked and hunted. They follow the trail back and cannot find their comrades.

For this scene, The Scorpion King production team chose the filming location of Bronson Caves at 3200 Canyon Dr, Los Angeles. These caves are manmade and have been used in plenty of films and TV series. To get to the caves, hop onto the Northbound Beachwood Canyon bus and hop off at Beachwood and Winans. The walk to the caves is approximately half an hour from this stop.

Mathayus and Balthazar fight scene in The Scorpion King

Kofa National Wildlife Refuge, Palm Canyon Rd, Yuma, AZ

While Mathayus, Cassandra, Arpid, and the scientist Philos (Bernard Hill) escape, they find a serene waterbody with running water. As they stop for a drink of water, they get captured by Balthazar's people. The four travelers are caught and presented in front of Balthazar. Balthazar tells Mathayus, "Our survival depends on this place being kept a secret. So we have a problem as long as you're alive." Arpid tries to talk his way out of the situation but fails.

Queen Isis (Sherri Howard) yells, "Balthazar! This place is a sanctuary for all of Memnon's enemies. You know that." Balthazar replies, "This man cannot be trusted, and I'll prove it. Bring the woman to me!" The minute the guards try to touch Cassandra, Mathayus fights them off and declares, "First man to touch her will have to come through me." What follows is an epic fight sequence between Balthazar and Mathayus.

This fight sequence is one of the best scenes in The Scorpion King. The filming location of this scene is a temporary set constructed at the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge in Yuma, Arizona. To get to the wildlife refuge, take I-10 E onto Exit 17. Then follow the US-95 S to King Rd in Yuma County to reach the entrance.

Conclusion

While The Scorpion King was not as well-loved as The Mummy and The Mummy Returns, it became a cult film by itself. The fans of the Scorpion King readily accepted the twist in history and the inclusion of places and tribes long forgotten. The Scorpion King locations were fantastic, with each filming better than the earlier one. The ancient log castle scenes, the escape from Memnon's palace, the caves, and more were unpredictable, edgy, and fast-paced.

Considering that the film did not become a blockbuster at the box office, it is still a widely known, well-recognized movie with a huge fan following. Since it was Dwayne Johnson's debut in a lead role, many people had unreal expectations. However, Dwayne Johnson did a splendid job showcasing the Akkadian assassin, Mathayus.

The plot, storyline, and period drama costumes fit well with what most people assume these times to be like. However, many audiences felt the movie went overboard, showing a luxury that didn't exist then.