Tom Cruise is filming scenes in Namibia in south-western Africa for Universal's reboot of monster movie franchise The Mummy. Director Alex Kurtzman has based the film in the UK for the past few months but is now using Namibia as a stand-in for Middle Eastern locations.
The movie includes actress Annabelle Wallis among the support cast and is a re-imagining of the franchise that brings the action forward to the modern day.
Universal previously made a trio of period Mummy adventure movies with actor Brendan Fraser that concluded with The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor in 2008.
Namibia is not yet established as an African production hub but the country got a major profile boost hosting more than 100 days of location filming for George Miller's Oscar-winning movie Mad Max: Fury Road, which was shot in the region in 2012.
Morocco is a major African production hub for big-budget productions seeking desert locations and appeared in both the 1999 version of The Mummy and its sequel The Mummy Returns, largely as a stand-in for 1930s Egypt.
South Africa, Malta and New Mexico are also regularly short-listed for desert settings. Kurtzman and his team scouted Malta before choosing to film in Namibia.
The Mummy will reportedly be based in the coastal Namibian city of Swakopmund until mid-August and the feature is intended as a launch pad for new films based on Universal's extensive library of classic movie monsters.