13 gorgeous photos of the Middle Eastern desert that doubles for Mars in 'The Martian'

Director Ridley Scott’s highly anticipated “The Martian” is in theatres Friday.

While much of the film will take place on Mars, it’s the Middle Eastern desert of Wadi Rum, Jordan, which serves as the backdrop for the movie.

The desert is a Hollywood favourite for films which have taken place on the red planet.

Keep scrolling to see where movies in Mars come to life in movies.

Here's how Mars looks in 'The Martian.'

Aidan Monaghan

The production team wanted to find the perfect place to double for the planet's arid, red surface.

Though they considered using the Australian Outback, the team went with the Jordan desert of Wadi Rum.

Adam Pretty/Getty Images
Above is a picture of the Wadi Rum desert at sunset.

The desert, known as The Valley of the Moon, covers 720 square kilometers in Jordan's south region.

Adam Pretty/Getty Images

Source: WadiRum.jo

2000's 'Red Planet' and 2013's 'The Last Days on Mars' both used the desert as a stand in for the Martian surface.

Adam Pretty/Getty Images

While 'The Martian' team didn't film the movie on location, they used the desert to fill in for the backdrop of Mars.

Adam Pretty/Getty Images

Source: 'The Martian' production notes

The area has become a popular tourist destination. Not only can you see rock bridge formations ...

... but it's also a favourite for rock climbers hoping to scale Wadi Rum's sandstone and granite mountains.

This rock formation is known as 'The Seven Pillars.'

Source: WadiRum.jo

It's certainly breathtaking.

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