Ruud Gullit and the Mysteries of ancient Egypt

6 x 35 minutes // for Amazon Prime Video // 2022


6 x 35 minutes // for Amazon Prime Video // 2022

For the first time in his life, this legend sets foot in the country he has dreamed of for so long. 

In this year’s most upbeat adventure series, legendary soccer player Ruud Gullit travels – like a 2.0 version of Tintin – along the greatest sites and mysteries of ancient Egyptian culture. Gullit is allowed to go to places where regular people can never go. He looks for answers to questions he has been asking himself all his life. 

Does the curse of Tut-Anch-Amon exist? How were the pyramids built? Could humans even have pulled it off? Is there a secret hidden under the paws of the most famous statue in the world, the sphinx? Why are black pharaohs never mentioned in history books? Ruud Gullit, like the world has never seen him before: on the ball, in ancient Egypt.


Ruud Gullit


Willem de Bruin


Joost Engelberts
& Bas Zwartepoorte

Producers at Scenery

Isidoor Roebers
& Lea Fels

Executive producer

Felix van Es

Creative producer

Tomas Kaan

Rep. producer Atlas

Sharon Yosef


Bas Zwartepoorte

1st AC and Mõvi operator

Sean -Birdman- Vogel

Sound recordist

Mohab El Ezz

Head of production Egypt

Ruth Vandewalle

Ass. producer Egypt

Azza Kalfat
& Mohammed Hashem


Pelle Asselbergs NCE
Pepijn Ahsmann
Lykle Tuinstra


Alexander Reumers

Post production supervisors

Kader Akbayir &
Marieke Konijn

Sound design, edit & mix

Lenner Hunfeld
& Evelien van der Molen

Sound studio

West Side Studio

Color grading

Remi Lindenhovius


Sander Roks
& Iris Baele

Image research

Fem Verbeek
& Marieke Konijn

Leader and title design

Sander Brouwer

Animation design

Bernie van Vlijmen

Post facilities

The Lodge

Post producers

Marja Paeper
& Remco Smit


Yannick Elferink



Produced by

Scenery & Atlas Collective

Created by

Bas Zwartepoorte
& Joost Engelberts

Behind the scenes

a talk with creators Bas Zwartepoorte and Joost Engelberts

How did you guys find out about Ruud’s fascination for ancient Egypt?

(B) I read an interview with Ruud in the newspaper in which he was asked about his favorite book. His reply was that it must be every book about Egypt, because he was totally obsessed with it. ‘I’ve just never been there.’ After the weekend, I told Joost about the idea right away and the next day we were drinking coffee with Ruud. It was a peculiar conversation, as Ruud went all out about how he felt a deep connection with ancient Egypt. He immediately started throwing around big mysteries and conspiracy theories. Halfway through the conversation I said: ‘Ruud, it sounds like you are very spiritual.’  He affirmed, said was ready to share it, and off we went.

How was it to direct him?

(J) Ruud was wildly enthusiastic, which was quite challenging as a maker. He completely bombarded the first museum director he met with all his questions. Not in a neat chronological order, but he just started firing away with everything he always wanted to know. The museum director began sweating profusely in front of our camera and asked us: ‘What does he want?’ In the end, we weren’t able to use any of that whole conversation.

So this was not your everyday workflow?

(J) Ruud is very connected to his supporters and family, and takes them on all his adventures, live or online.  If he wants to facetime with his wife during a visit to the temple, he facetimes with his wife. The cool thing though, is that he’s never grumpy. He can grumble a bit. About how cold it is. ‘Jesus, how cold is it here?’ But a minute later he is laughing again.

What was the reality of shooting in Egypt?

(J) Egypt is a police state, which means you are being controlled by the police everywhere you go. They didn’t care whether a famous soccer player was standing in front of them or not, all the papers had to be in order. We were lucky enough to work with Ruth, a little smartypants from Ghent, who had been in the country for over 13 years. She just barked aside all those men, whilst we were waiting to be allowed through. Ruth pretty much saved us.

The series was one big adventure, but behind the scenes there was another one right?

(B) Yes, behind the scenes were so many radars turning in order to make things happen.  Whole shopping bags of cash passed around, permits to open temple doors had to be signed, we were constantly running after our own tales.

How do you keep the spontaneity in such a big production where you have to get permits for everything?

(B) In this production every street corner had to be taken care of. We had to know everything beforehand; like whether a temple was reserved for us to film. But the cool thing was that Ruud always said: ‘Just surprise me, please don’t tell me what to do.’ He would simply come to breakfast and asked: ‘What are we going to do today?’ It was all spontaneity from him.
(J) What was very exciting was if he would step into a hot-air balloon. Or into a basket in which he would be hoisted down 18 meters. He didn’t know about that beforehand. So neither did we know whether he would do it or not.

It looked like all the doors were opening for you. Were there any big disappointments whilst shooting?

(J) Mido (Ajax’ top footballer Ahmed Hossam) has this very cool car, a firebird. We thought it would be great if he drove it around in the desert. We were completely prepared and had our camera rolling. And the moment we said: ‘let’s go’, the car got stuck. Like really stuck. And we were frozen to the ground, which has actually never happened in my whole film career. Then a bulldozer came into frame, followed by  hundreds of kids from the village. And we forgot about the simple idea of pressing record.

(B): Normally for us, that’s our modus operandi; we are up and running within a second. But this time we were just so overwhelmed by the disappointment.

Favorite scenes from the series?

(B) There are 2  scenes where it all came together for me. The afternoon in Luxor where we had exclusive access to Tutankhamun’s tomb, and were alone with the mummy. That was so impressive. We were also allowed to go behind the fence and walk around the sarcophagus where the mummy was found by Howard Carter in 1922. Another special moment was the night shoot at the Old Museum in Cairo. Having the chance to light out the museum after closing time and to spend 1 on 1 time with the golden mask…. a childhood dream come true.

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