Shalhoub tops ‘East’

Thesp cast in Arab-American drama

Tony Shalhoub is set to star in “AmericanEast,” an Arab-American drama being produced and distribbed by Anant Singh’s Distant Horizon. Also toplining are Kais Nashif (“Paradise Now”) and Egyptian-American thesp Sayed Badreya.

Badreya co-wrote the script with director Hesham Issawi.

Pic begins shooting this July in Los Angeles.

“AmericanEast” examines misunderstandings about Arab culture, highlighting the pressures under which many Arab-Americans live today.

“Our goal was really to show other people that we are no different from them,” said Issawi. “To do that we focused on one normal guy, who just happens to be a Muslim, and we show what kind of pressure these external forces can have on a person who’s simply trying to carry on.”

Singh and Distant Horizon’s Brian Cox will produce, along with partners Mohannad Malas and Ahmad Zahra of Tala Corp.

Shalhoub, who developed the project before bringing it to Distant Horizon, is also producing.

Thesp, who toplines the USA network series “Monk,” recently wrapped Serenade Films’ “The Great New Wonderful,” starring Maggie Gyllenhaal and Edie Falco. He next stars in “The Adventures of Beatle Boyin.”

Singh and Cox are producers on this summer’s Dimension Films pic “Pulse,” a remake of the Kiyoshi Kurosawa horror pic. Distant Horizon is also developing a remake of “Don’t Look Up,” an early title from helmer Hideo Nakata (“Ring”).

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