Arab ‘Prison Break’ Adaptation Casts Tunisian Actor Dhafer L’Abidine As Lead (EXCLUSIVE)

An Arab adaptation of hit Fox TV series “Prison Break” is set to start shooting next year with Tunisian actor Dhafer L’Abidine (“Sex And The City 2,” “A Hologram for the King”) set to star as fictional character Michael Scofield, the lead role played by Wentworth Miller in the original.

L’Abidine (pictured above to the right of Miller) is a former professional soccer player and rising Arab international star. He gained prominence in Tunisia for his role as ‘Dali’ in the popular TV series “Maktoub,” and is known in Egypt and the Middle East for his turns in popular shows including “Niran Sadiqa” (“Friendly Fire”) aired by the Middle East Broadcasting Center (MBC) and Egyptian social drama “Fark Taoukit.” Dhafer also recently hosted the Middle Eastern version of British game show “The Cube” for Dubai TV.

Based in London, L’Abidine has also appeared is several high-profile British TV skeins, including the BBC’s “Spooks,” Sky’s “Strike Back,” and ITV’s “Wallender.” L’Abidine will soon be seen in the new season of French series “Spiral” on Canal Plus and TNT’s “Transporter: The Series.”

“I am very happy to be part of the Arab version of such an exciting and classic TV series,” L’Abidine enthused in a statement.

Based on the storyline of the original, the Arab “Prison Break” redo is being produced by Fadi Fahim and groundbreaking Egyptian director Marwan Hamed (“The Yacoubian Building”) through their Cairo-based Lighthouse Films shingle. It will be aired across the Middle East by Dubai-based Orbit Showtime Network OSN, which is the region’s leading pay-TVplayer.

Egytpian film and TV director Hussein El Menbawy, who helmed recent hit Egyptian action movie “Shad Agzaa,” will direct the “Prison Break” adaptation set to start shooting next year. Though the Arab location of the show is being kept under wraps, there is no shortage of very intriguing options, none of which devoid of potential political connotations.

“Prison Break” has been adapted outside the U.S. once before. A Russian redo premiered in 2010 on national Channel One. It adapts many elements of the U.S. original but also introduces new story lines and characters that reflect Russian reality.

Fox is reportedly developing a 10-episode revival “Prison Break” event series with original stars Wentworth Miller and Dominic Purcell attached. The original, which ran on Fox between 2005-2009, is currently among the most successful library shows on Netflix.

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