You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Lebanon mistakes actors for terrorists

Army averts scary situation with 'Blackline' cast

One of the few U.S. movies to lense in Lebanon almost became the last when the Lebanese army last week mistook the gun-toting cast of action thriller “Blackline: The Beirut Project” for real-life terrorists.

The hairy situation was resolved in the nick of time just as the real-life soldiers were getting to ready to lock and load.

“The army patrol wasn’t aware we were shooting a film and all they saw was these actors dressed as bad guys firing off blanks ,” says producer Nabil Issa. “They mistook us for some crazy-ass group and surrounded the building we were filming in. All the actors dropped their weapons. It was a close call.”

Pic — which stars Max Ryan as a private operative sent to rescue a hostage in Lebanon — wrapped its Beirut shoot safely at the beginning of March and is now lensing in Los Angeles.

Lebanon has been racked with political strife for months. The “Blackline” shoot coincided with a rise in tensions following the Feb. 13 assassination of Hezbollah’s Imad Mughniyah in Damascus.

“In America all people know about Beirut are bombs and the perception of it as a war zone,” says helmer and co-producer Christian Johnston, who previously traveled to Afghanistan to shoot Osama Bin Laden thriller “The September Tapes” in 2004. “There’s a lot more to Beirut and Lebanon than that. I don’t think an American film has shot here for 30 years so I hope this film can be like a postcard to the rest of the world.”

More News

  • China to Introduce New Game Approval

    China Introduces New Game Approval Process This Month

    China’s newly formed State Administration of Press and Publication (SAPP) is introducing new regulations for video games this month, according to Niko Partners. The online video games market is an important part of China’s technology industry, according to Feng Shixin, the deputy director of the Publishing Bureau of the Central Propaganda Department. It brings in [...]

  • Mandatory Credit: Brian J Ritchie/Hotsauce, Editorial

    Lizzo Reveals Summer-Fall Tour Dates

    Hot on the heels of her Nice Life/Atlantic Records debut album “Cuz I Love You” (which got a rave review in Variety last week) and her two Coachella performances, Lizzo has announced dates for a huge North American tour, billed “Cuz I Love You Too.” Produced by Live Nation, the tour begins July 18 in Portland, [...]

  • Tammy Filler Nathan Najarian NBC

    E! Expands News Coverage, Brings 'Today' Vet Tammy Filler Aboard (EXCLUSIVE)

    E! is expanding its entertainment-news programming, with plans to add three more hours of coverage to its linear schedule in 2020, Variety has learned. To help spearhead the effort, the cable channel is bringing aboard Tammy Filler, a veteran producer on NBC’s “Today,” to lead creative and production for E! News. The expansion of news [...]

  • New Clip Shows Off Labo VR

    New Clip Shows Off Labo VR Kit's 'Mario' and 'Zelda' Content

    Nintendo debuted a trailer showcasing the soon-to-be-added VR content in “Super Mario Odyssey” and “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.” “Super Mario Odyssey” gets three new mini-missions where players are tasked with collecting music notes and Coins to complete objectives in VR. The Cap, Seaside, and Luncheon Kingdoms will be available to explore [...]

  • Armando Iannucci

    Armando Iannucci Space Comedy 'Avenue 5' Ordered to Series at HBO

    HBO has given a series order to the comedy “Avenue 5” from creator Armando Iannucci. The series is described as a space tourism comedy set forty years in the future when the solar system is everyone’s oyster. Hugh Laurie stars as Ryan Clark, the captain of the space cruise ship Avenue 5. The series also [...]

  • philo

    Philo Is Discontinuing Its Cheaper Internet-TV Skinny Bundle for New Customers

    The skinniest virtual pay-TV offering available is going by the wayside. Philo, the over-the-top TV company backed by four cable programmers, is eliminating its super-skinny bundle that offered more than 40 channels for just $16 per month for new customers. It’s more evidence that OTT players are being forced to adjust their pricing and packaging [...]

  • Analyst: 'Apex Legends' Declining Popularity Could

    Analyst: 'Apex Legends' Declining Popularity Could Hurt EA Stock

    Electronic Arts’ battle royale title “Apex Legends” is not a serious contender for Epic Games’ blockbuster “Fortnite” and it’s worth far less than its implied stock value, according to financial website Seeking Alpha. Interest in the game is fading, the website said, and since it makes up a substantial portion of EA’s stock valuation, the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content