You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Image Nation Abu Dhabi Pacts With U.S. Producers Roy Lee, Steven Schneider

ROME – Prominent Middle Eastern production company Image Nation Abu Dhabi has forged a three-year pact with veteran Hollywood genre movie producers Roy Lee (“The Ring”) and Steven Schneider (“Paranormal Activity”) to jointly produce a slate of high-concept, low-budget horror films destined for the international market.

Though specifics on the projects are being kept under wraps, the plan is to make at least one English-language movie with franchise potential per year, fully financed by Image Nation, according to a statement.

Directors are being decided. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

The deal reunites Schneider with Image Nation after their recent collaboration on Emirati director Ali F. Mustafa’s “The Worthy,” a dystopian Arabic-language thriller set for global release via Netflix this month.

Besides “The Ring” and “Paranormal Activity,” Lee and Schneider (pictured – Schneider left, Lee right) each have a long track record churning out other hit horror franchises, including “The Grudge,” which was produced by Lee, and “Insidious,” by Schneider. Lee is also a producer of  “The Lego Movie” and “How to Train Your Dragon” franchises.

The two U.S. producers previously paired up on the 2016 “Blair Witch” remake, among other projects.

Image Nation, which is run by U.S. exec Michael Garin, has been venturing into genre movies by Arab directors for several years. Their Tarantino-esque noir “Rattle the Cage,” is considered the first movie of this type to come out of the United Arab Emirates. Netflix picked up “Cage” in 2016, its first acquisition from the UAE.

An Image Nation rep declined to specify whether the new pact will involve Arab helmers, saying simply that directors are being decided “across the board.”

In a statement, Image Nation Head of Narrative, Film and Television Ben Ross said the deal would allow the Abu Dhabi-based company to “broaden our international production slate to create more dark genre titles with great potential for lucrative franchises.”

“I am impressed with the way Image Nation has approached the genre space,” Lee said in the statement. “Steven and I are excited to work with them in creating globally appealing movies and franchises and pushing the boundaries of the genre.”

The deal was brokered by Stuart Manashil on behalf of Lee and Schneider, and by Ross and Derek Dauchy for Image Nation.

Image Nation, which has a business strategy based on calculated risk investments in Hollywood to help finance commercially viable local projects, has long-term relationships in Hollywood with Ashok Amritraj’s Hyde Park and Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald’s Parkes/MacDonald shingles.

They fully financed Tom Hanks thriller “The Circle,” produced in association with Parkes MacDonald Productions, and have several new pics in the pipeline including horror-thriller “Prey,” produced by Blumhouse and Hyde Park Entertainment. They are also producing Abu Dhabi-set legal drama “Justice,” inspired by “L.A. Law,” written by  U.S. producer and writer William Finkelstein in collaboration with a local team.

Late last year, Image Nation Abu Dhabi forged a partnership to set up a $300 million fund to jointly invest in movies and TV content produced in Hollywood, the United Arab Emirates, China and other countries.

More Film

  • Doppelgänger Red (Lupita Nyong'o) and Adelaide

    Box Office: Jordan Peele's 'Us' Nabs $7.4 Million on Thursday Night

    Jordan Peele’s horror-thriller “Us” opened impressively with $7.4 million on Thursday night. The figure easily topped Thursday preview numbers for “The Nun” at $5.4 million and “A Quiet Place” at $4.3 million. Projections for “Us,” Peele’s much-anticipated follow-up to 2017’s “Get Out,” have been in the $38 million to $45 million range for the weekend as [...]

  • Beatriz Bodegas on Netflix Original: ‘Who

    ‘Who Would You Take to a Desert Island?’ Producer on New Spanish Netflix Original

    BARCELONA – “Who Would You Take to a Desert Island?” is the second directorial outing from Spain’s Jota Linares (“Animales sin collar”) a Netflix Original premiering on Friday, March 22 in competition at the Malaga Spanish Language Film Festival. Starring María Pedraza, Jaime Lorente, Pol Monen and Andrea Ros, the film is the movie adaptation [...]

  • Beijing Festival Unveils 'Max Max,' 'Bourne'

    Beijing Festival Unveils 'Max Max,' 'Bourne,' Kurosawa Screening Series

    The upcoming Beijing International Film Festival will give space to high profile Hollywood franchise movies with screenings of all films in both the “Mad Max” and “Bourne Identity” series. Classic Hollywood fare will also feature prominently in a line-up that, as usual, features an eclectic grab bag of titles. The local government-backed festival opens April [...]

  • J.R. “Bob” Dobbs and the Church

    SXSW Film Review: 'J.R. 'Bob' Dobbs and the Church of the SubGenius'

    Like 8mm films of 1960s “happenings” or videos of 1970s performance art, “J.R. ‘Bob’ Dobbs and the Church of the SubGenius” chronicles a cultural footnote that perhaps should be filed under the heading You Had to Be There. The satirical-absurdist “religion” founded by some Texans actually caught fire among hipsters in the 1980s, influencing some [...]

  • 'Roll Red Roll' Review: Piercing Documentary

    Film Review: 'Roll Red Roll'

    “Roll Red Roll” is a piercingly relevant and disturbing documentary about an infamous high school rape case that took place in Steubenville, Ohio (pop. 18,600), on Aug. 11, 2012. Steubenville, the sort of Friday-night-lights small town that boasts signs that read “Kick off for Jesus,” is a place that’s good at keeping secrets. When the [...]

  • Contract Placeholder Business WGA ATA Agent

    Writers Guild, Hollywood Agents Negotiate With Deadline Looming

    The Writers Guild of America and Hollywood agents have held a sixth negotiating session with a deadline for a new deal 16 days away — and it’s uncertain whether progress is being made. The Association of Talent Agents made counter-proposals at Thursday’s session that contain provisions for more accountability and transparency by agencies for clients [...]

  • Fox Layoffs

    Fox Layoffs Leave Staffers Stunned and Saddened

    Fox employees knew this day was coming. For over a year, the men and women who work at the Century City lot have talked of little else but severance packages and job searches. They knew that when Disney wrapped up its $71.3 billion acquisition of much of 21st Century Fox’s film and television assets, thousands [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content