Netflix has boarded “The Angel,” a $12-million spy thriller to be directed by Israeli helmer Ariel Vromen (“The Iceman”). The film is based on Uri Bar-Joseph’s bestselling novel “The Angel: The Egyptian Spy Who Saved Israel.”
The Netflix Original will depict the true story of high-ranking Egyptian official Ashraf Marwan, who became a spy for Israel despite being the son-in-law of former Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser and close adviser of his successor, Anwar Sadat. Marwan, who died in 2007 under mysterious circumstances in London, is perhaps the most famous spy in the history of the Middle East, and was regarded as a national hero in both Israel and Egypt.
David Arata (“Children of Men”) wrote the script of “The Angel” with Vromen.
“The Angel” begins shooting this month in London under cinematographer Terry Stacey (“Elvis & Nixon”). It will also shoot in the U.K., Bulgaria, and Morocco this summer.
The film will topline Marwan Kenzari (“The Promise”), Toby Kebbell (“The East”), plus a number of well-known Middle Eastern actors, including Sasson Gabai (“The Band’s Visit”), Waleed Zuaiter (“Omar”), Mickey Leon (“False Flag”), Ori Pfeffer (“Dig”) and Maisa Abd Elhadi (“Personal Affairs”).
“I am honored to be working with this great cast, and I look forward to bringing Ashraf Marwan’s incredible story to a global audience. This is the story of a man who sacrificed his life for the greater good of peace between Israel and Egypt, a peace which has lasted for over 40 years,” Vromen said.
“The Angel” is produced by Simon Istolainen and Antoine Stioui at Adama Pictures, the banner TTV and Vromen at Sumatra Films. Matt O’Toole and Esther Hornstein are executive producing.
“We’ve been working relentlessly on this espionage project for many years, and we are thrilled to have Ashraf’s inspiring life story unfold on screen,” Stioui said.
The film is shooting in Arabic, Hebrew and English. “We’ve never seen a Netflix Original with such extensive Arabic dialogue. It goes to show their will to maintain the flavor and authenticity of the project,” said Istolainen, who praised Netflix for boarding a project without globally famous actors attached and giving it the means to be ambitious.
“The Angel” will premiere globally on Netflix in 2018.