UAE Founder Sheikh Zayed Biopic in the Works From STXfilms

STXfilms is developing a biopic based on the life of the late Sheikh Zayed, the former president of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

Shekhar Kapur, whose credits include “Elizabeth” and “Elizabeth: The Golden Age,” has signed on to direct the film. Cliff Dorfman (“Warrior,” “Entourage”) will write the screenplay.

STXfilms made the announcement Thursday, noting that Sheikh Zayed was instrumental in the formation of the UAE in 1971 and is credited with transforming the emirates into a modern progressive state, attempting, as the nation’s first president, to create a world of coexistence and peace.

The studio said Zayed, who died in 2004, was considered a liberal ruler for the time period and became known for promoting tolerance, universal human values, women’s rights, and environmental protection, and carried out major reforms to the UAE’s education, healthcare, public housing, and urban development. He was also one of the wealthiest men in the world due to the massive oil reserves of the UAE.

“Patterned after great movies like ‘Gandhi,’ ‘Selma,’ and ‘Darkest Hour,’ this project will tell the story of a dynamic, powerful personality who helped create historic change,” said Adam Fogelson, chairman of STXfilms.

The four-year-old studio has seen its best performances from the “Bad Moms” franchise, and is opening “Adrift,” a survival drama with Sam Claflin and Shailene Woodley, this weekend. Upcoming films include Melissa McCarthy’s comedy “The Happytime Murders,” Mark Wahlberg’s action-thriller “Mile 22,” and “Peppermint,” a revenge thriller with Jennifer Garner.

POPULAR ON VARIETY:

More Film

  • Ken Jeong Calls Out Hollywood's 'Cultural

    Ken Jeong Calls Out Hollywood's 'Cultural Insensitivity'

    STXfilms is developing a biopic based on the life of the late Sheikh Zayed, the former president of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. Shekhar Kapur, whose credits include “Elizabeth” and “Elizabeth: The Golden Age,” has signed on to direct the film. Cliff Dorfman (“Warrior,” “Entourage”) will write the […]

  • The Summer's Vital Movie Trend: People

    The Summer's Most Important Movie Trend: People Still Love Going to the Movies!

    STXfilms is developing a biopic based on the life of the late Sheikh Zayed, the former president of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. Shekhar Kapur, whose credits include “Elizabeth” and “Elizabeth: The Golden Age,” has signed on to direct the film. Cliff Dorfman (“Warrior,” “Entourage”) will write the […]

  • Crazy Rich Asians

    'Crazy Rich Asians' Doesn’t Represent All Asians Everywhere, And That’s Fine (Column)

    STXfilms is developing a biopic based on the life of the late Sheikh Zayed, the former president of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. Shekhar Kapur, whose credits include “Elizabeth” and “Elizabeth: The Golden Age,” has signed on to direct the film. Cliff Dorfman (“Warrior,” “Entourage”) will write the […]

  • The Meg

    'The Meg' Remains No. 1 at International Box Office, Tops $300 Million Worldwide

    STXfilms is developing a biopic based on the life of the late Sheikh Zayed, the former president of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. Shekhar Kapur, whose credits include “Elizabeth” and “Elizabeth: The Golden Age,” has signed on to direct the film. Cliff Dorfman (“Warrior,” “Entourage”) will write the […]

  • Crazy Rich Asians

    Box Office: 'Crazy Rich Asians' Dazzles With $34 Million Five-Day Opening

    STXfilms is developing a biopic based on the life of the late Sheikh Zayed, the former president of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. Shekhar Kapur, whose credits include “Elizabeth” and “Elizabeth: The Golden Age,” has signed on to direct the film. Cliff Dorfman (“Warrior,” “Entourage”) will write the […]

  • 'Billionaire Boys Club' Review

    Film Review: 'Billionaire Boys Club'

    STXfilms is developing a biopic based on the life of the late Sheikh Zayed, the former president of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. Shekhar Kapur, whose credits include “Elizabeth” and “Elizabeth: The Golden Age,” has signed on to direct the film. Cliff Dorfman (“Warrior,” “Entourage”) will write the […]

  • Crazy Rich Asians

    'Crazy Rich Asians' to Top 'The Meg's' Second Weekend

    STXfilms is developing a biopic based on the life of the late Sheikh Zayed, the former president of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. Shekhar Kapur, whose credits include “Elizabeth” and “Elizabeth: The Golden Age,” has signed on to direct the film. Cliff Dorfman (“Warrior,” “Entourage”) will write the […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content