Netflix has swooped on the Arabic adaptation of hit Italian concept movie “Perfect Strangers” as its first Arabic original film. The streaming service has also inked a first-look deal with the pic’s lead producer, Dubai-based Front Row Filmed Entertainment, involving other possible titles in its pipeline.
The hotly anticipated Arabic remake of “Perfect Strangers” features a high-caliber pan-Arabic ensemble cast including Lebanese multi-hyphenate Nadine Labaki and Egyptian star Mona Zaki. It is directed by Lebanese first-timer Wissam Smayra.
Pic is co-produced by Front Row’s Yalla Yalla unit with Egypt’s Film Clinic and Lebanon’s Empire Entertainment.
The original “Perfect Strangers” was directed by Italy’s Paolo Genovese and produced by Medusa Films, Leone Film Group and Lotus Productions. It grossed over $31 million domestically and spawned remakes in 18 territories including France, Germany, Spain, Greece and South Korea that have grossed an estimated total $270 million worldwide.
“Perfect Strangers” is the tale of seven close friends who gather for dinner and decide to play a game that involves them placing their cell phones on the dinner table, and agreeing to openly share their every call, text and voice messages as they arrive. The narrative quickly unfolds into an uncharted path of secrets that reveals more than what they wish to share, including that one of the characters is gay. This aspect of the story, which is sensitive for parts of the West Asia region, has been kept intact in the Arabic redo.
Netflix is expected to drop its first Arabic original film on Jan. 20 in 190 countries.
Front Row, which has been expanding from distribution into production, also has an announced Arabic remake of French hit comedy “Intouchables” in the works with production kicking off in Egypt in May 2022.