Twickenham plans film on Arab hero
London, February 15, 2012
Twickenham Film Group has announced the production of a £60 million major motion picture, Saladin, an epic story based on a hero’s life, with producers intending to reach out to award-winning actor, George Clooney, to play the title role.
One in a slate of ten films announced by the group, Saladin tells the story of the infamous 12th century warrior king and his heroic fight against Richard the Lionheart in the Third Crusade, a statement from the producers said.
Spanning the most significant three years in Saladin’s life, the production will depict the courage, wits and battle strategies that established him as the greatest and most chivalrous Arab hero in history, the statement said.
The storyline will focus on the warrior’s epic battle for the city of Jerusalem against Richard the Lionheart, and how, over years of sieges and subterfuge, the opposing leaders grew to respect each other, enough to cast aside their weapons.
Saladin promises to bring the story of the most prominent Arab hero to the big screen like never before, producers said.
Ralph Fiennes will be cast as Richard the Lionheart. Talks are underway to produce the film both on location in the Middle East and in the UK.
Twickenham Films has an exclusive sales and international distribution agreement with Hollywood-based Inferno, it said.
The producers also announced the creation of the solely Middle East-backed Oasis Film Fund, part of the Twickenham Film Group of companies, launched with the aim of funding future major productions, including those with strong and positive Arab storyline content.
The £200 million Oasis Film Fund will appeal to both individual and corporate Middle East investors keen to involve themselves within the British film industry.
With the UK now the third-largest cinema market in the world after grossing a record-breaking £1 billion in 2011, the Oasis Film Fund aims to build on the industry’s on-going success with its new slate, the statement said.
Featuring ten commercial, theatrical films – including Saladin, its flagship production – the new slate demonstrates the fund’s commitment to working with established A-List movie stars, as well as discovering the next generation of acting, writing and directing talent from both the UK and the Middle East.
Twickenham Film Group’s mandate is to work alongside as many Arab actors, writers, producers and directors as possible in the production of their newly announced slate of ten films.
Other productions in the slate include Rachel and Talal, a heart-warming journey of culture-clashing discovery between an elderly American Jewish woman living in London and teenage Arab student Talal, hired to help look after her, it said.
The producers intend to reach out to Barbra Streisand for the lead role. With its ten new productions, the Oasis Film Fund slate promises to build on the British tradition of working with the best in the movie business. – TradeArabia News Service
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