The Netflix Arabic remake of the famed hit Italian concept movie “Perfect Strangers,” will be the streaming platform’s first foray into original Arabic programming. The streaming service is also exploring other possibilities with the film’s lead producer, Front Row Filmed Entertainment, a Dubai-based production company.
The Netflix Arabic Remake Boasts Some Very Familiar Names
The remake features familiar names from the pan-Arabic film industry, including Wissam Smayra, Mona Zaki, and Nadine Labaki. Front Row’s Yalla Yalla unit is co-producing the film alongside Egypt-based Flim Clinic and Empire Entertainment of Lebanon.
The Italian original, directed by Paolo Genovese and produced by Lotus Productions, Leone Film Group, and Medusa Films, grossed more than $31 million in domestic markets and triggered numerous international remakes in South Korea, Greece, Spain, Germany, and France to the tune of $270 million worldwide.
“Perfect Strangers” follows seven friends who get together for dinner and decide to play a game. The game rules are simple, everyone places their cell phone on the table and must openly share every text, call, and voice message as it arrives. What follows is a tight narrative that delves into secrets that reveal far more than the friends want to, including the identification as one of the seven as gay. The sexuality aspect, considered a sensitive issue for many parts of western Asia, has not been eliminated in the Arabic remake.
Netflix’s first original Arabic film will be available on January 20 in 190 countries.
Front Row has also announced its plan to remake Intouchables, the French hit comedy starring Omar Sy of Lupin fame, beginning in May of next year.
The streaming platform is currently struggling with early shutdowns and closures tied to the spread of COVID-19, including the omicron variant. Netflix recently announced its current hit, The Crown would close earlier than anticipated for the Christmas break.