EXCLUSIVE: Amazon is in talks to develop Sandstorm, a series about notorious Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, who seized power in a coup at the age of 29, and ruled Libya for more than four decades before his bloody demise at the hands of his own countrymen in 2011.
Carter Harris (Bloodline) will write, and Mohamed Diab (Clash) will direct. The project is a co-production between Anonymous Content and O3 Productions, the production arm of MBC Group, the leading media company in the Middle East. Harris and Diab will be executive producers with Tariq Merhab and Nicole Romano of Anonymous Content and Ali Jaafar and Fadi Ismail of O3 Productions. The project originated through a strategic partnership that Anonymous Content forged with O3 Productions to develop content relevant to the Middle East with global appeal.
The aim of Sandstorm is to tell the sprawling life story Gaddafi and Libya’s evolution under his reign, in the style that fact-based drama Narcos did to Pablo Escobar. Gaddafi rose from being the penniless son of an illiterate Bedouin goat herder to the young leader of Libya after King Idris was deposed in a bloodless coup. Among the many things he did was rearrange the relationship that oil rich Middle Eastern countries held with global petroleum corporations, often antagonizing his Saudi Arabian and Iranian neighbors.
With the resulting riches, Gaddafi transformed into a corrupt tyrant who ruled with an iron fist, and remained a study in contradictions through his life. Initially an idealist who was embraced by the CIA and KGB and industrialists like Armand Hammer and Gianni Agnelli, he ultimately became the vilified “mad dog of the Middle East” — as Ronald Reagan called him — a terrorist believed to be behind the bombing of Pan AM flight 103, which exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing 270 people in 1988. Gaddafi, who was accused of torturing and disappearing dissidents to fortify his rule, was ultimately hunted down and killed in undignified fashion by his own countrymen. The aim is to tell the whole story, and that includes a foray into feature film financing.