Dubai-based Front Row Filmed Entertainment has set writer/director duo Amr El Daly and Jad Aouad to develop an Arabic adaptation of global box office hit Intouchables. Front Row acquired the Arabic remake rights to the original French title which released in 2011 and made $427M worldwide. It was later notably adapted in a 2019 U.S. version, The Upside, starring Bryan Cranston, Kevin Hart and Nicole Kidman.
The Arabic version of Intouchables, which is set to begin filming in May 2022, will take place in Egypt and focuses on a wealthy paraplegic and his relationship to a small-time hood who becomes his caretaker. The two form a strong bond despite the wide social and cultural divide between them.
Egyptian screenwriter Amr El Daly’s credits include ensemble TV drama Dawaran Shoubra as well as Ded El Kasr and Bi Meet Wesh, both successes across various Arabic TV and streaming platforms. He commented, “I am very excited about adapting Intouchables into an Arabic language, Egyptian film. The story touches on many relatable themes explored through the differences between the socioeconomic classes, which is something that cuts deep for me.”
Egyptian/Franco-Lebanese director Jad Aouad will make his feature helming debut with Intouchables. He has had an award-winning career in advertising, working alongside such talent as Florent-Emilio Siri, Pascal Dash, Diamentino Ferriera and Jan de Bont. He said, “I’ve been building to this moment my entire career… Intouchables is a touching, humanist film that fits perfectly with my personal sensibilities – what brings us together as people, what transcends status and capital.”
Intouchables is the second Arabic remake on Front Row’s slate following the adaptation of Italy’s worldwide hit Perfect Strangers.
Front Row CEO Gianluca Chakra said, “We’ve made it our mission to find and nurture emerging talent that we feel will have a profound impact and drive change in the creative industry. We’re very excited to be working with both Jad and Amr on Intouchables. They have truly authentic voices and a natural instinct that will make this version of Intouchables unique for Arab viewers while also translate well for the international audiences.”
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