Netflix has ordered its first Arabic original series, a young adult fantasy drama Jinn from the VFX team behind Scandal as well as the creatives responsible for Oscar-nominated drama Theeb and Very Big Shot.
The SVOD service is partnering on the six-part drama from exec producers Elan and Rajeev Dassani, who are the VFX specialists behind a raft of hit U.S series such as Scandal and Justified, Lebanese director Mir-Jean Bou Chaaya (Very Big Shot) and Bassel Ghandour, who wrote the Oscar nominated Theeb.
Jinn is described as a “contemporary”, supernatural drama focused on young Arab characters that follows a group of teenagers, whose lives are disrupted when a spiritual figure appears in front of them in the ancient city of Petra. They must try and stop Jinn from destroying the world.
It is the first Netflix original series to emerge out of the Middle East and comes as the SVOD service plans to launch its debut stand-up show, Adel Karam: Live from Beirut on March 1.
Chaaya said that Jinn was a great opportunity to portray Arab youth in a “unique” and “authentic” way. Ghandour said, “It is very common in Middle East that people know someone who has a Jinn story, so it’s nice to take that and turn it into a fun and mysterious teen adventure that everyone can enjoy. On a broader note, I love that Netflix is investing a lot in the region, it’s a real turning point. We have such a rich storytelling culture, and we’ll finally be able to enjoy Arabic content with Netflix quality.”
“We’re delighted to be working with such a variety of breakout talent to launch our first Arabic original series in the Middle East,” added Erik Barmack, VP of International Original Series at Netflix. “We are extremely excited to bring this story to a global audience, and to celebrate Arab youth and culture. We can’t wait to share more details later this year.”
The series is expected to air in 2019.