Middle East distributor Front Row Filmed Entertainment and its backer Kuwait National Cinema Company have inked a deal with Italian outfit Medusa Film for the Arabic language remake rights to 2016 Italian hit Perfect Strangers (Perfetti Sconosciuti).
The Arabic version will be a Lebanese-Egyptian co-production in collaboration with Empire International and Egyptian production firm Film Clinic whose latest credits include Cannes Competition entry Yomeddine. Mohamed Hefzy, Hisham Alghanim and Mario Jr. Haddad are also attached to produce and finance.
Front Row/KNCC and Empire will theatrically distribute the film in the Gulf and Levant. Film Clinic will handle its theatrical release in Egypt. Front Row will handle all post theatrical sales across the region. The deal was negotiated by Gianluca Chakra and Faruk Alatan of Medusa.
Produced by Medusa Film, Leone Film Group and Lotus Productions, Paolo Genovese’s well-received original grossed an impressive $20M at the Italian box office for a worldwide take of $31M. The comedy-drama follows seven long-time friends who play a game over dinner by putting their mobile phones on the table and revealing every text message or phone call they receive in the evening.
Previous remakes for the film include a Spanish version which grossed $25M; a Greek adaptation that tallied $1.8M; and a Turkish version that accumulated $1.7M. German, Swedish, Korean and Russian remakes are currently being developed. Back in 2016, The Weinstein Company acquired the English-language remake rights. Last week, Mars Distribution released the French version under the title Le Jeu with the film opening second at the box office behind Sony and Marvel’s Venom.
“Whether you’re a man or a woman, we all have something to hide… Paolo Genovese and team have delivered one of the most clever and universally adaptable scripts known to contemporary cinema. We’re extremely happy to be involved in such a proven property,” said Gianluca Chakra, Managing Director of Front Row.
Front Row President and KNCC General Manager Hisham Al Ghanim added, “We are also looking into more potential remake rights that could resonate well in the MENA. The aim for us is to find different business models encouraging co-productions between the Arab world bridging the different cultures, introducing new talent and eventually gaining more markets. With the right material, this can be done.”