Global box office smash Intouchables (2011) is set for an Arabic-language remake after Yalla Yalla, the recently announced JV between Dubai-based Middle East distributor Front Row and sales outfit Rocket Science, inked a deal with French studio Gaumont.
The project will most likely be a first ever Saudi-Egyptian co-production with director and cast set to be announced soon. The adaptation will be Yalla Yalla’s second production after the remake of hit Italian comedy Perfect Strangers, which is currently in pre-production.
Front Row Filmed Entertainment will handle all Middle East and North African rights and Rocket Science will handle all international sales. The deal was negotiated by Ian Cooper of Cooper Law for Yalla Yalla and Cecile Gaget for Gaumont.
Starring Omar Sy and Francois Cluzet, French comedy Intouchables, about a paraplegic billionaire who strikes an unlikely friendship with his street smart ex-con caretaker, grossed more than $425M at the global box office, and was recently remade into U.S. hit The Upside with Kevin Hart.
Hisham Alghanim and Gianluca Chakra, President and Managing Partner of Front Row Filmed Entertainment, respectively, jointly stated, “This would mark the first co-production for a feature film between Egypt and Saudi touching on a universal story that could bridge two entirely different cultures.”
Thorsten Schumacher, CEO of Rocket Science added, “It is a very exciting proposition to be able to bring such a globally recognizable property to the territory – the first of many.”