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Sebastian de Souza, Tom Hollander and Shohreh Aghdashloo are set to star in the long-awaited film adaptation of Paulo Coelho’s popular novel The Alchemist.
The project, set to start production in Morroco in September, has seen a road to the screen as slow and winding as the traveler’s journey in Coelho’s philosophical book. Will Smith’s Westbrook Studios, Netter Films and PalmStar Media are producing the movie, which is directed by Kevin Frakes.
De Souza will play the role of the Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago, alongside Hollander and Aghdashloo. The ensemble cast includes Jordi Molla, Youssef Kerkour and Ashraf Barhom.
Laurence Fishburne had wanted to develop Coelho’s best-selling book for 16 years after acquiring the film rights to the 1988 novel from Warner Bros. Pictures with the intent of making the movie themselves. Warners acquired author Coelho’s book — about a traveler journeying the world during the Inquisition in order to find man’s purpose in the world — in 2003 as a Fishburne vehicle.
The film finally now headed to the cameras is produced by Will Smith and Jon Mone for Westbrook Studios; Frakes and Raj Singh for PalmStar; and Gil Netter for Netter Films. The Alchemist follows a young Santiago on an epic quest for life-changing treasure.
The film’s cast and crew will aim at the authenticity of the story’s setting in Spain and North Africa, as well as the diversity of a global and diverse production.
“Hundreds of millions of people over the past three decades have found inspiration in The Alchemist to pursue their dreams, listen to their hearts, and never to lose hope when faced with adversity,” said Netter in a statement. The film’s production team also includes Oscar-winning cinematographer Claudio Miranda, and the script was co-written by Frakes and Ryan Kreston.
Zakaria Alaoui is the local producer and Manu Gargi is executive producing. The Alchemist has sold more than 100 million copies in 56 languages, and holds the Guinness World Record for most translated work by a living author.
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