French Smash Hit 'Intouchables' to Get Saudi-Egyptian Remake

'The Intouchables'

An Arabic adaptation of the most successful foreign-language film of all time is in development with joint-venture Yalla Yalla.

Having already been remade into Spanish, Hindi and English — with 2017's The Upside, starring Bryan Cranston — 2011 French box office hit Intouchables is now getting an Arabic adaptation. 

The feature is the latest project from Yalla Yalla, the joint venture between Dubai-based Middle East distributor Front Row Film Entertainment and sales and production banner Rocket Science, which was first announced in Cannes, with the two signing a deal with Gaumont for the Arabic-language remake rights. 

Yalla Yalla has revealed that the adaptation — its second in development after Perfect Strangers, currently in preproduction — will likely be a Saudi/Egyptian co-production, with the director and cast to be announced soon. 

Starring Omar Sy and Francois Cluzet, Intouchables follows the story of a paraplegic billionaire who strikes an unlikely friendship with his street smart ex-con caretaker. The film struck a chord internationally and went on to become the highest-grossing foreign-language film of all time, grossing more than $426 million at the global box office.

“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," said Front Row's president Hisham Alghanim and CEO Gianluca Chakra.

“It is a very exciting proposition to be able to bring such a globally recognizable property to the territory — the first of many," added Thorsten Schumacher, CEO of Rocket Science. 

Cecile Caget of Gaumont said: "We’re very glad that such an iconic film will get an Arabic-language remake, especially with partners we have known for a very long time and who we feel comfortable with in adapting this gem with the care it deserves." 

Front Row will handle all Middle East and North African rights for the film, with Rocket Science looking after all international sales.

The deal was negotiated by Ian Cooper of Cooper Law for Yalla Yalla and Gaget for Gaumont.