- Share this article on Facebook
- Share this article on Twitter
- Share this article on Email
- Show additional share options
- Share this article on Print
- Share this article on Comment
- Share this article on Whatsapp
- Share this article on Linkedin
- Share this article on Reddit
- Share this article on Pinit
- Share this article on Tumblr
Paolo Genovese’s Italian box office hit Perfect Strangers — which has already seen a number of international adaptations — is being remade in Arabic.
Front Row Filmed Entertainment/Kuwait National Cinema Company has signed a deal with Medusa Film for the Arabic language remake rights to the 2016 film. The adaptation will be a Lebanese/Egyptian co-production from Empire International and prolific Egyptian powerhouse banner Film Clinic, which produced the recent Cannes competition title Yomeddine.
“Whether you’re a man or a woman, we all have something to hide … lying is universal,” said Gianluca Chakra, managing director of Front Row. “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.”
Produced by Medusa Film, Leone Film Group and Lotus Productions, Perfect Strangers (Perfetti Sconosciuti) was an instant box office and critical hit on release in 2016, grossing $20 million at the Italian box office for a worldwide haul of $31 million. The film won a number of awards, two David di Donatello awards for best picture and best screenplay, as well as the best screenplay prize at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival in the international narrative competition section.
The story follows the story of seven longtime friends who decide to play a game over dinner by putting all their mobile phones on the table, thus revealing every text message or phone call that they would receive that evening. Hilarity ensues, proving that each one of the friends has three lives: public, private and secret.
Among the various remakes, the Spanish adaptation grossed more than $25 million; a Greek adaptation earned $1.8 million; and a Turkish adaptation landed $1.7 million. German, Swedish, Korean and Russian remakes are currently being developed, while The Weinstein Company in 2016 acquired the English-language remake rights, with Gianni Nunnari (The Departed, Shutter Island) attached to produce. Last week, Mars Distribution released the French version under the title Le Jeu, which opened at second spot behind Sony/Marvel’s Venom.
The deal was negotiated by Chakra and Faruk Alatan of Medusa. Mohamed Hefzy, Hisham Alghanim and Mario Jr. Haddad will produce and finance.
“We are also looking into more potential remake rights that could resonate well in the MENA,” added Front Row president and KNCC general manager Hisham Al Ghanim. “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.”
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.
Sign up for THR news straight to your inbox every day