Wes Anderson is heading to Saudi Arabia for the first time.
Isle of Dogs, the director’s latest stop-motion animated feature, is due for release in the kingdom, it was revealed by Cameron Mitchell, CEO of Majid Al Futtaim Cinemas, which owns and operates the Vox chain of theaters.
Speaking at a panel discussion in Cannes, where Saudi Arabia is having its debut festival appearance, Mitchell confirmed that Isle of Dogs would soon be showing at Vox’s Riyadh cinema, the country’s first-ever mulitplex that opened only last month, having passed through regional censors.
Interestingly, dogs haven’t often fared well in Saudi Arabia, where sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that some films featuring the animals – sometimes considered “haram,” or forbidden, in Islam if they’re kept as pets – have been banned. The DVD of animated feature All Dogs Go To Heaven reportedly wasn’t allowed for release.
Since Saudi Arabia opened its first cinema last month, Black Panther, Rampage, Ferdinand and Avengers: Infinity War have been released theatrically, almost all in Vox’s Riyadh cinema. Mitchell said Vox planned to open 600 more screens over the next five years.