Ian McShane Joins Cast of Middle East Animated Feature

Ian McShane Headshot - P 2014
AP Images

Ian McShane Headshot - P 2014

Also starring Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, 'Bilal' is being produced by a Dubai-based animation house.

Ian McShane (Deadwood, Hercules, Snow White and the Huntsman) has landed himself another villainous role — this time voicing a greedy and power-hungry merchant in Bilal, an animated feature being produced by Dubai-based animation and visual effects studio Barajoun Entertainment.

The film, which was first announced at the Dubai International Film Festival in December, is inspired by the story of the real-life African hero Bilal Ibn Rabah, who, born into slavery in the sixth century, was one of the most trusted companions of the Prophet Muhammad.

Playing the character Umayya, McShane joins Game of Thrones star and the Suicide Squad’s rumored Killer CrocAdewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, who will voice the title character. 

"McShane added a very unique … complexity to Umayya's character, a dynamic villain with a high ego," said Bilal producer Ayman Jamal, who confirmed that his recording had been made in Los Angeles last week.

Having won a Golden Globe in 2005 for his performance in Deadwood, the British actor is lined up next for a recurring role as a movie producer and billionaire alongside Liev Schreiber in Ray Donovan.

The world premiere of the film is taking place at the Ajyal Youth Film festival in Doha as its closing night film on Dec. 5.