'Intouchables' is the second Arabic remake on Front Row’s slate following the adaptation of Italy’s hit 'Perfect Strangers'.
Front Row Film Entertainment has signed Egyptian screenwriter Amr El Daly and Egyptian/Franco-Lebanese director Jad Aouad for its upcoming Arabic remake of French hit Intouchables.
It marks Front Row’s second Arab-language adaptation of European film as it pushes on with plans to develop and produce high-end language content for the MENA region. The company is currently gearing up for the early 2021 launch of a remake of Italian hit Perfect Strangers.
The original Intouchables, starring Omar Sy and Francois Cluzet made $426m at the international box office in 2011. It also ranks third in France’s all-time box office. It also ranks third in France’s all-time box office. Its massive success has spawned several adaptations, including the 2019 US version The Upside starring Bryan Cranston, Kevin Hart and Nicole Kidman.
The Arabic version, which is set in Egypt, will focus on a wealthy Egyptian paraplegic and his relationship to a small-time hood who becomes his caretaker. The two form a strong bond despite the wide social and cultural divide between them.
Egyptian screenwriter El Daly’s credits span a string of hit TV shows including revolutionary drama Dawaran Shoubra, female detective show Ded El Kasr, and Bi Meet Wesh.
El Daly said: “I am very excited about adapting Intouchables into an Arabic language, Egyptian film. The story touches on many relatable themes explored through the differences between the socioeconomic classes, which is something that cuts deep for me. I am very intrigued by the contrast in the nature, circumstances, morals and education of each of the two characters and am truly excited to play around with these dynamics and how they form this friendship/bond. I am also really looking forward to working with Jad Aouad after having met him in Cairo. I feel he is really sensitive to these complex issues within this story and we really saw eye-to-eye in that sense.”
It marks Aouad’s directorial feature debut after an award-winning career in advertising, working alongside international directors such as Florent-Emilio Siri, Pascal Dash, Diamentino Ferriera and Jan de Bont.
Aouad added: “I’ve been building to this moment my entire career, working with wonderful international talents throughout the years. Intouchables is a touching, humanist film that fits perfectly with my personal sensibilities – what brings us together as people, what transcends status and capital.”
Gianluca Chakra, CEO of Front Row, stated: “We’ve made it our mission to find and nurture emerging talent that we feel will have a profound impact and drive change in the creative industry. We’re very excited to be working with both Jad and Amr on Intouchables. They have truly authentic voices and a natural instinct that will make this version of Intouchables unique for Arab viewers while also translate well for the international audiences.”
Intouchables is set to begin filming in Egypt in May 2022.