The shoot was postponed twice in 2020 due to COVID and political turmoil in Lebanon.
The Arabic remake of Perfect Strangers, starring Lebanese filmmaker and actress Nadine Labaki and Egyptian actress Mona Zaki, has concluded filming in Lebanon.
The film also stars Eyad Nassar, Lebanese actors Adel Karam, Diamand Bou Abboud, Fouad Yammine and George Khabbaz.
Mario Haddad Jr, President of distribution at Empire International and one of the main producers of the film have shared the news on his Instagram account.
“It’s an experience that we have dreamt of and cherished and in the best of dreams we wouldn’t have dreamt to work with people like you,” he said, in a video that showed co-producer Gianluca Chakra, chief executive officer of Front Row Filmed Entertainment, as well as Zaki, Labaki among others.
Wissam Smayra, who has debuted as a feature film director with this project and his co-writer Gabriel Yammine have rebuilt the film from the ground up, trying to avoid imitating the original and its performances and giving the heavyweight cast something new to work on together.
The film is produced by Gianluca Chakra (Luxor), Mohamed Hefzy (Netflix’s Paranormal, Luxor, Sheikh Jackson) and Mario Haddad, and executive produced by Mayada Al Hiraki.
Produced by Medusa Films, Leone Film Group and Lotus Productions, the original Italian version grossed over $31m and spawned countless remakes that have grossed a staggering collective $270m worldwide.
The Arabic incarnation will be set in the midst of the Lebanese revolution and during the Covid-19 pandemic, with the story following a group of seven long-time friends getting together for dinner. During the course of the meal, they decide to play a game that involves them all placing their cellphones on the dinner table, and making all their phone calls and text messages available to one another. While the game at first is a playful exercise, things get decidedly more serious as untold secrets and acquaintances become public knowledge within the group.
The film is set for release across the Middle East by Q4 of 2021.