‘Dune’ trailer reveals scenes shot in the UAE, Jordan  

The trailer showed glimpses of Abu Dhabi’s desert and Jordan’s Wadi Rum. (YouTube)
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Updated 10 September 2020

‘Dune’ trailer reveals scenes shot in the UAE, Jordan  

DUBAI: The trailer for director Denis Villeneuve’s new film, the sci-fi adventure “Dune,” was released on Wednesday, and both the UAE and Jordan have starring roles.

The trailer showed glimpses of Abu Dhabi’s desert and Jordan’s Wadi Rum.

“Dune,” which stars actors Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Jason Momoa, and Oscar Isaac, is an adaptation of American author Frank Herbert’s 1965 novel. The film, scheduled for release in December, tells the story of a royal who leads nomadic tribes in a battle to control the desert planet, Arrakis, and its only valuable product, a drug known as ‘Spice.’

“Dune” was made into a film in 1984 and a television series in 2000, but neither was particularly successful.

Earlier this year, Chalamet told Variety that shooting at dawn in Jordan “was really surreal.”

“There are these Goliath landscapes, which you may imagine existing on planets in our universe, but not on Earth,” he said. 

Jordan and the UAE are becoming increasingly popular backdrops for Hollywood movies. 

Wadi Rum, the famous desert destination in the south of Jordan, was a location for several major scenes in Disney’s live-action “Aladdin,” while American actor Ryan Reynold’s action movie “6 Underground” contained scenes shot in Abu Dhabi. 


French-Tunisian star Sonia Ben Ammar joins the cast of ‘Scream 5’

Updated 20 September 2020

French-Tunisian star Sonia Ben Ammar joins the cast of ‘Scream 5’

DUBAI:Up-and-coming French-Tunisian singer, model and actor Sonia Ben Ammar has joined the cast of “Scream 5,”  it’s been revealed this week.

 According to Variety, production on Spyglass Media and Paramount Pictures’ upcoming relaunch of the  famous horror film franchise is set to begin later this month.

Filmmaking duo Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, who are behind “Ready or Not,” are directing the forthcoming film.

The first “Scream” film was released in 1996, well before Ben Ammar was even born.  A smash hit upon its debut, the movie helped to revive the horror genre, becoming the highest-grossing slasher movie of all-time. 

This will be Paris-born Ammar’s first high-profile Hollywood gig as an actress. She along with other young franchise newcomers will be joining returning cast members David Arquette, Courteney Cox and Neve Campbell, who are all reprising their iconic roles as Dewey Riley, Gale Weathers and Sidney Prescott.

Plot details for the new film, set to debut in theaters on Jan. 14, 2022, are still under wraps,  so it is not yet known what role the French-Arab star will be taking on.

“I’m SCREAMing of excitement!! (sic)” wrote the 21-year-old on Instagram, announcing the news to her 730,000 social media followers. “Incredibly grateful to be part of one of my favorite franchises. 2nd photo is my face when I got the call lol (sic),” she captioned a screenshot of Variety’s article announcing the news and a blurry snap of her clearly overjoyed. 

However, it’s not the multi-hyphenate model’s first foray into the film industry.

Ben Ammar, who is the daughter of Tunisian film director Tarek Ben Ammar and actress Beata, previously starred in Guillaume Canet’s French-language film “Jappeloup” as well as the stage musical “1789: Les Amants de la Bastille.”

She’s also appeared in several music videos, including “Drivin’ Thru the Night” by DJ Petit Biscuit, as well as clips for her own singles, such as “Joyride” from her debut EP.

In addition to music, Ben Ammar is also a rising model, and has worked for many major brands such as Dolce & Gabbana, Miu Miu, Carolina Herrera and Chanel, among other prestigious fashion houses.