RIYADH: MBC Studios, the production arm of MBC Group, has partnered with US-based JB Pictures and AGC Studios to produce “Desert Warrior,” an action-filled epic feature film set in 7th century Arabia.
“MBC Studios is proud to be working with such world-class talent across the board on ‘Desert Warrior’ — it is a testament to our ambition towards producing premium content for global audiences,” said Zeinab Abu Alsamh, general manager of MBC Studios KSA.
The movie’s all-star cast is led by Anthony Mackie and Aiysha Hart along with Sharlto Copley, Ghassan Massoud, Sami Bouajila, Lamis Ammar, Geza Rohrig, and Academy Award winner Sir Ben Kingsley.
“The cast is a dream come true — a mix of Arab and non-Arab talent coming together to create an unforgettable movie and highlighting the rich culture we have here,” added Abu Alsamh.
British director Rupert Wyatt, known for films such as “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” and “The Mosquito Coast,” leads the screenplay, co-penned with Erica Beeney, David Self, and Academy Award nominee Gary Ross. The movie is produced by JB Pictures’ Jeremy Bolt of “Resident Evil” fame.
“Desert Warrior” is currently being filmed in NEOM and Tabuk in Saudi Arabia. The shooting began in September and is expected to continue for three months.
The feature film marks MBC Studios’ biggest-ever film production to date. It’s also the first tentpole film (a big-budget movie expected to generate significant revenue compensating the studio for its less profitable films) to be shot at NEOM in Saudi Arabia.
“Attracting a production of the scale of ‘Desert Warrior’ as our first feature film highlights the confidence the film industry has in our ability to deliver a seamless production experience,” said Wayne Borg, managing director of media industries at NEOM.
“Our fresh and diverse locations, world-class production team, and attractive incentives make NEOM a very appealing destination for screen production,” he added.