Egyptian filmmaker Hisham Fathi to direct Saudi remake of popular TV series The Office

Ahram Online , Tuesday 31 May 2022

Egyptian filmmaker Hisham Fathi will remake the award winning mockumentary sitcom television series for an Arabic-language audience.

The Office


The series will be a collaboration of BBC Studios and Saudi media conglomerate MBC Studios.

Titled Al-Maktab (“The Office”), the cast will feature numerous Saudi actors including Fahad Albutairi, Nawaf Alshobaili, Saad Aziz, Adhwa Fahad, Razan Mansour and Hisham Hawsawi, among others.

The Arabic-language version will be directed by Egyptian filmmaker Hisham Fathi with Alessandro Martella as the director of photography.

Fathi has a number of films, series, TV programmes and ads under his belt, including The Franks (2015), starring Hisham Maged, Chico, and Ahmed Fahmy. He also codirected highly popular series such as Al-Kabir Awi 3 (2013) starring Ahmed Mekki; Khalasna B Sheyaka (“Ending With Style”) (2017) also starring Mekki, among other works.

The Office looks into everyday lives of the manager and the employees he ineptly manages.

The production of the Arabic-language version of The Office will begin in June with plans to air it on MBC’s TV channels, and on the conglomerate's Shahid VIP, an Arabic content streaming platform.

Originally created, written and directed by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, The Office is a British television mockumentary sitcom which saw success when it aired in early 2000s. It was then adapted for American audiences by Greg Daniels with 201 episodes over nine seasons from 2005-2013.

The same years saw also German remake of the series, however it was American version that became highly popular for international audiences. Other spin-offs of The office include those produced in Canada, France, Poland, Check Republic, Sweden, Finland, Israel, India and Chile.

The American version of the series won Primetime Emmy Awards from 42 nominations. Playing the show’s protagonist Michael Scott, Steve Carell won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Television Comedy or Musical in 2006. The same year The Office won two Screen Actors Guild Awards for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series, followed by the same award a year later.  The series won a Peabody Award in (2006) and was named the best TV series by the American Film Institute in 2006 and 2008.

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