Netflix’s first original Arabic series will be a coming-of-age supernatural drama entitled “Jinn“, it has been revealed. The production for the series began on Monday in Jordan, and it will be available to Netflix members worldwide in 2019.
The six-episode series will tell the story of a group of Arab teenagers who’s lives are disrupted when they unknowingly invite a supernatural force (known as a jinn) into their world. “We aim to create a fantastical show about young people in the Middle East in Arabic that’s real, authentic and action-packed. This Netflix show will be full of intrigue, adventure and amazing storytelling from Jordan and for our audiences around the world,” Erik Barmack, Netflix’s VP of international original series, said in a statement.
It is one of the first Netflix original series to emerge out of the Middle East. Until now, the streaming platform’s only original Arabic content is a standup comedy special with Lebanese comedian and actor Adel Karam, entitled Adel Karam: Live from Beirut, which premiered in March. Many analysts point to Netflix’s lack of local content as one of the reasons why growth has been slow in the region.
The highly-anticipated series is the brainchild of a team of Middle Eastern talent. Produced by Kabreet Productions, Jinn will be directed and executive produced by Lebanese director Mir-Jean Bou Chaaya (he of Very Big Shot). Elan and Rajeev Dassani, the creatives behind Scandal will serve as the executive producers. Jordanian screenwriter, Bassel Ghandour, behind the Oscar-nominated Theeb, will be partnering with the twin producers. The series will feature a cast of newcomers from the Middle East that includes Salma Malhas, Hamza Abu Eqab, Sultan Alkhalil, Aysha Shahalthough, Yaser Al Hadi, and Ban Halaweh.
In a release, Ghandour said “We are really excited about this. It is very common in Middle East that people know someone who has a Jinn story, so it’s nice to take that and turn it into a fun and mysterious teen adventure that everyone can enjoy. On a broader note, I love that Netflix is investing a lot in the region, it’s a real turning point. We have such a rich storytelling culture, and we’ll finally be able to enjoy Arabic content with Netflix quality.”
Watch this space.