The recent Egyptian remake of Suits and the hype building for a planned Saudi remake of The Office got us thinking; what Netflix originals would we love to see remade in the Middle East? With Netflix’s engrossing supernatural thriller Paranormal in 2020 directed by Amr Salama, marking the first Egyptian-made Netflix show, along with the incredibly successful Jordanian-made Jinn and AlRawabi School for Girls receiving rave reviews, Netflix’s ventures into the Middle Eastern are exciting and full of potential. While the streaming service has added tons of Arabic-language films and television series over the last few years and is producing exciting and original Arabic-language content in a bid to expand into the Middle Eastern market, we thought we’d suggest a few already existing Netflix shows we would love to see remade in the Middle East.
Imagine Peaky Blinders, but instead of being set around the busy canals and smoky warehouses of Birmingham in 1920s Britain, it’s the rough and tumble port of 1920s Alexandria in Egypt. I want to see an Egyptian Thomas Shelby strut down the streets of Alexandria dressed in a suit with henchmen in tow. With Alexandria consistently being at the forefront of the independence movement and at the centre of political and commercial intrigue, the show would have no shortage of fascinating subject matter to feed into the show. Additionally, from the classic streets of downtown Alexandria to the atmospheric Citadel of Qaitbay overlooking the seafront, Alexandria is full of great potential filming locations to take us back in time and make this a memorable show.
All of Us Are Dead
This Korean series featuring a group of schoolchildren who find themselves at the epicentre of a global zombie outbreak, the series was a hit with audiences worldwide. But as the zombie genre ventures outside of the borders of the US to Korea and elsewhere, why not also have a high-budget zombie series set in the city of Algiers. Running away from zombies in the Casbah before escaping to the safety of the Atlas Mountains, a zombie in Algeria would give us a rare insight into how those in the Middle East would fare in a zombie apocalypse. In a nod to Albert Camus’ 1947 masterpiece The Plague, which details an infectious disease ravaging the Algerian city of Oran, expanding the zombie tradition into Algeria produce some unexpectedly insightful and enjoyable television I wouldn’t miss for the world.
Forget Colombia and Mexico, I want to see a nail-biting drama about drug lords in the mountains of Lebanon and the Bekaa Valley. With beautiful scenery across the country and no shortage of both guns and cannabis farms, Lebanon could make a great setting for a remake of Narcos and deal with some important issues that the country faces. With the intersection of politics, corruption, and drugs, Narcos: Lebanon would make for a compelling narrative that has as much swag as the original.
We’ve seen enough dramas about the British royal family, but what about the extravagant and often eccentric Egyptian monarchy. Starting with King Fuad I in 1922 and finishing with the Egyptian revolution of 1952, the Egyptian monarchy oversaw the country during an incredibly tumultuous period and the family itself experienced scandal after scandal, which would make for great television. This relatively unexplored part of history with all its political intrigue could make for an eye-opening show that I would watch in a heartbeat.
The Great British Baking Show
Imagine the wildly popular The Great British Baking show but set in the Middle East, and all the guests are tetas… Cooking up basboosa, kunafa, baklava, and other Middle Eastern delicacies and plating them up before the time runs out would make for exhilarating television assuming you pick the most eccentric and endearing contestants. It would be a masterpiece of television to wet the appetite and giggle along with that I wouldn’t be able to tear myself away from.
The Last Kingdom
The Last Kingdom gave us a fascinating look into the early days of 10th century England, but what I’d really love to see is a high-budget Netflix show exploring Ancient Egypt. With wars, rebellion, famines, and palace intrigue, a pharaonic remake of The Last Kingdom would be one not to miss. With incredible scenery to shoot in and thousands of years of history to pick from, the world of Ancient Egypt is a cinematic universe hardly explored. With the wild success of Moon Knight, there seems to be a real desire to see films and television series about Ancient Egypt, and I can’t wait to see more.
Who wouldn’t want to see Money Heist set in Morocco? With no shortage of stunning locations to shoot in and the beautiful Bank Al-Maghrib headquarters in Rabat being the perfect place for the final showdown, Morocco would make for a great location for a Money Heist remake. Imagine car chases through Marrakesh’s historic centre and hideouts in the city of Chefchaouen with its incredible blue-painted buildings. A Korean remake has just been released, but I’m still waiting to the Algerian instalment.
Emily in Paris
Emily in Paris tells the story of a young American woman dealing with the culture shock of moving to Paris. But what about Emily in Muscat? Remaking Emily in Paris in Oman would make for some really interesting and addictive television. The small Gulf nation of Oman has incredibly beautiful scenery and a proud culture that really would be a culture shock for Emily.
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