#WaraElCeema: Producer Tarek Al Ganainy on the Egyptian ‘Suits’, SNL, ‘Hekayat Banat’, and More!

For this edition of #WaraElCeema, we had an exclusive interview with the man of the hour, Tarek El Ganainy. The accomplished Egyptian producer has been making mad waves lately as all his recent projects are becoming the talk of the city. Tarek is the producer behind “Hekayat Banat”, “Mamlaket Iblis”, “Saturday Night Live Bel Araby”, “Rayah El Madam”, “Abo Omar El Masry”, and more. His upcoming series will be the Egyptian version of “Suits”, and ever since it was announced people can’t stop talking about it.

We got to discuss the upcoming season of “Mamlaket Iblis”, the change of cast in “Hekayat Banat”, the Egyptian version of “Suits”, and the possible return of SNL! Follow our hashtag #WaraElCeema for more exclusives from the industry!

What are your expectations for the second season of “Mamlaket Eblees”? Will it also air on Shahid?

Yes, it’ll also air on Shahid VIP. I expect that it’ll capitalize on the success of part one, and the viewers will continue binge-watching it, which was a new experience that they really enjoyed. And it’ll hopefully be satisfactory to what they were watching all along.

Are there new characters in the fifth season of “Hekayat Banat”? 

The four main girls will be the same. Some other characters will no longer be there, and some new characters will be introduced.

What do you think was the impact of the change of cast in the fourth season? 

Actually this was a step that we thought about since day one, and it was supposed to happen in season 2. But for some reason, we didn’t change the cast right away. We started changing two of the main characters and that went very well, and then we changed all of the characters. In the beginning, we knew that the die-hard fans won’t take it easily, but in the end, we had the highest viewership of the year, and I believe that people fell in love with the new characters just as much as they did with the old ones.

What are your plans for the Egyptian version of “Suits”? When will it be out? 

We’ve been planning for the Egyptian version of “Suits” for over two years, and we’re planning to start shooting by the end of September, for it to start coming out in the first quarter of 2021. We’re very excited about it, and we understand the challenges of having the first American format to be done in the Middle East, and we’re really looking forward to it.

Are there any confirmed names other than Asser Yassin? 

There are other confirmed names, but we aren’t announcing them because we want to announce the whole cast at once. And that will happen around the week after Eid.

Will the plot of the Egyptian version be different than the English one? 

The change between the Arabic and English one is minimal, just the change that will make it Arabic. And this is very difficult when it comes to adapting a very successful show, as you want to keep the essence of the main show, but at the main time, you don’t want it to seem foreign for Arabic viewers.

Will we see SNL return any time soon? 

There will be actually good news regarding SNL coming out some time soon. Cannot reveal details now, but stay tuned.

WE SAID THIS: How excited are you to watch the Egyptian version of “Suits”?