Tuesday, 26 June 2007

Dubai: The Movie and Theme Park

It would appear that Paramount is to invest in a film about Dubai at the same time as Dubai is to invest in a theme park about Paramount.

Today's multi-kilo wadge of dead tree (Gulf News) carries the story that a Hollywood blockbuster is to focus on Lalaland. Brilliantly, it is to be called Dubai. GN blagged the story from Variety, the Tinseltown trade. Paramount has picked up the option on the script by Adam Cozad who is described by Variety as a 'tyro scribe', which appears to be Hollywoodese for 'unknown'...

Variety is amazing: it has a reporting language all of its own. Dubai is to be executive produced by Australian actor Eric Banna or, according to Variety: 'Thesp to produce'.

Dubai, Cozad's first script, is scheduled for a September shoot and centres around an American economist who is tricked into involvement in an Iranian plot to destroy the US economy, according to the various Hollywood mags. Producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura is apparently a hot shot at Paramount and someone to be taken seriously with current projects including Eddie Murphy's 'Nowhereland' as well as 'Stardust' and 'Transformers'.

From Nowhereland to Lalaland. Interesting.

Cozad has previously been involved in Middle East themed 'movies', with a co-director credit in Sidewalk Festival featured short 'Dust' in which 'Soldiers in Iraq must deal with the the tragedy of war'. Not to be confused, incidentally, with David Leeson's rather good personal film about being a journalist in Iraq, 'Dust to Dust'.

What is almost certain is that we can look forward to lots of fuss in September as the film team hits town, as well as the likelihood of yet another Hollywood blockbuster that over-simplifies and incorrectly characterises everything it touches. But then we're used to that by now, aren't we?

However, it is perhaps interesting (serendipitous, even) that the news also comes, from Variety, that the UAE's Ruwaad, the company with the compelling outdoor promotional campaign, is to spend $2.5 billion on building a Paramount themed picture park in Dubai which will feature restaurants, resorts and retail and is likely to focus on Paramount properties such as Top Gun and Mission Impossible.

You never know. They might even have a Dubai display if this film takes off. I quite like the idea of going to a Dubai theme park attraction in Dubai and seeing what Hollywood makes of it. I suppose, whatever they get up to, it can't be as potty as the truth...

By the way, there's already a movie called Dubai - it's a Filipino film.

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