Anthony Mackie, Aiysha Hart to star in Saudi-set ‘Desert Warrior’

British filmmaker Rupert Wyatt, best known for ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes,’ will direct the movie

“The Falcon and The Winter Soldier” star Anthony Mackie and “Mogul Mowgli” actor Aiysha Hart have boarded the cast of actioner “Desert Warrior”.

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British filmmaker Rupert Wyatt, best known for “Rise of the Planet of the Apes”, will direct the movie.

Production on the film is underway in NEOM, a futuristic city being built in the Tabuk province of northwestern Saudi Arabia, reported Variety.

Oscar winner Ben Kingsley, “The A-Team” actor Sharlto Copley and Ghassan Massoud (”Kingdom of Heaven”) also round out the cast of the big-budget period epic set in 7th century Arabia.

The tale takes place at a time when Saudi Arabia was made up of feuding tribes forever at loggerheads. The stage is set for an epic confrontation when Arabian princess Hind (Hart) refuses to become the concubine of the ruthless Emperor Kisra (Kingsley).

MBC Studios, the production arm of prominent Middle East broadcaster MBC Group, has teamed up with American producer Jeremy Bolt and Stuart Ford’s AGC Studios on the film.

“Desert Warrior” is being touted as Saudi Arabia’s first tentpole movie and native MBC’s biggest production to date. The shoot is expected to continue for three more months, a statement said.

Zeinab Abu Alsamh, MBC Studios KSA general manager, called the film “a testament to our ambition towards producing premium content for global audiences” and underlined that it is “a tale of adventure, with a fierce female hero at the forefront of the story”.

“Attracting a production of the scale of ‘Desert Warrior’ as our first feature film highlights the confidence the film industry has in our ability to deliver a seamless production experience,” added Wayne Borg, managing director of media industries at NEOM.

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