Two upcoming Hollywood films, "Fourth Wall" and "Chasing Red," are slated for filming in the picturesque AlUla region of Saudi Arabia in 2024. This exciting development is part of a broader 10-project collaboration between Film AlUla, the film agency of the Royal Commission for AlUla, and the global media company Stampede Ventures. Stampede Ventures CEO Greg Silverman and Film AlUla's executive director, Charlene Deleon-Jones, disclosed additional details about the ambitious three-year agreement during the Red Sea International Film Festival.
"Fourth Wall" delves into the story of a former child star abducted and awakening in a meticulously recreated set of her popular TV sitcom. Stranded with the rest of the cast, she must confront her past traumas, relive iconic moments from the show, and navigate this surreal environment to secure her escape. On the other hand, "Chasing Red" unfolds a romantic narrative around Veronica, a high-achieving student, and Caleb, a wealthy playboy. Adapted from a book by Filipino-Canadian author Isabelle Ronin, the film is directed by Jessika Borsiczky, who expressed her attraction to the universal theme of first love and self-discovery.
Stampede Ventures is set to be among the first beneficiaries of Film AlUla's state-of-the-art production facility, boasting a 30,000-square-foot soundstage, backlot, production support structures, workshops, warehouses, recording studio, and training spaces. Notably, the collaboration emphasizes the incorporation of Saudi talent throughout the production process, with a particular focus on training and development initiatives. Deleon-Jones emphasized the transformative potential for the local workforce, providing a new and exciting career path beyond traditional sectors like agriculture.
The commitment to showcasing Saudi talent is integral to the broader goal of proving that the film industry can offer a sustainable career choice in the region. Silverman highlighted the intentional design of the deal, creating opportunities for individuals to showcase their skills, with the prospect of subsequent projects building on their successes. This strategy aligns with efforts to nurture a vibrant film industry in AlUla and dispel preconceived notions about career limitations in the region.
Greg Silverman, renowned for his contributions to Warner Bros., brings his wealth of experience to this collaboration. His impressive track record includes guiding over 125 films to a cumulative worldwide box office revenue exceeding $38 billion, encompassing iconic franchises such as "Harry Potter," Christopher Nolan's "Batman" trilogy, and Todd Phillips' "Hangover" trilogy.
AlUla has previously hosted Hollywood productions like "Kandahar" and "Cherry," further solidifying its standing as an attractive and cinematic location on the global stage.