By Staff writer
The plan is to make at least one film per year over the next three years
Image Nation Abu Dhabi, one of the leading media and entertainment companies in the Arabic-speaking world, has signed a three-year production pact with veteran producers Roy Lee and Steven Schneider to produce a slate of high-concept, modestly budgeted English-language dark genre films.
Details concerning initial projects are being kept under wraps, but are said to have international appeal and franchise potential. The plan is to make at least one film per year over the next three years, which Image Nation will fully finance.
The deal reunites Schneider with Image Nation after their recent collaboration on Ali F. Mostafa’s dystopian thriller, "The Worthy", set for worldwide release this month by Netflix. Schneider produced "The Worthy" along with Peter Safran and Rami Yasin.
Lee and Schneider each have a long and successful track record in the dark genre business, having helped launch such hit franchises as The Ring and The Grudge, amongst other. Together they will draw on their considerable relationships with many of the biggest and most exciting names in the space, including filmmakers, international producers, intellectual property rightsholders and other content providers.
Image Nation has also produced some of the region’s most successful genre pictures, including DJINN, Majid Al Ansari’s debut feature RATTLE THE CAGE (ZINZANA) and the previously mentioned THE WORTHY, the first acquisition in the United Arab Emirates by Netflix.
A former film critic and author of numerous books on horror and world cinema, Schneider has become one of the go-to experts in genre films. Following the record-breaking success of 2009's "Paranormal Activity", a movie he found and helped usher to the screen, Schneider quickly amassed an impressive slate of projects with top filmmakers at the helm, including James Wan's "Insidious". He most recently executive produced Shyamalan’s "Split".
Lee first put his company Vertigo Entertainment on the map in the early 2000s by producing remakes of Asian horror films like "The Ring" and "The Grudge".
“I first worked with the team at Image Nation Abu Dhabi on "The Worthy", and found it to be a very gratifying experience,” Schneider said. “They are incredibly supportive of the filmmaker’s vision and a great producing partner. I look forward to expanding my relationship with them.”
“I am impressed with the way Image Nation has approached the genre space,” said Lee. “Steven and I are excited to work with them in creating globally appealing movies and franchises and pushing the bounds of the genre.”
“Steven Schneider and Roy Lee are very well-respected producers in Hollywood with an enviable track record in both the United States and internationally,” said Ben Ross, Head of Narrative Film and Television, Image Nation Abu Dhabi. “We are pleased to be able to partner with two producers of this caliber under this exciting new deal, which will allow us to broaden our international production slate to create more dark genre titles with great potential for lucrative franchises.”