Kidnap thriller Fourth Wall and romance adaptation Chasing Red have been revealed as the first two projects in a partnership between US outfit Stampede Ventures and Saudi Arabia’s Film AlUla.
It kicks off an agreement secured in October, which will bring 10 productions worth $350m to the region in north-west Saudi Arabia over the next three years. The announcement was made at Red Sea International Film Festival.
Stampede Ventures CEO Greg Silverman is a producer of Fourth Wall alongside Jon Berg. The thriller centres on a former child star from a popular TV sitcom who is kidnapped and wakes up in a complete recreation of the show’s set with the rest of the cast. The plot follows her journey as she works through her trauma and recreates the series’ most iconic moments to stay alive and find a way out.
Cast has yet to be announced by Emma Roberts of American Horror Story and Scream Queens in understood to be in talks for the lead role. Roberts stars in Stampede Ventures’ upcoming romantic comedy Space Cadet.
Chasing Red is a romance centred around straight-A student Veronica and rich playboy Caleb, who are brought together by an unexpected series of events. The film adaptation of a popular web novel by Isabelle Ronin is being directed by Jessika Borsiczky. Silverman and Berg are the producers.
Silverman launched Stampede Ventures in 2018 and is former president of creative development and physical production at Warner Bros, where his credits included the Harry Potter and Christopher Nolan’s Batman films as well as Joker and Mad Max: Fury Road.
The two features will be among the first to be filmed at Film AlUla’s full production facility, which includes a 30,000 square foot soundstage, backlot and production support buildings among other facilities, and are scheduled to film in the second quarter of 2024.
The partnership between Film AlUla and Stampede, which was finalised in October, has been considered a major milestone in growing AlUla from a regional creative hub to a platform for international filmmaking talent. The partnership, which includes Film AlUla providing rebates and incentives, is aligned with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 goals to foster cultural development.
Films to have shot there include Gerard Butler action feature Kandahar starring Gerard Butler, the Russo brothers’ Cherry starring Tom Holland, and Saudi filmmaker Tawfik Alzaidi’s debut feature Norah.