The latest installment in the Fast and Furious Hollywood franchise will not be filmed in Egypt but in the UAE, an Arab state that has been shielded from the region’s turbulent unrest, according to a report recently published by the Abu Dhabi-based The National newspaper.
The newspaper quoted chief executive of Abu Dhabi’s media hub, twofour54, Noura al-Kaabi as saying:
“When they announced the film, they started with Egypt. But, unfortunately with what is happening with Egypt, they shifted and now they are looking at the UAE, specifically Abu Dhabi”
However Kaabi admitted that the film’s production crew had also shown interest in filming in Dubai; “they went to see a few places there also.”
Kaabi said the 7th Fast and Furious film will benefit from the 30 percent rebate on production costs offered by the capital’s media hub. “That will be our next Hollywood film to benefit from the rebate.”
The rebate scheme was launched in September 2012 to attract international film and television productions to the UAE by reimbursing production crews for 30 per cent of the filming budget if they choose the country as a shooting destination.
Actor Vin Diesel revealed in May that the makers of the franchise movie series were looking into the Middle East as a potential destination, according to an interview with Digital Spy, an online news outlet.
A casting call issued on an auditioning website in Los Angeles last month stated that the movie’s producers were looking for extras in Dubai and Tokyo.
“Casting calls will be going out in Los Angeles for starring, co-starring, and supporting roles... Shooting will also take place in Tokyo and Dubai. The extras will be cast near the locations where filming will take place. Principal photography commences September, 2013,” posted Acting-Auditions.org.
Despite Kaabi’s statements, Jamal al-Sharif, chairman of the Dubai Film & TV Commission, told local newspaper Gulf News that they have not received confirmation about Fast and Furious 7 being filmed in the UAE.
“I don’t know yet whether they will film in Dubai. We need to wait and see,” said Sharif.
The seventh installment in the billion-dollar movie franchise will be directed by Malaysian-born Australian filmmaker James Wan, with Diesel returning to play the character of Dominic Torretto. Other returning stars include Paul Walker, Michelle Rodriguez and Dwayne Johnson.