In the past year, global streaming giant Netflix has announced that not one, but two Arabic original series will be coming to the platform. Now, they have a brand-new Egyptian drama to add to that list, with some renowned Egyptian names on board.
Paranormal is Netflix’s latest project in the Arab world: an adaptation of a series of horror novels by late Egyptian author Ahmed Khaled Tawfik. He penned 81 pocket novels in the Paranormal or Ma Waraa Al Tabiaa series, which saw huge success and sold over 15 million copies.
The show will be set in the ‘60s and follows the adventures of Dr. Refaat Ismail, a hematologist who comes face to face with a disturbing string of supernatural incidents. Expect intrigue, suspense and a good dose of dark fantasy.
ثالث مسلسلات Netflix الأصلية من الشرق الأوسط وأول عمل مصري سيكون مقتبسًا من سلسلة روايات #ما_وراء_الطبيعة للكاتب الراحل أحمد خالد توفيق. المسلسل سيكون من رؤية المخرج والمنتج التنفيذي عمرو سلامة والمنتج محمد حفظي. pic.twitter.com/5yEOC9Zkwr— Netflix MENA (@NetflixMENA) 27 May 2019
The series, rumoured to be shot in Egypt, will be produced by Mohamed Hefzy, the award-winning Egyptian screenwriter and producer of around 30 feature films, and his Film Clinic company, the force behind Cannes Palme d’Or-nominated Youmeddine.
They’ve also tapped Egyptian talent Amr Salama as director and showrunner, who has films like Egypt’s 2018 Oscar entry Sheikh Jackson to his name.
Hefzy, who’s also president of Cairo International Film Festival, said in a statement, "I’m proud to be working with Netflix on bringing to life the Paranormal series, which I hold dear to my heart. I’m also excited to be cooperating again with long time collaborator and friend, director Amr Salama. Together with Netflix, we aim to present a show of international quality and that lives up to the promises and ambitions of Egyptian and Arabic drama."
Salama added, "I’m very excited about this project, It was my dream to adapt Paranormal of the late author Ahmed Khaled Tawfik and turn it into a drama since I ever wanted to be a filmmaker. I’m proud to present the books in a new light while still keeping the essence of Paranormal. I can't wait to introduce these exciting stories to the Netflix public in 190 countries around the world".
Paranormal marks the first-ever original Egyptian drama for the online streaming platform. Netflix have shown a keen interest in investing in more Arabic content; Jinn, the debut Middle Eastern original to grace the streaming site, premieres on 13 June. In April, Netflix announced AlRawabi School for Girls, a high school drama with an all-female Arab cast and crew.