Egyptian Actor Mena Massoud Adds Momentum to Iranian Social Protests With Upcoming Stephen King Readaptation

Big up!

Egyptian-Canadian actor Mena Massoud has just revealed his plans to get behind the cameras and dabble in audio-visual production with the help of his own production company, Press Play. On a stellar rise since his casting in Aladdin in 2019, the 31-year-old star has since taken on roles in several series and shows, including Rick Jacobson’s The Royal Treatment on Netflix, thrill-inducing Tom Clancy Jack Ryan on Amazon Prime, as well as Reprisal on Hulu. 

Wanting to capitalize on his background and identity, Massoud’s mission seeks to shed light on a region that has been marginalized by the Western World for far too long despite being a hub for cinema, television, and all things related to the entertainment industry. 

“In the 1970s, Egypt was the third largest film industry in the world and continues to cultivate a rich and thriving industry for the whole region,” Massoud shared in a statement.  “Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, the UAE, and now Saudi Arabia are all breeding grounds for some of the best content in and around the African continent. Press Play will be a driving force in bringing those stories to the West. We have some really exciting projects releasing this year and in the pipeline and I’m thrilled to be bridging the gap between the MENA region and Hollywood.”  


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Last week, the Cairo-born actor revealed a slew of projects that audiences can expect to hit screens in the times to come, starting with a unique take on Stephen King’s short story The Doctor’s Case. Titled The Last King, the re-adaptation aims to highlight the current struggles of Iranian women, and amplify their voices while bringing worldwide attention to their pressing demands for gender equality following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in police custody on Sept. 16 for allegedly not fully adhering to the country’s strict religious dress code.

Set in Iran, with an-all Iranian cast, the Farsi-language whodunnit will reportedly follow a similar story structure as the original novel published by King in 1987, consisting of a murder mystery where all suspects of the victim’s assassination happen to be blood-related family members. This will be the first time that the American author’s work will be adapted into a foreign language although it is the second time that The Doctor’s Case will be adapted on screen. 

Some of Massoud’s other projects include Evolving Vegan, a six-part series that delves into the fast-growing plant-based food scene across North America and is set to make its debut this spring;  an Arabic-language debut through In Broad Daylight, which follows a young boy who returns to his native Egypt years later as a trained agent to carry out a life-risking mission; as well as Spaceman, a production that will serve as “a love letter to the forgotten artforms of the past and the struggle of artists.”

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