Hollywood film to tell story of Saudi Arabia's oil discovery and creation of Aramco

Project to focus on partnership between American geologist and Bedouin guide who struck oil in 1938

Bedouins used their deep knowledge of the desert to help find oil in Saudi Arabia. Getty Images
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The discovery of oil in Saudi Arabia and the early days of Aramco will be turned into a Hollywood flick.

Passage Pictures announced Sands of Fortune, which will focus on the partnership between American geologist Max Steineke and his Bedouin guide Khamis bin Rimthan, who together are credited with the construction of Saudi Arabia’s first oil well in 1938.

“The story of Aramco is a testament to human ingenuity and the incredible impact that a single discovery can have on the world," Uri Singer, the production company's chief executive, told Deadline. "This is a story that all Saudis know, but I believe the whole world will soon be as intrigued as I was when I first heard about this."

The script is being written by Bernie Campbell, a strategist and speechwriter who has spent time living in Saudi Arabia and was the first American to write for its ruling family.

Singer and Campbell met at the Red Sea International Film Festival in December where they first discussed the project.

“We have been working together on this for a while. Bernie is the perfect fit to bring this story to life, especially given his experience on the ground in Saudi,” said Singer.

The film will reportedly feature a mix of Saudi and American talent on screen, while Passage Pictures is currently in talks to team up with several local production companies for it.

Aramco is the world's largest oil-producing company and the second-largest company in the world by revenue.

Updated: August 26, 2023, 11:31 AM