The trailer for Netflix’s Arabic adaptation of the hit Italian film Perfect Strangers has been released, and it is a pressure cooker.
The film is the first Netflix Arabic feature and will be released on the streaming platform on January 20.
Titled Ashab Wala A'az, the remake features a stellar pan-Arab cast, including Lebanese award-winning director and actress Nadine Labaki, Egyptian star Mona Zaki, Eyad Nassar, Georges Khabbaz, Adel Karam, Fouad Yammine, and Diamand Bou Abboud.
The trailer begins with a scene that is arguably the most memorable in the 2016 original. The group huddle for a selfie, and just as the picture is about to be taken, a notification from a Romeo appears with a simple, “Hi.”
At this point, Karam’s character turns to confront his partner, played by Bou Abboud, and suspicions begin to brew.
The trailer then cuts to an earlier scene from the film. The group are sitting around a dining table when Labaki’s character, phone in hand, points out how the entirety of their lives are parcelled in the gadget and then suggests playing a game where they place their phones on the table and will share every incoming call, message and email to the entire group.
Things start innocently enough but emotions soon run high as secrets seemingly begin to surface.
The remake is the debut feature for Wissam Smayra, who has previously served as a producer on films including Labaki’s Oscar-nominated Capernaum. Khaled Mouzanar, Labaki's husband who has composed the soundtracks for her works, is behind the movie's score.
Ashab Wala A'az has been picked up by Netflix, as part of a "first look deal signed" with the streaming platform.
Netflix has been behind a number of Arabic Original series, starting with 2019's Jinn that was directed by Mir-Jean Bou Chaaya and Amin Matalqa, and AlRawabi School for Girls directed by Tima Shomali, which was a hit when it came out in 2021. Over the past two years, the streaming platform has also increased its library of Arabic films, creating collections to promote award-winning Arabic features and shorts.