UAE-produced 'The Platform' returns for season two on Netflix

The Arabic series became an instant sensation when it premiered in September

The Platform has returned to Netflix as the second season drops on April 1.

The Arabic series became an instant sensation when it premiered in September, landing on the streaming platform's trending list in several Middle Eastern countries. A high-octane show with several, braided plot lines, The Platform put viewers at the centre of a high-stakes cyber war.

The show is produced by Filmgate Productions in collaboration with Al Kalema Productions – both UAE studios – and was shot in various locations around Abu Dhabi, including a studio in the Khalifa Industrial Zone (Kizad), where scenes set in the show's fictional Arab city are filmed.

In an interview with The National in 2020, Emirati producer Mansoor Al Dhaheri, who is the chief executive and founder of Filmgate Productions, said the team behind the show has worked hard to ensure the second season not only meets fan expectations but exceeds them. The new season, he said, will ramp up the tension, deliver more action-packed scenes and introduce several high-profile actors to the show.

The show, which marked the first Emirati production to get a worldwide release on Netflix, starred some high-profile actors from the Arab world, including Maxim Khalil, Abdulmohsen Alnemr, Salloum Haddad, Leen Gherra, Khaled Alkeesh, and Mahira Abdelaziz.

“For the first season, it took us a long time to find the right cast,” Al Dhaheri said. “We discussed the script with every actor who auditioned, seeing how they felt about the script and where they imagined taking the character. I’m happy we managed to get some of the best talent in the region.”

Most of the cast have returned to reprise their roles in the second season, but there have been some stellar additions as well.

Some of the renowned actors joining the cast in the new season include Oweiss Mkhallalati, who plays Sakher in the hit show Al Hayba, as well as Dayaa Dayaa actor Bassem Yakhour. Egyptian director Yasser Samy has also joined the production and is set to be one of the series' co-directors.

“They were all fans of the first season and they were excited to get on board,” Al Dhaheri says. “We also wanted to bring several people of determination on board as well. They have been cast in various roles, including as part of the tech team. We wanted to show that people of determination can do anything.”

Among the cast are also two winners of the show's TikTok competition that launched in October, which called on fans to act out scenes from the show in a bid to land a guest role in the coming season. Submissions, Al Dhaheri says, were in the millions.

The Emirati director says the team had to get creative with how they marketed the show in the midst of Covid-19 restrictions. “We didn’t expect so many people to take part.”

He says the competition made him realise just how widespread the show’s fan base was.

“It certainly puts on some pressure. We want to make sure our fans are just as impressed with the second season,” he said. “But we have a lot of surprises in store for them.”

Watch the trailer for season two below: