UK actor Jefferson Hall of House Of The Dragon is to star in Three, the debut feature of Emirati filmmaker Nayla Al Khaja.
Hall, who is also known for Halloween and upcoming Christopher Nolan film Oppenheimer, plays a doctor in the psychological thriller, which shot for 24 days in Thailand and the UAE and wrapped filming last week.
The newly revealed cast also includes Faten Ahmed, Noura Alabed, veteran UAE actor Mari Al Halyan, Mohannad Bin Huthail and Saud Alzarooni. A first look at Hall in the film can be seen above.
It marks the feature directorial debut of Al Khaja, who also produces and co-wrote the film with US scriptwriter Ben Williams.
The story unfolds in the suburbs of a modern-day Middle Eastern city, where a young boy named Ahmed begins exhibiting strange behaviour, eventually leading his mother Maryam, to believe he is possessed. She seeks the help of a Western doctor, medical professionals, and ultimately an infamous exorcist in an attempt to save her son.
Producers are Sultan Saeed Al Darmaki, Daniel Zirilli, Jean-Charles Levy, and Nayla Al Khaja. Executive producers are Muna Easa Al Gurg, Jefferson Hall, Siddharth Thakker, and Rasik Thakker.
The film is notable in the history of UAE Arab cinema for portraying an Englishman who becomes intricately intertwined with an Emirati family, which has rarely been depicted on film.
Al Khaja is one of the UAE’s first female filmmakers and is already working on her next project, Baab, the music for which will be composed by two-time Oscar winner A. R. Rahman, with shooting set to begin in March 2024 in Ras Al Khaimah, UAE.
“[Three] is the collective efforts of 250 gifted artists who came together to achieve this vision,” said Al Khaja. “The performances of Jefferson Hall and Saud Alzarooni beautifully capture the stark cultural differences and yet emphasize our shared human needs, healing, connection, and love.”
Al Khaja previously wrote and directed shorts The Shadow and Animal, which are available worldwide on Netflix.