Oscar-winning filmmaker Terry George’s action thriller 'Riverman’ set to shoot in NEOM and the UK

The film is inspired by the war diaries, and true events of the war in Afghanistan, over the course of 2001 to 2008.
Oscar-winning filmmaker Terry George’s action thriller 'Riverman’ set to shoot in NEOM and the UK

It was announced during the Cannes Film Festival that Riverman, the upcoming high-impact action feature written and directed by Academy Award-winning screenwriter and director Terry George (In the Name of The Father, Hotel Rwanda and The Shore) is gearing up to shoot in the epic landscape of NEOM in northwest Saudi Arabia, as well as the UK. Once again, the Kingdom will substitute for Afghanistan, as it did in the upcoming release Kandahar, starring Gerard Butler.

Inspired by the war diaries, and true events of the war in Afghanistan over the course of the years 2001 to 2008, Riverman tells the story of Max -- a highly decorated Royal Marine who is tempted into the corrupt forces at work behind warfare. After a series of devastating events in Afghanistan, Max is plunged into a world more dangerous than the battlefield itself. Disillusioned with the politics of war, Max is recruited by a private arms dealer to supply weapons to private armies around the world; a company with the power to manipulate wars and sway the outcomes of global conflicts. Despite being trained to cope with the deadliest situations on Earth, nothing can prepare Max for the high-stakes world of arms dealing.

Casting has begun, with no one yet attached to the project to play the role of Max. What we do know is that the production will be led by Future Artists Entertainment under Matt Williams (Bank of Dave and Poker Face) - with Camilla Storey (Bitter Harvest) of TMS Productions and acclaimed producer Mark Foligno of Limelight CTL (Moon and The King’s Speech). 

Riverman is a powerful, highly dramatic war story. I am excited to be directing this great project in NEOM,” confessed Terry George. Matt Williams added, “From the incredible mind of Terry George, Riverman is an action-packed movie that explores ideas of heroism, corruption, and temptation within the dark and dangerous world of arms dealing and warfare. This is a powerful film and with George at the helm, we’re very excited to bring it to life.”

Riverman comes off the back of George’s three-and-a-half-decade-long career which includes an Academy Award win and multiple Oscar nominations and will showcase his renowned talent for telling powerful character-driven stories on a political stage.

Wayne Borg, Managing Director of Media Industries, Entertainment, and Culture at NEOM, said, “We are thrilled to welcome acclaimed writer and director Terry George to NEOM to shoot his upcoming action feature ‘Riverman’. The production team’s confidence in NEOM is a real testament to our world-class offering of state-of-the-art facilities, great crews, the sheer breadth of diverse locations, and our globally competitive 40% plus production cash rebate incentive. These are exciting times as high-end TV and film productions head to shoot in NEOM for the big studios and streamers to meet the unprecedented demand for high-quality content. NEOM’s offering, is compelling, and securing productions like Riverman reinforces our position as the region’s leading full-service production hub.”

Principal photography is set for January 2024.

NEOM the leading production destination and industry hub for the Middle East and North Africa region will facilitate the production with world-class sound stages, production support facilities, talent and crew. It has provided the backdrop for 30 productions in the last 18 months including; Rupert Wyatt’s Desert Warrior, starring Anthony Mackie, Sir Ben Kingsley and a multicultural cast, Dunki directed by Rajkumar Hirani and starring Shahrukh Khan, the first regional reality TV show Million Dollar Island and Rise of The Witches, the region’s biggest-ever budget TV show. MBC’s Exceptional, a 200-episode-a-year TV drama series is set to begin shooting in July and not to be forgotten, NEOM has also served as the backdrop for the Saudi film Within Sand, a beduin story written and directed by Moe Alatawi, which premiered at last year\s Red Sea Film Fesitival in Jeddah.

Once developed NEOM will include hyperconnected, cognitive cities, ports and enterprise zones, research centers, sports and entertainment venues and tourist destinations. It aims to be a hub for innovation, entrepreneurs, business leaders and companies will come to research, incubate, and commercialize new technologies and enterprises in groundbreaking ways.

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