Teen heartthrob Harry Styles hits the UAE to shoot Shakespeare flick
Heartthrob pop singer Harry Styles is to star as Romeo in a new movie to be shot in the UAE.
Styles, who will be making his acting debut, is to be joined by some of the biggest names from the silver screen, including Jack Black, Imelda Staunton and John Travolta in this musical version of the classic ‘Romeo and Juliet’. Pop princess Kylie Minogue is also lined up for a starring role.
The love story is being shot by Shakespeare 4 Kidz (S4K), a British company known for turning Shakespeare’s works into Disney-like stage productions.
Scenes will be shot in Dubai and Abu Dhabi as well as in Europe, with two months of filming in the UAE scheduled to begin in December. Akram Sabry of Sky Events Management in Abu Dhabi showed the filmmakers around Dubai and Abu Dhabi just 10 days ago and is to be executive producer for the UAE shoot.
He told 7DAYS: “Romeo and Juliet is going to be shot from December until the end of February. More than Dhs110 million is going to be spent here. The crew came here 10 days ago and I showed them the locations and everything is good.
“I got very good feedback about the romantic places here in the UAE. We are going to be shooting on some beaches, some of the islands and also some hotels like the Emirates Palace and others.
“The story is very romantic. A lot of people have done Romeo and Juliet before but the director has different ideas.” Sabry has worked with S4K in the past, producing some of its stage shows in Abu Dhabi. Lily Collins, the actress daughter of Phil Collins, will play Juliet to Styles’ Romeo.
Sabry said the UAE is now on course to be a major venue for movie shoots. He said: “I’m not surprised to get this movie. We have the experience, and beautiful places in the UAE. The law here helps. There is lots of security… everything is amazing.”
Sabry will move on to production of the Shakespeare movie just days after the Dhs400 million Hollywood production ‘Arabian Nights’, featuring Sir Anthony Hopkins, Zac Efron and WWE wrestler Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, leaves the desert. Sabry said: “This is a great chance for the UAE. Filmmakers are looking for a place with good security, that’s nice and clean and modern, they have everything here. Before they went to different places but now they are thinking about the Emirates.
“We are starting high, with big movies.”