Qatar's big budget answer to anti-Islam film? $1 billion Prophet Mohammed movie
A movie series on the life of Prophet Mohammed with a budget of $1 billion has been planned by a Qatar-based firm, AFP news agency reported on Tuesday.
Alnoor Holding has said it will raise the budget for the planned production to $1 billion from the $1.5 million announced three years ago.
The company said the film will be in English and will be translated into several different languages "to correct the wrong image Western societies have of Islam."
The biopics will be produced as a series of "seven films -- instead of three films as per an earlier announcement -- with a total budget of $1 billion," Alnoor chairman Ahmed Al-Hashemi said in a statement.
The company said "the team of experts has finished writing the scenario after overcoming numerous artistic and dramatic challenges."
Alnoor announced in 2009 that it was seeking financing for the film series, to be produced by Barrie Osborne, a Hollywood veteran of more than 40 years whose credits include Lord of the Rings and The Matrix.
The Prophet himself will not appear in the films, out of respect for Islamic traditions forbidding images of him.
Prominent Qatar-based Sunni cleric Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi, head of the Association of Muslim Scholars, will lead research on the film and serve as technical consultant on the project.
Earlier this year, a U.S.-produced low-budget movie called Innocence of Muslims that mocked Prophet Mohammed triggered a wave of deadly anti-U.S. violence around the Islamic world.
In recent months, an Egyptian campaign to defend Islam’s Prophet was launched under the title “Knock on Doors,” which aims mainly to collect one billion Egyptian pounds ($165 million), local Egyptian media reported.
Meanwhile, in the United Arab Emirates, an event in Dubai part of global campaign named “The True Message of the Prophet,” involving a group of young Muslims offering roses with a message of “peace and good manners” inspired by the sayings of Prophet Mohammed.