Middle East movie news

Qatari firm in talks on $150m Prophet Mohammed movie

A film about the Prophet Mohammad backed by the producer of "The Lord of the Rings" and "The Matrix" is under discussion, a Qatar media firm said on Sunday.

The aim is to create an English-language blockbuster for the world's 1.5 billion Muslims, the company added.

Filming of the $150 million movie is set to start in 2011, with Barrie Osborne as its producer, Alnoor Holdings said.

Almoor said the film - in which the Prophet would not be depicted, in accordance with Islamic strictures - was in development and talks were being held with studios, talent agencies and distributors in the United States and Britain.

The company launched a $200 million international film fund on October 31 to invest in film projects amid tight financing in the wake of the financial crisis and plans to focus on Hollywood.

Alnoor said it aimed to attract the "best international talent" to star in the motion picture.

The company was set up this year to take advantage of economic opportunities in the entertainment industry, focusing on international film production, Arabic production and animation. (Reuters

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