Tobe Hooper, the iconic director behind the legendary cult classic The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, as well as the Oscar-nominated, Steven Spielberg-produced Poltergeist, will helm Imagenation Abu Dhabi’s Arabian horror film DJINN. Written by David Tully (Hepzibah), this unique new take on the haunted house thriller uncovers the dark truth behind classic fairytales of the Genie. DJINN tells the nightmarish story of a young Emirati couple who return home from the U.S. to discover that their new apartment in a luxury high rise built on the site of an abandoned fishing village is also home to the malevolent beings known as Djinn.
DJINN, which was announced at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, is scheduled to begin shooting in the UAE on March 20th. Emirati director Nayla Al Khaja, behind the short films Once, Arabana, and Malal (premiering at the Dubai International Film Festival this month), will work as a cultural consultant on DJINN. Khaja will shadow Hooper on the set and train with him in preparation to helm her first feature length horror film.
Hooper is a director, writer and producer best known for his work in the horror genre, with credits that include the Emmy-nominated Stephen King adaptation Salem’s Lot, several episodes for Showtime’s Masters of Horror, The Funhouse, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2, Invaders from Mars, and the Toolbox Murders. Hooper will soon add author to his dossier when his novel, Midnight Movie, co-written with Alan Goldsher, is published next year by Random House.
Imagenation Abu Dhabi is focused on establishing the foundations and infrastructure for a vibrant and enduring Arabic film industry, by developing collaborative relationships with the region’s talent, and developing films based around strong, commercial and traditional Arabic stories. Their Emirati slate includes six very diverse films, in addition to Djinn: the coming of age story Sea Shadow (which recently wrapped principal photography in Abu Dhabi); the drama Million’s Poet; the adventure comedy Alaska; the romantic comedy Monsoon; and the romance Alis and Aishas.