Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, whose Bad Boys franchise entry Bad Boys for Life is currently 2020’s most successful movie, have lined up their next project.
Rebel, being introduced at the Cannes virtual market by Wild Bunch, is billed as an “immensely powerful and nuanced portrayal of a family torn apart over a little Muslim boy’s future.”
Driven by song, rap and dance, Rebel will star Amir El Arbi in his feature film debut, alongside Aboubakr Bensaihi (Black) and Lubna Azabal (Tel Aviv on Fire, Mary Magdalene, Incendies).
After his father’s death, Nassim, a 13-year-old Moroccan boy from Molenbeek, is looking for an identity. His mother, Leila, anxiously tries to keep him away from his older local gangster brother, Karim. At this young age, Nassim needs to decide what the rest of his life will look like.
“Rebel is a true passion project,” said Adil and Bilall, who co-wrote the screenplay with Jan Van Dyck and Kevin Meul. “It is deeply personal for us to be able to tell this story about our generation, and those [who] look for identity. We’ve assembled a powerful creative team and are excited to finally bring it to the big screen.”
Rebel is being produced by Caviar (Sound of Metal, The Rider, Black) in co-production with Beluga Tree (Frankie), Calach Films and Le Collectif 64.
Bert Hamelinck and Dimitri Verbeeck are producing. Diana Elbaum from Beluga Tree, Jesus Gonzalez from Calach Films and Marc Dujardin from Le Collectif 64 are co-producing; Robin Kerremans, Clarissa Vermaak and Sacha Ben Harroche are executive producing.
Flanders Audiovisual Fund (VAF), VRT, Kinepolis Film Distribution, Telenet, Screen Flanders, Caviar Film Financing and Creative Europe Media are providing financing.
Adil & Bilall are represented by CAA, Management 360 and Karl Austen. CAA Media Finance will represent the film’s North American rights.