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'The Office': BBC Studios, MBC Studios team up on Arabic remake

Ricky Gervais created and starred in the U.K. version of "The Office." An Arabic-language remake is in the works at BBC Studios and MBC Studios. File Photo by Paul Treadway/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/e84a65573b62656335ee05aab9e76b61/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Ricky Gervais created and starred in the U.K. version of "The Office." An Arabic-language remake is in the works at BBC Studios and MBC Studios. File Photo by Paul Treadway/UPI | License Photo

May 31 (UPI) -- BBC Studios and MBC Studios have teamed up on an Arabic-language remake of The Office.

Al Maktab, an adaptation of The Office set in Saudi Arabia, is in the works at BBC Studios and the Dubai-based MBC Studios.

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Egyptian filmmaker Hisham Fathi will direct the series, with Italy's Alessandro Martella to serve as director of photography.

Saleh Abuamrh will play Malik Al-Tumaifi, a character based on David Brent/Michael Scott from the U.K. and U.S. versions of The Office.

Fahad Albutairi, Nawaf Alshobaili, Saad Aziz, Adhwa Fahad, Razan Mansour, Reem Busati and Hisham Hawsawi also star.

"Although office working may look slightly different for many of us in 2022, the familiarity of these well-observed characters as they navigate petty rivalries, moments of friendship and humor, and a boss that sometimes makes a fool of themselves still rings just as true," BBC Studios SVP format sales André Renaud said. "I'm sure audiences in the Middle East and the Gulf will take Malik and his team to their hearts as much as audiences did with David Brent in the UK over twenty years ago."

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Al Maktab will consist of 20 episodes and broadcast on MBC's TV channels. The series will also be available to stream on Shahid VIP.

The U.K. version of The Office starred Ricky Gervais as David Brent and aired from 2001 to 2003 on BBC Two and BBC One. The U.S. remake starred Steve Carell as Michael Scott and had a nine-season run on NBC from 2005 to 2013.

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