British Pakistani actor and Oscar winner Riz Ahmed has joined the cast of Greek director Christos Nikou’s first English-language feature film “Fingernails” Deadline. Actress Jessie Buckley will join Ahmed in the lead role.
Deadline described the film as a “grounded sci-fi love story”. It revolves around a discovered test that measures whether couples are truly in love. Anna (Buckley) is skeptical of the positive results she gets from her longtime partner, so she takes a job as an assistant to Trevor (Ahmed), a mysterious, dedicated trainer at a love institute.
The film was co-written by Sam Steiner and Nikou with Stavros Raptis, co-author of Nikou’s epidemic movie “Apples.” It is being produced by Cate Blanchett’s Dirty Films company, in conjunction with FilmNation Entertainment, which started the film’s sales in the Cannes market. Jerome Duboz will serve as executive producer.
However, this is not the only film Ahmed promoted at Cannes. The “Sound Of Metal” actor is teaming up with “The Long Goodbye” director Aneil Karia once again for a modern adaptation of Shakespeare’s classic “Hamlet,” which was launched by WME Independent at the Cannes market, as reported by Deadline. Deadline added that Ahmed and Karia are in Cannes “to discuss the project with buyers at a presentation.”
Ahmed will play the role of Hamlet, a man haunted by his father’s ghost and driven to increasingly unstable heights. According to the Deadline report, “The new version of the classic will see Hamlet circling the elite circles of London and attending rave parties, embarking on violent paths to avenge his father and prove his uncle guilty”.
The Indo-Pakistani Oscar duo told Deadline that this version
“Hamlet” is “about race, privilege, corruption” and “belongs to a wealthy English Indian family who bought the English order at great personal cost.” They described the film as “an urgent story told boldly that will capture and haunt audiences”. Noting that their aim is to bring “Hamlet” to life by setting it up in our own community,” they said, “to make this timeless story accessible to a wider audience – by injecting a diverse cast, a contemporary London setting and.” Classical poetry with the energy of rap, a genre that we both work very hard on.”
Ahmed won the 2022 Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film for “The Long Goodbye.” He co-wrote, produced and starred in the short film starring Riz, whose Anglo-Pakistani family faces far-right marchers with dire consequences. The 12-minute film shares its name with Ahmed’s 2020 album, inspired in part by the rise of far-right political groups and anti-immigrant rhetoric in the post-Brexit UK. The movie contains music from Ahmed’s album. According to The Hollywood Reporter, “The film that culminates in Ahmed’s searing monologue is an eerie look at an everyday nightmare for members of certain marginalized communities.”
Last year, Ahmed made history as the first Muslim to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor for “Sound of Metal.” It was also nominated for a BAFTA and SAG Award for the same film and won a Gotham Award and an Indie Spirit Award. She previously won an Emmy for HBO’s “The Night Of”.
Some of her future projects include “The Son of Good Fortune” with Lulu Wang at Amazon. The duo will develop and direct the comedy series based on Lysley Tenorio’s novel of the same name, where an undocumented Filipino teenager in the Gulf region maintains a turbulent relationship with and falls in love with the mother of the former B-movie action star. For the first time and before her whole life is ruined, she is trying to figure out how to pay off a huge debt.
He is also the author of Mosin Hamid’s best-selling book Exit West, which is being produced by Obama’s production company Higher Ground Productions and directed by author Mosin Hamid’s Yann Demange, The New York Times previously reported. He is working on a movie adaptation.