Who could have imagined?
No sooner was I brushing off the dust from my old comedy radio show ‘Mission Mpossible’, then Paramount Pictures announces plans to film Mission Impossible 4 in Dubai.
How cool is that?
Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt, dressed in black hanging upside down from the Burj Khalifa trying to use all his powers of deduction to discover whereabouts in Dubai Mall Car Park (possibly the world’s biggest shopping centre) he might have left his hummer!
The possibilities of juicy stories are endless and the fact that I have lived in the United Arab Emirates for 15 years has educated me enough to know how much I can get away with saying in print.
But the things we could do with 150 million dollars and a camel…
In the UAE we have a rather chequered history of film-making.
Syriana happened here as did The Kingdom.
Sex and The City didn’t and to be honest we didn’t miss too much (says my wife Azizah – and she knows).
So as the press start to go into spin mode, Ethan, Luther and the gang check their visas and everyone playing an extra in the movie prepares to act indifferent when the big stars walk past, one thing is for sure.
In the UAE, we have about 200 different nationalities. Each with a different language, religion and culture. Each one brings a range in business philosophy, eating habits and politics. Each also has it’s own idea of entertainment, music and movie stardom.
It means for a multi-coloured melting pot of different people with national conflicts who all live in perfect harmony (or at least they get on better with each other than their countrymen do living outside of the UAE).
Unfortunately for the celebrities, when the extras and bystanders are told ‘pretend you have no idea who the big Hollywood stars really are’, the odds are they probably truly don’t.
It makes for a refreshing paparazzi -free lifestyle for some and a frustrating time for those aching to show up on the showbiz radar.
Maybe that could be start of a plot for the new film.