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Sisi the movie: Hollywood director for biopic of president

Tape reveals Egyptian president's office in talks for Ridley Scott film of Sisi's life, looking for major stars

Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi is in negotiation with Hollywood director Ridley Scott to shoot an epic biopic of his rise to power and battle with the Muslim Brotherhood and militant extremists, according to tapes leaked by an opposition TV channel.

Sisi’s chief of staff is quoted in the tape, broadcast by Al-Tahrir on Wednesday, as saying that the budget for the film will be $35 million, and Sisi will be played by a well-known US actor. An Egyptian production team is already in place, and the film will be shot in Egypt and Jordan, according to the tape.

The question of who is to play Sisi is discussed at length by the head of the president’s office and another person who has not yet been identified. “The guy we want for the part is Hercules, Dwayne Johnson,” head of Sisi’s office, Lieutenant Abbas Kamel, is heard saying on the tape.

Kamel is heard saying that the script for the film is already in development, and will see Sisi personally leading anti-terrorist operations in Sinai and driving a tank through Cairo.

Scott has so far not commented on the claims that he will direct the film, and the tape suggests he has not yet agreed to take the role, but, according to one comment, “Scott’s agent says he will do it as long as the price is right.”

Johnson’s publicity agent Fifi Garcia said Johnson aka “The Rock” and former WWF star was “happy to be associated with this exciting international production – but to be honest we’ve never heard of this Sisi guy. Is he Mexican?”

Egyptian analyst Mohammed Shehata said the film was part of a strategy to change perceptions of Sisi in the West and across the Arab world. “This is a slightly desperate attempt to revive the kind of personality cult seen around President Abdel Nasser in the 1960s, when these kind of movies were made to increase nationalist consciousness.”

The unidentified voice also says that the film will show Sisi as a “romantic hero with a heart as well as b***s,” and then says “he wants Kim Kardashian to be the romantic lead,” after which sniggering can be heard in the background.

Social media is already abuzz with reaction to the leak, with Brotherhood supporters pouring scorn on the idea of the movie.

“Sisi’s vanity is without limits – he seriously thinks he can be played by Dwayne Johnson – joke!” tweeted @Morsi4ever.

A Muslim Brotherhood source dismissed the story as a “pathetic attempt to whitewash the dictatorship of Sisi”. “This is going to be a very expensive joke – but no one will be laughing.”

Morsi's office declined to comment.

Please note: this article was published on April 1.

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