Though picked up for distribution in 2019, the war movie Mosul, produced by Anthony and Joe Russo, has now been acquired by Netflix. The film, written and directed by World War Z scribe Matthew Michael Carnahan, will be released on the streamer the month. according to The Hollywood Reporter. Based on Luke Mogelson's 2017 The New Yorker piece, “The Desperate Battle to Destroy ISIS," the film centers on a group of Iraqis who were fighting to take back parts of the city where they and their families lived from ISIS control. The feature stars an all-Middle Eastern cast including Suhail Dabbach (The Hurt Locker), Adam Bessa (Extraction), and Is’Haq Elias (Messiah).
The film was shot and will be presented exclusively in Arabic rather than English, a choice that was a logistical challenge for Carnahan, but something he was determined to take on. Speaking with ComicBook.com in a previous interview after the film's North American Premiere, revealing what drew him to the project was the heart of the story.
"To me, the thing that grabbed me about the article was -- once I got past my blind spot that these guys exist -- is that not only do they exist but they are so much closer to me than I have ever thought or been led to believe," Carnahan said. "They are doing things, acting and reacting in ways that I pray to God I would be able to do if I ever found myself in that hellish situation. They want their city back, their homes back, their families back, and my God, isn't that what humanity is all about?...Those things that bind us together as human beings are so much more numerous and meaningful than the things that divide us. I wanted to bring that out on film and it just seemed like the best possible way to do that was to find actors from that part of the world and let them speak some language of their mother tongue."
Carnahan also revealed the advice given to him by Joe Russo on the movie, having previously collaborated with him on the drama-thriller 21 Bridges.
“Joe Russo gave me two great pieces of advice,” Carnahan added. “He said the thing that’s going to strike you first and foremost is that this is blue collar work. Yes, you have to know what you’re doing story wise, yes there has to be emotion, but the thing that’s going to surprise you is just how much of this is moving equipment to get those things to shine. It’s blue collar work, embrace that, and be in really good shape, because it’s grueling, and you can’t be the guy who gets tired first. You’ve got to be the guy who’s there before everyone else is, and who leaves when everyone else is gone.”
Mosul will premiere on Netflix in November.