A hit book by Karim El-Koussa is getting adapted to a TV series, and a famous Lebanese-American actor just signed on. We can't be any more excited!
Book lovers across the globe were treated to a wonderful surprise when Karim El-Koussa's thrilling novel, The Phoenician Code, was released in 2011. Fans of the compelling story could immediately tell that the book was such a hit. It was bound to catch the attention of US TV scouts sooner or later.
Well, almost a decade later, our wait is finally over! The Phoenician Code is getting the screen adaptation it deserves.
Based on astounding historical and religious facts, the gripping novel revolves around the character Paul Khoury, a mild-mannered Lebanese-American historian whose life is suddenly thrown into the grapples of hidden temples and ancient secret societies.
As Paul unearths clue after clue to ancient plots and cover-ups, he quickly becomes the target of mysterious forces that are looking to silence him, for good.
Karim El-Koussa's novel was first published in 2011 in English, before getting translated to Arabic and French. It created massive ripples in the industry and turned the heads of producers and film scouts, like the accomplished North-American writer and producer Pierre Lapointe.
Lapointe recognized the book's unbridled potential and has taken it upon himself to "translate that into a gripping, edge-of-your-seat show."
The Phoenician Code was first slated for a motion-picture, but Lapointe knew that a 2-hour feature would not do the eventful story justice. Instead, he mulled over turning it into a 4-episode mini-series before finally settling on 5 exciting seasons of 8 episodes each! It is already listed as an 'adventure, drama, action series' on IMDb.
This, by itself, came as a happy surprise to author Karim El Koussa, who, speaking to The961, confirmed he was a fan of the idea. "[...] I am definitely happy because now I think it would do the book's material more justice than anything else. A brilliant idea, especially that TV series are the trend nowadays."
Whether you've read the book or not, the series will have something for all. Answering our question about what newcomers could expect of the series, Mr. Koussa told us, "Something great, I believe. A nice thriller with various revelations and information that you may not see in any other TV Series produced so far."
In an exclusive interview with the writer, he also shared with us that he's looking forward to "the upcoming 2020 TV series with great expectations indeed. It will essentially consider the main points mentioned in the book, but with a more focus on characters that the creators of the show are developing along the way. Some are already taken from the text, while others are created to give strength and depth to the plot."
According to El-Koussa, the massive project will feature an array of unique locations across the globe, with the USA, Lebanon, Switzerland, Germany, and Prague planned for the 1st season alone!
That's not all, folks. The series' main lead has already been cast. Lebanese-American actor Nick Tarabay, best known for his portrayal of 'Ashur' on Spartacus, has signed on the project for the lead role of Paul Khoury, as well as an executive producer of the series.
Nick Tarabay is a versatile screen and theatre actor who has made many appearances on a number of films and TV shows like Sex and the City, Burn Notice, Spartacus and its spin-offs, as well as Star Trek: Into Darkness.
The project is currently in the works, getting prepared by Northern Star, which is Lapointe's California-based production company. Once completed, the pilot script and the first season's storyline will be pitched to major networks like SHOWTIME and HBO, and ready to be picked up by international streamers like Netflix and Amazon for us to watch!
Eager for details, we went further discussing the series with our Lebanese author, and these are some highlights:
-The961: Besides Nick Tarabay as the lead role and executive producer, who can you reveal of the cast? Who is the director that signed up on the project?
Karim El-Koussa: I must only disclose what has been revealed to me so far. (...) I may guess that directors, not only one director, will be mostly Americans or Europeans. As for the Cast, it's going to be a mixture of Lebanese, Americans, and Europeans. More will be revealed in the following month or so, I suppose.
-The961: Since it's a metaphysical fiction that deals with less-known facts and theories of a contentious piece of Phoenician history, how much controversy -if any- are you anticipating for the series?
Karim El-Koussa: Well, the Metaphysical sense in the book may be presented differently in the show. Here we are telling the same story but with the use of the camera, and that I guess would be the tricky thing in the Series, which will mostly focus on presenting itself as a work of Drama, Adventure, and Thriller. The historical-religious aspect though will be well dealt with and wisely enough, which would cause a kind of controlled controversy all along the Series.
Karim El-Koussa is the award-winning author of The Phoenician Code, Pythagoras the Mathemagician, and Jesus the Phoenician, among others. A native of the Northern Lebanese mountain town of Ehden, Karim grew up to write in English, Arabic, and French.
His first novel, Reflecting Unitas, caused quite the stir in conservative media and cemented his debut as a promising writer. He won the Saeed Akl Award for Pythagoras The Mathemagician, which was called for several prints by Sunbury Press Inc.
The Phoenician Code is expected to be part of a series currently in the works. In the meantime, Koussa is working on a brand new and exciting sci-fi trilogy that will be titled 'The Motherland.'
We are very much looking forward to watching the series, which we will be hooked to no doubt.