How do you show range as a filmmaker? If you’re directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, you can make a “Bad Boys” movie (“Bad Boys for Life”) and then two disparate movies in one year: 2022’s superhero film, “Batgirl” and then the Cannes drama, “Rebel.” Of course, we all know what happened to “Batgirl.” It was totally scrapped by Warner Bros, but “Rebel,” which had its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival last year, is finally coming out this fall.
Written and directed by El Arbi and Fallah, with Jan Van Dyck and Kevin Meul, the film stars Aboubakr Bensaihi, Lubna Azabal, Amir El Arbi, Tara Abboud, and Younes Bouab; the film focuses on the portrayal of a Muslim family torn apart over the future of its youngest member.
The thing that ties all El Arbi and Fallah films together, no matter the genre, whether it’s a blockbuster or an indie? The kinetic, driving energy that attracted them to Hollywood in the first place.
Here’s the official “Rebel” synopsis:
“Rebel,” the dazzling and audacious new film from Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah (Bad Boys for Life, Batgirl), tells the story of Kamal (Aboubakr Bensaihi), who resolves to change his life for the better, leaving Belgium to help war victims in Syria. But, having arrived, he is forced to join a militia and is left stranded in Raqqa. Back home, his younger brother Nassim (Amir El Arbi) quickly becomes easy prey for radical recruiters, who promise to reunite him with his brother. Their mother, Leila (Lubna Azabal), fights to protect the only thing she has left: her youngest son.
Next up for the pair is yet the Untitled fourth “Bad Boys” film, due in 2024, and when you think about it, it’s not too shabby to be asked to fill in for Michael Bay when you’re a pair or relatively new filmmakers.
“Rebel” is due in theaters on September 15, 2023, via Yellow Veil Pictures. Check out the first trailer below.