HomeNews'Hiding Saddam Hussein' Documentary Being Adapted by 'The King's Speech' Writer

‘Hiding Saddam Hussein’ Documentary Being Adapted by ‘The King’s Speech’ Writer

The eight months that former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein spent in hiding after being overthrown in 2003 is being developed into a narrative feature film. The script for the drama was written by The King’s Speech scribe David Seidler, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The scribe worked on the narrative with Halkawt Mustafa. The latter served as the director of this year’s documentary, Hiding Saddam Hussein, which the two filmmakers based the upcoming feature’s story on.

The narrative’s screenplay is based on the relationship Hussein had with Alaa Namiq. The latter, an Iraqi farmer, hid the former dictator and prime minister of Iraq in a hole after he was removed from power in 2003.

Seidler is a British-American playwright who won the Best Original Screenplay Oscar for his work on The King’s Speech. Mustafa is a Norwegian-Kurdish filmmaker who’s known for helming the 2011 romantic drama, Red Heart, and the 2015 documentary, The Women ISIS Fears.

The upcoming feature – which Mustafa plans to direct – will focus on the relationship between Hussein and Namiq, who was suddenly selected by the ousted dictator to keep him safe. The politician was pursued by 150,000 U.S. soldiers, who took part in one of the biggest manhunts on the planet, which was accompanied by a $25 million bounty.

Namiq dug the tiny hole in which Hussein famously hid under his flowerbed near the town of Tikrit.

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He publicly emerged from the hole, and was apprehended, in late 2003, three years before he was executed.

During the time they spent together, Namiq became the former president’s hairdresser, physician and bodyguard.

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A friendship eventually grew between the two men.

Mustafa and Seidler have spent the last three years penning the narrative’s script. The helmer claimed his co-writer initially saw similarities between Hussein and Namiq and that of The King’s Speech. The 2010 Golden Globe-winning historical drama focuses on the relationship between the titular King George VI and his speech therapist.Lionel Logue.

With the release of the Hiding Saddam Hussein documentary, the filmmakers are now seeking financing for the narrative. Mustafa said they’re both adamant that the feature’s story will be told from the perspective of Namiq rather, than taking the usual Hollywood route. “I don’t want to make a movie about the CIA agent who gets the mission to find Saddam Hussein,” the director noted.

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The Hiding Saddam Hussein documentary recently screened at the IDFA doc fest. It will have its Middle East premiere at the Red Sea International Film Festival in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia this Friday, Dec. 1.

Check out more of Karen Benardello’s articles.

Karen Benardello
Karen Benardellohttps://cinemadailyus.com
As a life-long fan of films and television shows, and an endless passion for writing, Karen Benardello decided to combine the two for a career. She graduated from New York's LIU Post with a B.F.A in Journalism, Print and Electronic in 2008. Karen has since been working in the press in New York City, including interviewing film and television casts and crews, writing movie and television news articles and reviewing films and televisions series. Some of her highlights include attending such local events as the Tribeca Film Festival, the New York Film Festival and New York Comic-Con, as well as traveling across North America to attend such festivals as the Sundance Film Festival, SXSW and the Toronto International Film Festival. She has been a member of the Women Film Critics Circle since 2012, and the New York Film Critics Online since 2019.


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