I believe this is the 3rd film project on the life of the Prophet Mohammed that’s in the works. The last one I recall was a proposed $150 million feature film being produced by Barrie Osborne (Lord of the Rings, The Matrix), backed by Qatari media company Al Noor Holdings. Haven’t heard much about that since the initial announcement over a year ago.
This one is a 3-part documentary being produced by the BBC, and will re-trace “the footsteps of the Prophet from humble beginnings in Mecca, to his struggle with accepting his Prophetic role, his flight to Medina, to the founding of the first Islamic constitution… military and political successes and failures, his death and legacy.” according to Variety.
One of the challenges of this project, and any based on the life of the Prophet is that Islamic tradition dictates that neither he nor direct members of his family be depicted in any manner on film. And the film will adhere to that tradition, nor will it feature any filmed reconstructions of his life.
The doc will be shot on location in Saudi Arabia, Jerusalem, Turkey, Syria, the USA, UK and Jordan.
Arab-American filmmaker Moustafa Akkad previously tackled the same subject in 1976 pic The Message, which starred Anthony Quinn and Irene Papas.
I didn’t see it, but the casting of Anthony Quinn as Muhammed’s uncle doesn’t exactly make me want to do so :)