DUBAI // The latest offering of the Mission: Impossible franchise will hold a special attraction for some UAE residents - a chance to see themselves on the big screen.
But while Tom Cruise and assorted other A-list co-stars will get to see the final cut of Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol when it premieres on the opening night of the Dubai International Film Festival (Diff) at the Madinat Jumeirah on December 7, the hundreds of residents used as extras in the film may need to wait a little longer to discover if their scenes made it into the movie.
They will all be watching the action thriller with particular interest when the film opens on general release next month to see if their scenes made it or ended up on the cutting room floor.
The extras, who played a variety of roles, were given an opportunity to rub shoulders with the stars and experience the excitement of taking part in a major Hollywood shoot. The casting agency received more than 5,000 applications from would-be extras, and the several hundred who were chosen worked with a 400-strong crew.
In addition to Cruise, the movie also stars Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Paula Patton, Michael Nyqvist, Vladimir Mashkov, Josh Holloway, Anil Kapoor and Léa Seydoux.
Rumours have abounded for months that the much-talked about action movie, which was part filmed in Dubai, would premiere here and the festival organisers and Paramount Pictures, the studio behind the production, made the official announcement yesterday.
Filming of the movie hit the international headlines last year when Cruise, 49, was photographed dangling from the outside of the Burj Khalifa in one scene.
Other parts of the film are set at Dubai International Financial Centre and on the Palm Jumeirah. Further shoots took place in Prague, Moscow, Mumbai and Vancouver. The scenes were filmed in high-definition IMAX and the film is expected to be released in this format in the UAE.
Residents were quick to express their delight at the news on Twitter. Louise Nichol tweeted: "Too excited for the Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol premiere in Dubai on Dec 7." And a user called Yasmeen summed up the announcement as "Awesome".
Cruise was seen performing hair-raising stunts on the Burj Khalifa in a behind-the-scenes video released recently by the producers and in the latest cinema trailer for the film.
The star reprises the role of Impossible Missions Force agent Ethan Hunt in a story that sees the unit closed down after he is framed for a terrorist bombing at the Kremlin.
Abdulhamid Juma, the chairman of Diff, said: "There is no doubt that this film will have a transformative effect on the region's film industry, through knowledge transfer, inspiring emerging filmmakers, paving the way for many more collaborations and drawing attention to cinema from this part of the world."
Ahmad Abdulla Al Shaikh, the director general of the Dubai Government Media Office, said: "We await with great excitement the return of the Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol filmmakers, crew, and talent to Dubai in December.
"Dubai's continuing relationship with the film is a mark of trust in Dubai's world-class infrastructure, capabilities and leadership. This relationship is a point of pride not only for the emirate but for the region as a whole.
"Dubai continues to welcome serious filmmakers from around the world, and remains ready to extend all assistance and support necessary to ensure the success of their films. Dubai reaffirms its commitment to the advancement of the local, regional, and international film industries."
Rob Moore, the vice-chairman of Paramount Pictures, said: "We are looking forward to sharing the film first with Dubai." Ghost Protocol is due to go on general release in the UAE on December 15 and will open in the US the following week.
The eighth Diff will run from December 7 to 14.