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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 11 December 2018

Ryan Reynolds filming in Abu Dhabi: Reem Island residents warned to expect roadblocks

Residents of Reem Island told to expect disruption as three days of movie production rolls into action from Tuesday

Filming is under way on Reem Island, Abu Dhabi, for a new Hollywood movie, believed to be the Netflix production of '6 Underground' starring Ryan Reynolds. Kim Hee-Chul
Filming is under way on Reem Island, Abu Dhabi, for a new Hollywood movie, believed to be the Netflix production of '6 Underground' starring Ryan Reynolds. Kim Hee-Chul

Hollywood star Ryan Reynolds could be "living the Reem" in Abu Dhabi – as filming gets under way on a blockbuster production in the capital.

Residents of Reem Island have been warned to expect roadblocks and loud sound effects from Tuesday as film crews roll into town.

The three-day production is believed to be for 6 Underground, a major Netflix feature starring internationally acclaimed actor Ryan Reynolds.

Last week, Netflix confirmed that shooting for 6 Underground had started in the capital.

People living in the City of Lights area in Reem Island received a notice titled “Hollywood Feature Film at the City of Lights”.

It said filming will take place from November 13 to 15, from sunset to late, but dates could be subject to change.

“Due to these events, we may experience temporary roadblocks in Reem Island in addition to some loud sound effects, during which Abu Dhabi Traffic Police and relevant authorities will be monitoring all areas along with our site security team,” said the notice, which was signed by the Three60 Communities management team.

The movie, from the creators of the Deadpool franchise, has a budget of about US$150 million (Dh551m), making it the streaming service’s biggest-budget blockbuster to date.

It stars Reynolds and Dave Franco, and promises to be a mix of Deadpool and Mission: Impossible.

Netflix said shooting will not be restricted to Abu Dhabi city. Other locations will include Al Ain, Liwa – where Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Deliver Us from Evil were both filmed – and Sharjah.

“The film is a fun, edgy thriller set against the picturesque backdrop of Italy and the spectacular vistas and natural wonders found throughout the United Arab Emirates,” said Netflix.

“From modern, state-of-the-art architecture to some of the oldest neighbourhoods, the film will capture the beauty of the country’s pristine beaches, tranquil desert landscapes and venerable historic sites, with scenes shot in Abu Dhabi, Liwa, Al Hamra, Sharjah and Al Ain.”

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Reynolds is best known to audiences for his role as the wisecracking title superhero in Deadpool, which is the highest-grossing R-rated movie in box office history. Director Michael Bay, meanwhile, has a CV that includes the Transformers franchise and Pearl Harbour.

The film is being produced by Skydance Productions, the same US company that oversaw the recent Mission: Impossible Fallout shoot in Abu Dhabi. Melanie Laurent, Corey Hawkins, Adria Arjona, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Ben Hardy, Payman Maadi and Lior Raz will also appear in 6 Underground.

Sources close to the production have suggested the team could remain in the UAE for as long as six months, and require a “huge” crew because it will be here for “a long time”.