Netflix picks up Abu Dhabi legal drama show Justice: Qalb Al Adala
Procedural drama by Image Nation Abu Dhabi from 'LA Law' creator will screen globally next year
Netflix has picked up Image Nation Abu Dhabi’s 23-part procedural drama Heart of Justice (Qalb Al Adala) for global distribution on the streaming platform. The legal show will screen with subtitles in 20 different languages.
The Arabic drama, shot in Abu Dhabi, centres on an ambitious and passionate young lawyer called Farah who has just returned home after gaining a law degree in the US. The show, produced in Abu Dhabi by Image Nation and Beelink Productions, was created by Oscar nominee Walter Parkes (He Named Me Malala) and Emmy award-winning producer William Finkelstein (LA Law). It is believed to be the most expensive Emirati TV series ever produced.
Directed by Ahmed Khaled, Justice stars Fatima Al Taei, Mansoor Al Feeli, Mohamed Alamiri and Malak Al Khalidi. It is based on real cases from the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department, which partnered on the production to ensure authenticity. The show originally premiered regionally on OSN in September 2017.
This is not the first time Netflix has come to Image Nation for content. Several of the production company’s Arabic movies, including Zinzana, The Worthy and From A to B have already been made available on the streaming platform. Justice marks Image Nation’s first series to hit the platform, could we perhaps expect to see season two produced as a Netflix Original?
'No plans for a second season'
Not according to Image Nation chief Michael Garin: “There are no plans for a second season,” Garin told The National. “The reason we did Justice is to demonstrate that, as a region, we are capable of producing content that could go on HBO or CBS, which no one imagined we were capable of. That’s why we entered into the MBC production partnerships too, because they were very much inspired to do the same thing.”
There was a second element to the ‘demonstration’ too, Garin explains – to advance the local commercial TV industry. “The other thing we wanted to do is show broadcasters that there are 11 months in the year besides Ramadan when audiences want to see quality content and you can attract eyeballs and revenue. This was as much a demonstration as anything because this is still a region that doesn’t have real commercial television.”
This isn’t to say that we shouldn’t expect to potentially see Image Nation partnering with Netflix on original content in future, however. “We will be producing something of a similar scale, though we can’t announce what it is yet as we’re in the very early stages of development,” Garin reveals. “We’re in constant conversations with Netflix, but first you need a project.”
Justice will launch on Netflix in early 2019.
Updated: December 20, 2018 10:34 AM