Fans of the Egyptian supernatural-horror Paranormal are waiting to hear whether there will be a second series of the hit Netflix show. The TV series is based on the supernatural collection of novels Ma Wara’ al-Tabi’a written by Ahmed Khaled Tawfik.
Paranormal stars Ahmed Amin, who plays Refaat Ismail, an Egyptian haematologist, who encounters a series of paranormal activities, but remains a staunch skeptic.
As well as a second series, there is also scope to develop a completely new TV show based on the prolific catalog of novels written in Arabic by Tawfik, who wrote over 200 works selling more than 15 million copies worldwide. Paranormal represents a breakthrough for Middle Eastern horror, which has created a series of movies from the genre, although they have largely remained under the radar.
An opportunity for Arab creators
As the first original series in the Arabic language on Netflix, it is viewed as a trailblazer on the platform as it forms an integral part of the streaming service’s Middle East strategy, which will see further investment in Arab content. The approach looks set to pay dividends in a country long known as the Hollywood of the Middle East, with the added benefit of paranormal topics being hugely popular on the streaming service.
Paranormal has proved to be a critical success with an IMDb rating of 8.0/10 and this reflects the wider popularity of Egyptian themes in entertainment. The Mummy franchise dates back to 1932 with the original series, which was followed by the Hammer series beginning in 1959. The Stephen Sommers iteration was launched in 1999 with the highly successful movie The Mummy and the modern version is still going strong thanks to The Scorpion King spin-off series of movies.
Egyptian themes are also popular in other areas of the entertainment industry. In the video game industry, for example, the Assassin’s Creed franchise included Egypt in the Assassin’s Creed Origins series, allowing players to explore Ancient Egypt. The iGaming industry has also capitalised on the popularity of Egyptian themes for the best online slots, including Pharaoh’s Fortune, Mercy of the Gods, and Pyramidion. Clearly, the demand for games related to Ancient Egypt has contributed to the success of these titles.
Netflix is tapping into the great potential of Arab content and the investment has paid off following the success of Paranormal. The popularity of Egyptian themes in entertainment creates an opportunity for creators in the region to tell the authentic stories of Egypt from a uniquely Arab angle.