The highly-anticipated adaptation of the 1988 novel The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho will begin its principal photography this September in Morocco.
Sebastian de Souza (The Great) will play the lead character Santiago, a young Andalusian shepherd boy on his journey to realize his dream and his quest for life-changing treasure.
“I can’t believe I’m allowed to tell you that some extremely kind and generous (also really crazy) individuals have decided that I am the man to play Santiago […] I promise I will try my very, very, VERY best not to mess it up,” the 28-year-old English actor wrote on Instagram.
The cast includes Tom Hollander (The King's Man), Shohreh Aghdashloo (House of Sand and Fog), Jordi Molla (The Music of Silence), Youssef Kerkour (House of Gucci), and Ashraf Barhom (Tyrant).
“The film's cast and crew represent the authenticity of the story's setting in Spain and North Africa, as well as the diversity of a global and diverse production,” the press release read.
The adaptation is directed by Kevin Frakes who co-wrote the script with Ryan Kreston.
"It has long been my dream to bring this story to the world, and now we can do that in a way that speaks to Coelho's vision, with a cast and crew that represents the global well of support for The Alchemist," Frakes said.
The movie is produced by three companies—Will Smith and Jon Mone for Westbrook Studios; Frakes and Raj Singh for PalmStar Media; Gil Netter for Netter Films.
Manu Gargi is on board as the executive producer and Zakaria Alaoui as the local producer.
In 2016, Deadline reported that PalmStar Media’s Frakes and Buddy Patrick have acquired rights to The Alchemist for $6.5 million for its book rights, developed scripts, and potential backend.
The rights to the novel were previously owned by several others including Warner Bros., Laurence Fishburne, and The Weinstein Company.
The beloved literary work has been published in 56 languages and has sold more than 100 million copies.
The film adaptation is slated for a Holiday 2022 release with a global distribution.
(Image from The Alchemist film Instagram account)