Israeli actor Lior Raz, known mainly as the star and co-creator of hit series “Fauda,” has been cast in Michael Bay’s latest action film “Six Underground.”
The 46-year-old will co-star alongside Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds in the movie, which has been described as in the spirit of “Deadpool” meets “Mission: Impossible,” Hollywood Reporter said in a report Monday.
Netflix and Skydance are said to be behind the film, directed by Bay, best known for his blockbuster “Transformers” films. “Six Underground”centers around six heroes who join forces to fight evil. The are code-named with numbers, with Reynolds’ character called “One.”
Raz’s character details were being kept under wraps, according to the report.
Other actors in the cast reportedly include Dave Franco, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Adria Arjona and Corey Hawkins.
The film was said to be scheduled to begin shooting next month in several countries, including Italy and the United Arab Emirates.
That poses the question whether Raz, a 23-year veteran of the IDF’s elite Duvdevan unit, will be allowed to enter the UAE — a country that doesn’t have diplomatic relations with Israel and doesn’t accept its passport.
While some Israelis work in the UAE under another country’s passport, Raz — born to immigrants from Iraq and Algeria — isn’t known to be a dual national.
“Fauda,” co-written by Raz and Times of Israel contributor Avi Issacharoff, focuses on a commando unit of the Israeli Defense Forces whose members embed themselves in the Palestinian community, gathering intelligence and preventing terror attacks. Fauda is an Arabic word meaning “chaos.” The show incorporates both Arabic and Hebrew dialogue. It aired on Netflix with English subtitles. Netflix released the second season of the series in May.
The BDS movement in March called on Netflix to nix the series, calling it “an anti-Arab racist, Israeli propaganda tool that glorifies the Israeli military’s war crimes against the Palestinian people. Failing to do so will open Netflix to nonviolent grassroots pressure and possible legal accountability.”
Following that demand, more than 50 entertainment industry executives signed a letter in support of the series for presenting a “nuanced portrayal of issues related to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict,” Variety reported.
JTA contributed to this report.