Russo Brothers Respond to ISIS Death Threats Against ‘Mosul’ Cast Following Netflix Success
Joe and Anthony Russo discuss their Netflix action project "Mosul" after the cast reportedly received death threats from ISIS. "Mosul," produced by the Russo brothers and directed by Matthew Michael Carnahan, premiered on Netflix on November 26th, 2020 and has become one of the streamer's most watched films in Europe and the Middle East. "Mosul," starring Suhail Dabbach and Adam Bessa, is an Iraqi-Arabic language war thriller that follows a SWAT police team's mission to exterminate ISIS members who have killed loved ones.
"When I posted on my social media that the film was coming out, there was a lot of ISIS on the first day," Dabbach told Deadline. “You made a lot of videos and bad words. As they said, now we know you and you have to take care of yourself. Touch your head every day to make sure it's still on. They said, "We know where you live and we will reach you."
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Carnahan said the death threats were "a terrible by-product" of the film's high overseas viewership, and Joe Russo added that it was "certainly a troubling experience for the actors."
"It is never comfortable to have your privacy compromised, and receiving death threats from anonymous sources is terrifying," said Joe Russo. "We think Netflix and our own security team handled this expertly."
While filming "Mosul" in Morocco, the Russo brothers' AGBO production company used TigerSwan security to protect the cast and crew from potential ISIS threats and took additional measures to prevent the ISIS storyline from being revealed Film expires. AGBO reached out to TigerSwan again to help keep the actors safe after the film was released and the increase in death threats.
"I'll just say we took this very seriously," Anthony Russo told Deadline. “We knew the film was provocative and potentially dangerous for everyone involved. We took the highest security measures we could think of, and we were familiar with this process after working on the Marvel films. "
"This was a whole new level in terms of secrecy," continued Anthony. "We didn't distribute scripts, we had a code name for the film and pulled every reference from ISIS from the scripts when we had to distribute them so they were never explicitly mentioned as they were in the film." We had the best security guys working with us, but the danger was still there, but we had to be in a Middle Eastern country to do the film like we did. We were exposed and had to act as responsibly as possible, but everyone thought the risk was worth it. "
According to Deadline, "Dabbach's family have received similar frightening threats and his co-star Adam Besa, who plays the cop who is drafted into the SWAT team, watched his Instagram page get deleted and threats on WhatsApp These threats have been traced back to Turkey. Both the film's financier, AGBO, Netflix and 101 Studios have taken it seriously enough to instruct internal security forces to intervene and ensure that everyone is safe. "
"Mosul" is now streamed on Netflix.
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