Hendrik Verthé’s Brussels-based A-Team Productions is developing Gangstas, the new feature from hot Belgian directing duo Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, whose debut feature Black, caused riots on the streets of Brussels in 2015.
Gangstas is a follow up to 2018’s Gangsta, set in the criminal underworld of Antwerp.
“It is the same universe, the same friends but they are five years older and it is more serious now,” said Verthé of the new film.
El Arbi and Fallah are presently directing Bad Boys For Life, the third instalment in the Bad Boys franchise, starring Will Smith, for producer Jerry Bruckheimer.
Verthé’s eclectic development slate also includes Sven Huybrecht’s submarine movie, U-235 to which Atlas International has international rights. Kinepolis is distributing in Belgium.
The film is inspired by the true story of a team of Belgian resistance fighters who commandeered a German submarine during the Second World War to bring uranium from the Belgian Congo to the US for The Manhattan Project. Independent is releasing in Belgium later this year.
Verthé is also producing Baghdad Messi, a feature version of the short of the same title by Belgian-based Iraqi director, Sahim Omar Kalifa. This tells the story of a little boy who loses his leg in the Iraq war. The VAF is supporting the film which is being coproduced with German partner, Metos Film. The aim is to shoot next year.
Verthé, who is this year’s EFP Producer On The Move, also confirmed he is developing a western with U-235’s Huybrechts. The project is set in 1870, the period in which many Flemish families emigrated to the US. The film follows three children who travel to the New World, hoping to track down their father and build themselves a better life.