U.S. Version of Israeli Hit Film ‘Last Band in Lebanon’ to Be Made

The 2016 Hebrew-language comedy tells the story of Israeli military band reservists who discover that Israel has withdrawn from Lebanon without them, but in the U.S. version, the withdrawal will be from Iraq

Actors Ofer Shechter and Ori Laizerouvich on the set of 'The Last Band in Lebanon'
Vered Adir

The 2016 Hebrew-language hit comedy film “The Last Band in Lebanon” is to be remade in an English-language version, it was announced at the Cannes Film Festival on Monday.

The original Israeli film, which was directed by Ben Bachar and Itzik Kricheli, tells the story of a group of reserve soldiers who are members of a musical performing group for Israeli troops in Lebanon. To their horror, they discover Israel has withdrawn from Lebanon and left them behind. In the new version, the musicians belong to an American military band in Iraq and are abandoned there.

The Israeli film was a major success, selling more than 290,000 tickets at the box office. Produced by Eldad Gavish, Itzik Kricheli and United King’s Moshe and Leon Edery, the rights to the English-language version have been acquired by Davis Films, but the Israeli producers are partners in the new production.

Samuel Hadida, who heads Davis Films and produced in 2016 “Criminal,” starring Kevin Costner, Ryan Reynolds and Israeli Gal Gadot, said that he plans on having leading American actors cast in the new film. He added that he intends to have Kricheli write an initial script prior to a final script, which would be developed by an American or Canadian scriptwriter.

The story follows three reserve soldiers, who are members of a miltary rock band. They get up mixed up in a major drug-smuggling scheme, which their corrupt commander orchestrates. They end up stranded in the no-man's land between Israel and Lebanon. The soldiers, armed with nothing a but a guitar and lacking any combat experience, try to return to Israel while evading a gang of Hezbollah fighters and disgruntled South Lebanon Army soldiers.