One of Netflix‘s more overlooked and underrated original movies of last year was Mosul, the directorial debut of World War Z and Deepwater Horizon writer Matthew Michael Carnahan. The story follows a rookie cop plunged into the deep end when he’s welcomed into an elite SWAT unit who patrol the streets of the titular war-torn Iraqi city, where they embark on a dangerous mission.
The grounded and gritty action thriller went down a storm with critics, as it currently holds an 84% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and troubled the streaming service’s Top 10 most-watched list for a couple of weeks when it was released at the end of November. However, several members of the cast have since revealed that they and their families have faced threats on social media from people claiming to be affiliated with ISIS.
“When I posted on my social media that the film was going to come out, the first day there was a lot from ISIS,” says star Suhail Dabbach. “They put on a lot of videos and bad words. Like, they have said, now we know you, and you have to watch yourself. Every day, touch your head to make sure it is still on. They said, ‘We know where you live and we will reach you’.”
The threats have been taken so seriously that Joe and Anthony Russo’s production company AGBO and Netflix have hired internal security to keep an eye on the talent should anyone attempt to make good on their promise of violence towards the cast and crew. Director Carnahan revealed to us in an exclusive interview why he felt the story needed to be told, but he surely couldn’t have been expecting things to play out like this.
Mosul was one of Netflix’s most popular titles in Europe and the Middle East throughout December, but the idea of law enforcement winning the battle against ISIS has clearly rubbed some of the organization’s members and supporters the wrong way. And now, things have escalated to the point where the producers have found it necessary to enlist the services of security personnel, which is a terrifying thought for the actors to be forced to deal with.