ANTALYA - Anadolu Agency
Another movie adaptation of Turkey’s popular TV series and a leading export item to the Arab world, “Valley of the Wolves” (Kurtlar Vadisi), is slated to be released in September, with its director and main actor giving a tiny spoiler that it will touch on last year’s foiled coup attempt.
“As is fitting, the name [of the movie] is homeland,” the movie’s star Necati Şaşmaz told reporters during shooting of “Kurtlar Vadisi Vatan” (Valley of Wolves: Homeland) in the Mediterranean province of Antalya.
Producers of the series previously made movies titled “Valley of the Wolves: Iraq,” “Valley of the Wolves: Palestine” and “Valley of the Wolves: Gladio.”
Şaşmaz said the upcoming movie would now focus on the “homeland,” “distress” and “problems” that the country went through a short while ago.
“We know that ‘Kurtlar Vadisi’ audience is awaiting with excitement [for the new movie]. We hope that all of Turkey will watch [the film],” he said.
“The Valley of the Wolves” is popular in a number of countries as well as Turkey, particularly in the Arab world, where Şaşmaz’s character is known as “Murat Alemdar.” Babies have been named after him and “Valley of the Wolves” merchandise is commonly seen in Arab supermarkets in the form of bags, notebooks and other products.
Asked why he thinks the TV series is such a hit in the Middle East, Şaşmaz said: “I think it is the ‘fearlessness’ [of the series], i.e., its telling of the stories without any hesitation thanks to the power it receives from the people. And as for the interest in Middle East and Arab countries, it is because the hero [of the series] is not a Turkish hero, but an Eastern one. They [the Middle East and Arab world] think of him as their own.”
The popular actor said both the series and its movie adaptions “not only connect with the audience through the action scenes but also through the content.”
“For example, we have a character named ‘Ömer Baba’ [Father Ömer]. Fathers watch ‘Valley of the Wolves’ together with their children so that the latter will listen to their advice,” Şaşmaz said.
The director of the latest offshoot, Serdar Akar, said the film depicts the night of the July 15, 2016, coup attempt.
“I can only say this with regards to the film content,” he said.
The producers gave children an opportunity to shoot a short scene of the movie to honor National Sovereignty and Children’s Day on April 23. Şaşmaz led the children during their attempt and told them what to do. He also welcomed locals who came to the shoot in Antalya’s Korkuteli district.
Şaşmaz told the reporters that the film crew wanted to give an unforgettable memory to the children by letting them sit in the director’s seat, while suggesting that the children would share the memory with their grandchildren.