Al-Saadi Qaddafi, the son of Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi, may manage to keep his Hollywood investment business going even as his father fights off a rebellion at home.
Al-Saadi, a 37-year-old former professional soccer player, has invested in a $100 million Los Angeles-based film production fund called Natural Selection, founded by Matty Beckerman. He may be able to continue to push film productions for that fund as his father struggles to contain a revolt in Libya that has left hundreds dead.
“This son is quiet and legitimate and less political than his father,” said Wendy Mitchell, head of news at London-based film trade magazine Screen International. “It’s hard to get money to invest in films so I’m not sure people would necessarily go the other way. They were doing good business before all this happened.”
Natural Selection is producing “The Ice Man: Confessions of a Mafia Contract Killer,” with Mickey Rourke in the lead. The fund is also backing “Isolation,” a thriller with Susan Sarandon’s daughter, Eva Amurri. While the Qaddafi connection raised eyebrows when Al-Saadi announced in 2009 that he was getting into Hollywood, the crisis in Libya may not sway investors and actors from taking on films backed by his fund.
The fund is slated to produce 20 films over a five-year period, Mitchell said.
Al-Saadi has kept a low profile during the recent protests in Libya. In contrast, his brother Saif al-Islam this week threatened that “rivers of blood” would flow unless the uprising ends.
Libya’s Qaddafi vowed yesterday to fight a growing rebellion until his “last drop of blood” and pledged to deploy the army and police to impose order. He said he’s the leader of a revolution that requires “sacrifice until the end of life” and said rebels had been drugged and the “masterminds” behind the uprising were abroad.
Qaddafi’s crackdown on a weeklong unrest -- following similar turmoil in Tunisia and Egypt, whose leaders were toppled -- has already left more than 200 dead, according to Human Rights Watch.
“I really don’t have a comment on this,” Natural Selection’s founder Beckerman said when reached by telephone in L.A. yesterday about the uprising in Libya and its possible impact on the fund.
Al-Saadi, who played soccer professionally, was suspended by the Italian Olympic Committee for using steroids in 2003.