The controversial Innocence of Muslims movie included a bizarre casting call announcement which included a warning about nudity and neglected to mention the film would focus on the Islamic Prophet Muhammad. The film was originally entitled Desert Warrior according to excerpts from the call for performers posted on Back Stage and republished by The Blaze.
The actors in the film issued a statement on Wednesday, claiming they feel taken advantage of and were misled about the intention of the motion picture.
The Back Stage advertisement for actors noted a character named George, who was a strong leader, a killer with no remorse, a romantic, and a tyrant. The character of Assad would be portrayed as a man with an Israeli accent who was a bearded tribal leader. The character of Hillary was described as a woman who is 18 but looks much younger, features a petite build, and a look of innocence.
Shooting for the film allegedly began last August. The producer noted in the casting call was named Sam Bassiel; the spelling differs from the last name currently circulating in association with the Innocence of Muslims. An Associated Press report published by The Daily Beast claims a man named Nakoula Basseley could be the man behind the production.
According to the Associated Press, Basseley admitted his involvement in the Muhammad movie and may be the manager of a production group behind the production of the religious movie. The news organization has not been able to find proof of the existence of a man named Sam Bacile. Basseley allegedly stated he knows the filmmaker, who claimed to be an Israeli Jew.
The cellphone number used by a person claiming to be the producer of the Prophet Muhammad video was reportedly traced back to Nakoula’s home. The AP also maintains that the alleged production manager has a long criminal history and has used the Bacile persona before. A movie consultant interviewed by The Atlantic stated that Bacile was not the filmmaker’s real name and that he was not really Israeli and possibly not even Jewish.