spectators at outdoor movie filming
spectators at outdoor movie filmingReuters

British actor Patrick Stewart, known for his roles in Star Trek and the X-Men movies, arrived in Israel August 9 to star in "Hunting Elephants," a film by Israeli director Reshef Levy.

Stewart will play an “eccentric British lord who gets mixed up with a group of Israeli misfits who hatch a plan to rob a bank to get the money they need to save their family home,” according to the Hollywood Reporter.

He replaced British actor John Cleese who was reportedly forced to withdraw from the project due to heart trouble.

Stewart said during a press conference that he had visited Israel a year ago for four days and was eager to return.

“I told my family and friends that I wanted to come back… I am happy to be here, not as a tourist but as part of an Israeli movie production,” said Stewart.

He also said that he plans on leaving the country in a few weeks “with a firmer opinion about what’s going on here.”