By Harshikaa Udasi
From Drew Barrymore to Shakira, celebrities from the West dabble in Hindi films.
If you liked the idea of cameos by Sylvester Stallone and Denise Richards in Kambakht Ishq, Kylie Minogue in Blue and Ben Kingsley in Teen Patti, then get set for a heavy dose of Hollywood in desi films. The big names of Hollywood seem besotted with Bollywood and are ready to rush in what with roles getting meatier. Whether it has something to do with India being the biggest movie-spinner across the globe or the country’s new-found success at the Oscars with Slumdog Millionaire, Hollywood stars are getting attracted to our films like never before.
Producer Santosh Kumar Jain has managed to sign Drew Barrymore for The Lifestyle – In Generation Next, his film, about three women from different walks of life trying to assert their identities. It is supposed to be a Rs.. 150-crore project shot in stereoscopic 3D version like Avatar and will also star two leading Indian actresses. The film will go on the floors in mid-November and is expected to hit the screens in two years’ time. Similarly, producer Karan Arora, CEO of High Ground Entertainment, who’s making a movie on Goddess Kali in association with Walter Anderson titled Kaali – The Warrior Goddess, is excited about Columbian singer Shakira playing his lead. Again a big ticket project, it will take three more years in the making as it is being filmed in 3D.
Vidhu Vinod Chopra has already signed Nicolas Cage for his first English language film Broken Horses, reportedly based on his successful 1980s Hindi film Parinda with Anil Kapoor and Madhuri Dixit. Chopra had also approached Mickey Rourke for the same film, but the outcome of the proposal is awaited.
Akshay Kumar’s first production is a cross-cultural comedy called Break Away to be shot in Canada, a place where the actor enjoys a phenomenal fan following. The film is about South Asian immigrants to Canada, who struggle to retain their values and identity, and is set against the backdrop of ice hockey. It stars Rob Lowe, Camilla Belle and Russell Peters.
The obvious advantage of two worlds is what producers expect to cash in on with such ambitious projects. The marketing muscle definitely improves globally when there is an international brand name associated with the film. For instance, the only aspect of Akshay Kumar’s Rs. 100-crore Deepavali debacle Blue last year was the song-and-dance sequence with Australian signer Kylie Minogue. Even Rakesh Roshan’s Kites tried to milk the best it could out of the Hrithik-Barbara pairing.
* Sajid Nadiadwala’s Kambakht Ishq had international stars such as Sylvester Stallone, Brandon Routh and Denise Richards.
* In Anthony D’Souza’s Blue, Australian singer Kylie Minogue made a cameo appearance.
* Sir Ben Kingsley played a short, though pivotal, role in Leena Yadav’s Teen Patti alongside Amitabh Bachchan.
* Barbara Mori created a sensation more out of the film Kites than in it.
Hollywood’s upcoming razzmatazz
* Drew Barrymore is set to play Ganga in The Lifestyle – In Generation Next.
* Hollywood actor Nicolas Cage is playing the lead in Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s English directorial venture Broken Horses.
* Hollywood action man Mickey Rourke has reportedly been approached to play a role in the same film that Chopra is producing in association with Reliance Big Pictures.
* Colombian singer Shakira will play Goddess Kaali in an Indian film called Kaali – The Warrior Goddess.
* Actor Akshay Kumar’s Indo-Canadian project directed by Robert Lieberman titled Break Away stars 10000 BC actor Camilla Belle, Brothers And Sisters star Rob Lowe and Indian-origin stand-up comedian Russell Peters.
International artists lining up for Bollywood
* Singer Akon is composing and singing for Shah Rukh Khan’s sci-fiction film Ra.One and promises to do more work here.
* SRK has even roped in Hans Zimmer for the background score of his sci-fi flick.