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In for a treat: Zeta Jones, Douglas to shoot in India May 18, 2008

Posted by lollywoodhungama in Uncategorized.

Come January 2009 and India will see two-time Oscar winner Michael Douglas come here to start shooting his first Indo-US joint venture, Racing the Monsoon . This is a sequel to the biggest hit of 1984, Romancing the Stone , and the lacklustre Jewel of the Nile (1985).

Touted as an action adventure revolving around a diamond robbery in India, Racing the Monsoon will also feature Douglas’ wife, Catherine Zeta Jones, and Matt Damon.

This could reportedly be the first film post-marriage where both are paired together. They had earlier starred in Traffic (Jan 2001) post-marriage, but were not pitted together.

This Hollywood project, jointly produced by Percept Picture Company (PPC) and Douglas’ Further Films , will be directed by Steve Carr of Daddy Day Care (2003) and Doctor Doolittle 2 (2001) fame and written by Ami Canaan Mann.

“Michael being a friend, had approached us to partner him and we agreed. Percept will raise the cost for the Indian part of the production,” says Shailendra Singh, joint MD, Percept Pictures.

The budget of the film, according to sources, is expected to be between $50-60 million. The shooting is slated to take place in Mumbai, Kolkata and Jaisalmer.

Earlier, when Douglas had visited Mumbai to announce the project, he had said, “Four to six months will go in pre-production aspects of the film. After that, we will begin shooting in India. It will be the first American co-production to happen in India.”

Interestingly, Michael had also showed interest in the song and dance ritual, considered mandatory in Indian films.

“I have had an interesting and wonderful education in Indian music and the movie better have some songs,” he had said humourously. But why a film based in India?

“India is making a large impact in the US, be it culture, design, fashion or films which are splashed everywhere in the world. I have been closely following and studying Indian culture and I’m fascinated by it. And when the subject of films came up, Percept showed interest. As I was looking for partners in India to do films here, I was happy things worked out.”

Incidentally, Racing the Monsoon is the first Hollywood project of PPC, which is embarking on the lines of a Hollywood film studio. “Why should we wait for a Universal Studio to come to India and open shop when we can create the same indigenously?” asks Singh.

“With more films like Racing the Monsoon coming to India, imagine the kind of exposure, interaction and employment that will be generated for Indian technicians and artists.”

Singh hopes the indigenous studio pattern will start working in India within the next three months. He will provide infrastructure like a Bollywood museum, cafes, merchandising and retail to take this forward.

PPC has already rolled out the critically-successful Pakistani film Khuda Kay Liye and has now joined hands with Vishesh Films for Jannat. This will be followed by Pritish Nandy Communications Ugly Aur Pagly . Besides this, there are 10 films under various stages of production and ready for release.



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