Hollywood director turns to Bollywood for next film
Thu Mar 23, 2006 3:04 PM IST
By Krittivas Mukherjee
MUMBAI (Reuters) - Irvin Kershner, the Hollywood director of Star Wars and James Bond fame, is scouting for actors in India where he will shoot large parts of his next film.
"The Princess and Wizard' will be "a children's film that adults will also like," Kershner said during a stopover this week in Mumbai where he met the Bollywood set.
Kershner, the director of such blockbusters as "The Empire Strikes Back", "Never Say Never Again" and "Robocop-II", is looking for the female lead for his new film, and he says Bollywood is where he will find her.
"Indian women are of extraordinary beauty," the 83-year-old director said, adding several other key roles in the film will be played by Indian actors. He did not elaborate on his new movie's storyline.
The film's producer Arjun Daluvoy said they were considering Hollywood heartthrobs Johnny Depp or Orlando Bloom for the male lead.
Production begins in October and the film will span India, the United Kingdom, Egypt and the United States.
Kershner will travel to Rajasthan scouting for locales. Some filming will also be done in a studio in southern India.
"This is my first trip to India, but I have known the Indian film industry for long. Satyajit Ray was a dear friend of mine and he came and stayed with me several times," Kershner said, referring to the famous Indian filmmaker who was awarded the Oscar for lifetime achievement in 1992.
Kershner said he was contemplating putting some of Bollywood's exuberant song and dance sequences in his new film.
After years of being taken lightly for its kitschy, formulaic musicals, Bollywood has been trying to make the crossover with slicker productions and tailor-made scripts to appeal to an international audience, especially millions of Indians living abroad.
Bollywood beauties like Aishwarya Rai and Mallika Sherawat are gaining recognition in Hollywood and starring in international productions.
"Our film will try to bridge the Bollywood-Hollywood gap," Daluvoy said.