'Emperor' gets a new look

HOLLYWOOD — Hollywood may sneer at colorizing films, but Bollywood is taking a shot at it with a digitized reworking of 1960 classic “Mughal-e-Azam” (The Great Emperor).

The remastered version, with modified songs, surround sound and widescreen format, was released last fall in India and gave new releases a run for their money.

Pic preemed March 30 at New York’s ImaginAsian Theater, and in Los Angeles earlier in the month.

Sridhar Sreekakula, distrib UTV’s prexy in New York, said the epic film has “a new life not only because of the colorization but also because a new generation is able to enjoy it in theaters.”

Sterling Investments, the original producer, still owns the print and was able to colorize the film at a cost of $2 million.

Original film has a production history similar to “Cleopatra.” It underwent several cast changes, took nine years to complete and cost $3 million.

Toward the end of production, color technology was available in India. Helmer K. Asif shot some reels in color, but his backers refused to let him go back and reshoot the rest.

“Now technology has finally caught up with our dreams,” Sreekakula said.

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