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'Othello,' 'Hamlet' skedded for pic adaptations

Indian screen versions of two Shakespeare plays are in production despite the 2003 disappointment of “Maqbool,” described by critics as Macbeth meets the Godfather.

Helmer Vishal Bharadwaj is shooting “Omkara” — his version of “Othello” — starring Saif Ali Khan, Kareena Kapoor and Ajay Devgan.

Director Onir, who goes by one name, has just completed the script for his version of “Hamlet” but has yet to begin casting.

Onir, who was acclaimed for his sober story about AIDS in “My Brother … Nikhil” in 2005, said he expected to start shooting later in the year.

Trade analyst Taran Adarsh said Bollywood, better known for its romantic, boy-meets-girl, song-and-dance fare, was still trying to find a recipe for success in the modern market.

“No one knows what will work at the box office today. Producers and distributors are confused about the storyline they should have,” he said. “So you never know, these (Shakespeare) films can click, too.”

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