For an industry built on localized copycats of Hollywood films, Bollywood apparently isn’t so keen on imitators.
Nascent industries have sprung up all over the world in recent years, all of them eager to tack on the “-wood” suffix and plant their flag on the international film scene.
There’s Nigeria, touting itself as Nollywood; Pakistan and its Punjab capital of Lahore (Lollywood) and even the Magyars of Hungary (Mollywood, natch).
But now Indians are balking at the original Bollywood branding.
“I hate that word,” composer A.R. Rahman said recently.
And at last week’s India Splendor festival in Los Angeles, thesp Abhishek Bachchan vehemently rejected the term.
“If it had started in a good way, I wouldn’t have minded,” Bachchan said, recounting the name’s origination in the 1970s, when a Bombay journo wrote disparagingly of Hindi remakes of Hollywood films and suggested the local industry should really be known as Bollywood.
These days, Indian cinema has its own, original, stories to tell, Bachchan said, pointing to his “Guru” as an example.
But the Indian biz’s remake days are far from over; they’ve merely gone legit.
BR Chopra Films is in talks with Fox to do an Indian remake of “My Cousin Vinny” as a starring vehicle for the singularly monikered Govinda, who would take on the Joe Pesci role.