Eros greenlights ‘Aladin’ sequel

Director Ghosh expects original cast to return

HONG KONG — Eros Pictures has green-lighted the production of “Aladin 2,” a sequel to its big budget film “Aladin” that parent company Eros Int’l has set for a global release later this year.

“We are very proud of ‘Aladin’ as it is a 100% Indian product and are very confident of its universal appeal among audiences. We will continue to invest our faith in such cinema which can be watched across the globe and ‘Aladin 2’ will be a bigger challenge in every aspect as it will be many times more than ‘Aladin 1’,” Kishore Lulla, chairman and MD of Eros International, said.

“Aladin,” a Bollywood reworking of the Arabian Nights tales, is directed by Sujoy Ghosh and stars Amitabh Bachchan, Sanjay Dutt, Riteish Deshmukh and Jackie Fernandes.

Pic is likely to be one of the most special effects rich Indian films to date and is one of the first to make use of EyeQube, the digital effects facility being built by Eros in tandem with effects guru Charles Darby (“The Matrix,” “Harry Potter,” “Titanic.”)

The sequel is slated to lense in mid 2009 and Eros says the original cast is “expected to return.”

“Aladin 2 will be a bigger challenge and much more fun. I don’t understand cross over cinema, but the aim is to make a full on Hindi film, songs, dances et al, for a global audience,” Ghosh said.