Looking to bridge the gap between Bollywood and Hollywood, Original Entertainment has closed a five-picture deal with Millennium Films for Bollywood remakes of “Rambo,” “The Expendables,” “16 Blocks,” “88 Minutes” and “Brooklyn’s Finest.”
Original toppers — Canadian-Indian showbiz entrepreneur Daljit (DJ) Parmar and U.S. producer Hunt Lowry — have developed the slate of official Bollywood remakes over the past year and closed a $50 million co-production and co-finance deal for the pics. Samir Gupta of WaterFront Films (part of Cinema Capital Venture Fund) will co-produce each film.
Parmar, nephew of the late Bollywood multihyphenate Mehmood, said the Rambo and Expendables remakes should be in production by the end of the year.
“I am extremely excited to announce the launch of our slate to remake titles from some of the most successful action franchises in Hollywood on this historic 100-year anniversary celebration of Indian cinema at Cannes,” he said.
Bollywood filmmakers have been copying Hollywood films for many years, one reason for the nickname for the Hindi film biz, although lately the majors have been more vigilant about protecting their copyrights. Parmar and Lowry announced their venture last year at Cannes, disclosing they had secured an initial $10 million from equity investors with the aim of starting a new business model to take advantage of the booming Indian market along with strong overseas interest in Bollywood titles.
“We believe by officially remaking these titles we can maximize the fan following these titles have enjoyed over the years as they will surely be record breaking box-office draws when remade for Indian audiences,” Gupta said.
The deals were negotiated by Gupta, Parmar and Lowry, Patty Reed, Mark Gill for Millennium, Kulmeet Makkar of the Film and TV Producers Guild of India and Jonathan Wight and Scott Witlin of Barnes & Thornburg.