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Old 07-02-2009, 03:34 PM
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Cool Bollywood Showbiz News 7 Feburary 2009

Dev D makers give out contraceptives with premiere invites

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We are sure that the headline must have surely have got your head rolling in all directions. Well, let us confess, that, initially, we thought that this was a prank that someone is playing on us...till we saw a condom inside the packet! The very sight of condom in the invite got us wondering, since AIDS Day is a whopping 10 months ahead!

It's only after we flipped the envelope, we realised that it is an invite for (irony, irony) the premiere of Anurag Kashyap's 'baby' Dev D starring Abhay Deol, Kalki and Mahi Gill.

One needs to give it to Anurag Kashyap and company for not just 'merely' making a film like Dev D, but also marketing it like never before. For the uninitiated, first, they came up with a 'dedicated' tele-chat (read dirty chat) line for the film (Heat Quotient included), and now this invite for the première in the form of a pack of condom (with a condom inside, not to forget)! With this, one feels that after the massive debacle of No Smoking, Anurag surely wants to play 'SAFE' (lots of pun intended!) with his next film Dev D.

This unique invite forces us to remember a childhood story about a boy, who is looking at a peacock's single feather and wonders 'Wow! If the single feather looks so beautiful, wonder how the peacock will look like, with its entire body covered with such feathers!' Likewise, after looking at the invite, we are really forced to wonder, if the invite for the premiere looks like this, wonder how the premiere will be like or better, what is the film going to be like! Any answers, Anurag K!

John Abraham & Milan Luthria team up again after Taxi No. 9211
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The buzz in the industry is that after the super-successful Taxi No. 9211, Milan Luthria and John Abraham are once again coming together for a film which John will not only act in but also co-produce with Milan.

Bollywood Hungama got in touch with Milan Luthria to confirm the same. "Yes…I am doing a film with John Abraham. This is a script which we have been working on for the past 8 months. After Taxi No. 9211 (which many people feel is John's best work till date), John and I felt that we need to come together again. As far as John co-producing the film is concerned, we are in talks, the logistics need to be worked out and we are yet to finalize the details"

So what genre will the film belong to? "It's a very unique and interesting story. Revealing anything more at this point of time will spoil the fun. But let me tell you that with this film John (who is already a chick-magnet) will be catapulted to being a huge international heart-throb. It has a lot of potential and hence we are trying to keep the story under wraps", says Milan

Before this film, Milan already has Once Upon A Time in Mumbai with Ajay Devgan and Emraan Hashmi in lead roles. So when does he plan to start this film? "We have worked out the dates with John. Right now he is in the middle of Hook Ya Crook and then he has 1-800 Love. Even I am also busy with my film Once Upon A Time In Mumbai which goes on floors in May this year. I finish shooting for that in July and post that, somewhere in August we plan to start this film with John"

Coming back to the idea of John co-producing the film, how did this all happen? "See... John has a very strong business mind. He is an MBA with good marketing and advertising experience at the corporate level. We both have a certain level of trust and comfort level with each other. When we discussed about this film, we both felt that we needed to control this project completely because apart from a great script, the film also has a lot of potential for marketing, merchandising, franchising, tie-ups, remakes in different languages etc.", says the excited filmmaker.

Off-late, more and more actors such as Akshay Kumar, Aamir Khan, SRK have been working out profit sharing models for their respective films. So is this trend here to stay? "Yes... I truly believe that in today's time and age this kind of an agreement does make a lot of financial sense. Star-prices are always going to be big and sometimes when the budget of the film is also high, how do you adjust all together? Even in Hollywood, when they came up with the points system for profit sharing there was a very high amount of resistance to it but gradually over the years, actors and directors began to accept that this works. At the end of the day, we all need to grow beyond being just actors and directors. This is a win-win series and with the transparency shown by the corporates this is a system which is here to stay", signs off Milan

Reliance Big Entertainment ties up with Julia Roberts and Brett Ratner

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In the last few years, Reliance Big Entertainment, the Media and Entertainment Company of the Reliance ADA Group, has grown from strength to strength. Expanding its media investments in Hollywood, Reliance Big Entertainment has signed two separate development deals with Julia Roberts' Red Om Films and Brett Ratner's Rat Entertainment.

With these two deals, Reliance Big Entertainment has established creative partnerships with nine leading Hollywood production entities. The initial seven deals with Nicholas Cage's Saturn Productions, Jim Carrey's JC 23 Entertainment, George Clooney's Smokehouse Productions, Chris Columbus' 1492 Pictures, Tom Hanks' Playtone Productions, Brad Pitt's Plan B Entertainment, and Jay Roach's Everyman Pictures were announced during the Cannes Film Festival 2008 by Reliance Big Entertainment's Chairman Amit Khanna and President Rajesh Sawhney.

All nine deals provide for the creation of a development silo for each of the production entities and the possibility of Reliance co-financing projects that emanate from these development deals. For any green lit projects utilizing Reliance co-financing, the filmmakers will enjoy full creative and fiscal freedom. Eight of the partnerships have had development projects approved and there is already a handpicked slate in excess of twenty projects and it is anticipated that most will generate content during 2009.

In announcing the new partnerships, Amit Khanna, Chairman of Reliance Big Entertainment commented, "Our innovative foray into Hollywood has proven very productive on the development front and we are now looking forward to moving into the filmmaking stage over the coming months. We were immediately impressed by both Julia's and Brett's enthusiasm for our creative partnership plan"

Added Rajesh Sawhney, President of Reliance Big Entertainment, "These creative partnerships will lead to Reliance co-financing with the majority of the major US Studios as we are totally respectful of the existing first-look deals that each of our partners enjoys. From the conversations till date, we know that the respective studios will welcome our development silos and our subsequent co-financing ability. We have broken completely new ground by empowering some of the best talent in the global industry".

For the U.S. studios, the Reliance ADA Group provides a partner with expertise in India, which has one of the most successful domestic filmed entertainment businesses in the world but which remains a challenge for non indigenous product.

Reliance BIG Pictures, the division of Reliance Big Entertainment that will focus on media investments outside of India, sees the development deals as the first major building block in the creation of a virtual studio, or new-generation media company. They are part of Reliance Big Entertainment's long-term strategy for media investments in Hollywood, as it continues to build a fully integrated movie company with substantial holdings in production, distribution and exhibition. The deals also secure Indian rights for the films which Reliance co-finances.

Creative Artists Agency (CAA) was instrumental in brokering the deals and is advising Reliance Big Entertainment on its Hollywood strategy.

Anil Kapoor on a tour of Mumbai on CNN's show My City My Life
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He has been the talk of the nation or rather the world, thanks to his latest Oscar nominated film Slumdog Millionaire, and now this actor is all set to represent his city-Mumbai to the world. Anil Kapoor, the forever young hero of Bollywood will be seen hosting a show titled My City My Life on the reputed news network CNN.

The show takes the audience on a trip through what Anil terms as his city and his life, giving viewers and fans alike a glimpse into the life of Mumbai, right from the slums of Dharavi to the elite hot spots frequented by the filmi crème. All the while narrating to the viewers what he feels about the complex, diverse yet homely city of Mumbai.

So, get ready to tour our very own city of Mumbai with superstar Anil Kapoor.

Indian Movie Kaminey will not have abusive language
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"Just because the film's name is Kaminey, it doesn't mean that there would be 'gaali-galauj' in it. You can't help people from speculating though, can you? I don't know where these reports started getting generated. It's all rubbish", reacts a prominent crew member of Kaminey after browsing through the reports floating around the abusive content of this Vishal Bhardwaj directed film.

It was recently reported that since the film's narration had quite a few expletives, UTV Motion Pictures, the producers of the film, were alarmed and hence urged Vishal to drop all the foul language.

"Let's look at this way; we are talking about two big brands here - UTV and Vishal. None of the two would either take a decision in isolation or bow down before something that they are not convinced about. Let's talk about UTV first. It is a premier filmmaking house. Do you think it would have agreed to make the film in the first place if it wasn't convinced about the content and how it would eventually shape up", he questions.

He adds, "UTV is not new in the business. It knows how to package a film and present to the audience. It can differentiate between a mainstream film and the one for the niche audience and hence pitches it in the market accordingly. Kaminey couldn't have afforded to have 'gaalis' in the first place because it is as mainstream as it gets."

Talking in defense of Vishal Bhardwaj, he says, "Also, knowing Vishal Bhardwaj, we all know about the kind of conviction with which he makes his film. Do you think he would be willing to knock off something just because of pressure from factors outside his control? When he made Omkara, he knew what language he was talking about. The same holds good for Kaminey. First and foremost there was no foul language in Kaminey to begin with. And even if it had and Vishal would have shot the film in the way the script was written, he wouldn't have changed a frame until and unless he could convince himself that it wasn't required."

Says a source close to UTV, "Come on, we are talking about Shahid Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra here. We can't alienate our family audience and children if we have a colorful language in the narrative. Making Kaminey has been an out and out exciting experience. Let's not spoil the fun by bringing in such stupid talks. Someone out there decides to speculate something and everyone out here has to start defending something in a manner as if we are standing in a witness box. Not happening!"

Featuring Shahid Kapoor in a double role with Amol Gupte playing the main baddie, Kaminey is expected to release on 5th June.

Aftab to produce fairytale
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If you thought the global meltdown has put a stop to all fresh projects that were announced but didn't go on floors, you're mistaken. Sure, a few films have been put on hold, but not all projects have been aborted or put on the backburner.

Actor Aftab Shivdasani had serious plans of turning producer and he is giving shape to his dreams. "There's a lot happening on that front," Aftab says. His debut film as producer will be directed by Glen Baretto [of Glen-Ankush fame]. A fairtytale, the film has been scripted by Ravinder Manga and Aftab jointly. "I'll announce my film shortly," he says.

On the acting front, Aftab has four films lined up for release in the first half of 2009. He begins the year with the rom-com ALOO CHAAT, followed by Indra Kumar's DADDY COOL, an out-and-out comedy. Sanjay Gupta/Suparn Verma's ACID FACTORY follows next; this one's a thriller. Then, of course, there's the biggie KAMBAKKTH ISHQ, with Akshay and Kareena and lots of Hollywood names in its cast.

Where was Aftab all this while? Why was he lying low? "I was concentrating on my career. Plus, the film production activities were taking a lot of time," he says. The year 2009 should be a turning point in Aftab's career, for sure!

Ajay Devgan, Sanjay Dutt, Fardeen Khan, Bipasha in Rohit Shetty's next
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In his first directorial venture Zameen, Rohit Shetty had the opportunity to direct Ajay Devgan and Bipasha Basu. Since then, Rohit has worked with close friend Ajay in films like Golmaal, Sunday and Golmaal Returns but he never got a chance to work with Bipasha again.

Now after a hiatus of 6 years, Rohit will once again direct Ajay and Bipasha in Ajay Devgan's home production. The untitled film, which is supposedly a comedy, also stars Sanjay Dutt and Fardeen Khan in important roles. Shooting for the film will commence in the picturesque locales of Goa in March.

With such a hot-n-happening star cast shooting on the beaches of Goa, expect the mercury levels to rise this summer.

Jimmy Sheirgill to play SRK's brother in My Name Is Khan
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After bagging accolades from one and all for his powerhouse act in A Wednesday, things certainly seem to be looking brighter for Jimmy Sheirgill. The talented actor has been signed to play a pivotal role in Karan Johar's much talked about SRK- Kajol starrer My Name Is Khan.

If the buzz is to be believed, then Jimmy plays the role of SRK's brother in the film. The role was earlier supposed to be played by Jimmy's co-star from A Wednesday, Aamir Bashir. It may be recalled that Jimmy had starred with Shah Rukh way back in 2000 in Yash Raj Films' Mohabbatein.

Jimmy surely must be hoping that this time too, his pairing with SRK manages to strike gold at the B.O.

"Luck By Chance is the story of my life" - Arjun Mathur
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The talented young Arjun Mathur who plays Abhimanyu, Farhan Akhtar's committed actor-friend in Luck By Chance, will next be seen as a slum dweller in Barah Ana.

To play the role of the Bihari migrant, Arjun actually spent time in the Dharavi slums. Quite the slum-dog, thought certainly not a millionaire.

Arjun comes closest to being the character that he plays in the film. "It's the story of my life," Arjun says, speaking on his way back from Los Angeles where he has been shooting for Karan Johar's My Name Is Khan. "Like Abhimanyu, I've been struggling to find a place. Like him I'm not willing to compromise to get ahead."

The talented young actor is a Farhan Akhtar protégée. He was seen in two of Farhan and Zoya's short films in Mira Nair's Jago series. In one he played Shabana Azmi and Boman Irani's son. In the other he was Irrfan Khan's gay lover.

"I've absolutely no qualms in playing gay. It's just a role and it was for a noble cause. Even if I'm offered a homosexual's part in a mainstream film I'd do it provided it's not done stereotypically. In that sense I'm as fearless as my character Abhimanyu in Luck By Chance."

Arjun plays a young student-activist in Karan Johar's film. "It's an important role. As important as Jimmy Sheirgil's who plays Shah Rukh's brother. I instinctively look for roles which take me beyond the expected. More than the audience I want to surprise myself."

Akshay Kumar returns to television with 'Khatron Ke Khiladi Level 2'
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'Fear Factor Khatron Ke Khiladi' is back with its level 2 which promises to be bigger, better, and meaner than ever with surprises galore and the original Khiladi himself, Akshay Kumar as the host.

'Khatron Ke Khiladi Level 2' that begins on 'COLORS' later this year has every intention of taking you on a roller coaster ride of extreme stunts, galloping emotions and never before seen action on Indian television. This time, the show is looking for you, the viewers, who have it in them to accompany Akshay and his sultry sena on this mind boggling adventure. Those of you with an ability to perform under pressure and love and passion for adventure will be chosen through auditions that will be held all over the country later this year.

Speaking about the return of this action extravaganza, Ashvini Yardi, Programming Head, 'COLORS' said, "Fear Factor - Khatron Ke Khiladi Level 2 is going to be a notch higher in terms of bigger celebrity participants than the last season, the difficulty level of challenges and even Akshay Kumar! The inclusion of the common man as a co-contender will definitely create a lot of excitement. This time around, the show plans to pack in a bigger punch to make sure everyone joins in on the excitement. Also, Akshay will be playing a much bigger role than just of a mentor and a host - something definitely to watch out for!"

The action will begin in February when auditions will be held across the country for viewers who would like to participate in the show. Auditions will be held in Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Lucknow & Ahmedabad. COLORS will soon be revealing the names of celebrity participants on the show in a formal announcement in the next few months.

'Khatron Ke Khiladi Level 2' will be produced once again by format owners, Endemol India which is the world leader in entertainment programming and the producers of hugely successful format-based shows in more than 25 countries.

Priyadarshan to make a horror flick titled Grrr…
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Leading entertainment conglomerate Percept Picture Company (PPC) became the first studio to launch an organized, dedicated division for making movies belonging to the horror genre. Aptly called PPC Horrotainment, the studio will make small and medium budget films and plans to release 10 films in this genre. The newly launched division will also acquire and distribute films based on supernatural, folktales, witchcraft, fables, myths, ghost stories and other popular horror sub-genres.

The first film to be made under the banner of PPC Horrotainment is Grrr... which will be directed by well-known filmmaker Priyadarshan. Grrrr..., which is scheduled to go on floors in June 2009, is an action packed thriller about a beastly ghost which pounces on its prey in the darkness of the jungle. No one has seen it and whosoever has, never came back to tell the tale.

Speaking at the launch of PPC Horrotainment, Shailendra Singh, Joint M.D. Percept Limited said, "PPC has carved a niche for itself and created landmarks ever since its inception. The business model at PPC is based on identifying gaps and exploring their potential. This is done through a continuous understanding of consumer-entertainment-consumption patterns.We have been presenting movies of all genres. We believe that, 'If one sticks only to one genre, success will be lower'. We are delighted about the fact that PPC Horrotainment's first film with ace film maker Priyaradarshan "

Even director Priydarshan seemed excited at his association with PPC Horrotainment. "Percept Picture Company has consistently demonstrated its ability to dwell within various genres of entertainment. I am once again delighted to work with them and explore a new genre." said the prolific filmmaker.

Besides Grrr...some of the other films to be made under the banner of PPC Horrotainment include 888, 13, Mumbai and Vehem.

With one of the biggest production houses launching a separate, dedicated division to make movies of the horror genre, get ready to be shaken off your seats this year with some really scary spook fests.


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