John to step into mainstream Hollywood

Deepa Mehta makes announcement of her latest film starring John Abraham. However, it?s with Julia Hill by his side, not Bipasha Basu.

The exclusive UTV press and industry luncheon held on May 18 was a known entity with invitations sent out early. But Deepa Mehta breezing into Cannes that very day for an even more select cocktail do, was a surprise. The two bonded over one factor: John Abraham.

The UTV gathering, mounted with style and precision by Amrita Pandey and consultant Gayatri Gulati, collected an impressive international media turnout at a sit-down lunch held at the Majestic Hotel. The audio visual that CEO Ronnie Screwvala introduced documented the strides that UTV was making, at present and into the future. Screwvala obviously is hands on when it comes to the international bridges his company wants to pioneer. The planned strategy with which UTV is entering both the domestic product and international tie-ups is yielding results. The audience being catered to is the young 15 to 30 years in both. UTV is involved with Night Shyamalan’s new film and in talks with backing films with the American actor Will Smith.

Screwvala underlined the huge impact that Rang de Basanti has made not only on the box-office but also on the youth of India, serving as a role model for involved action (he cited examples). The film is now going to be re-released internationally in a shorter version under the title The Colour of Sacrifice. He then presented excerpts of Ashutosh Gowarikar’s latest magnum opus, Jodha Akbar, demonstrating the magnitude and production values of this period historical film. The director and his stars, Aishwarya Rai and Hrithik Roshan, were not present because of altered shooting dates for the film. Sunita Gowarikar represented all of them on behalf of the film.

Then it came to the UTV highlight, bringing the first two stars so far from India – John Abraham and Bipasha Basu. They talked about the coming big UTV release, Goal, now in post-production. Screwvala pointed out that the film was about football despite India’s cricket mania. Bipasha said, “The film is essentially Indian in sprit although it is set and shot entirely in England.” Abraham then elaborated on the film’s story. He said, “The film is about an Indian who plays for an English football team but on reacting to racism and related unfairness, he switches to an Indian team.” Both John and Bips were under constant press and audience scrutiny.

Deepa Mehta flew in that day from Canada for the announcement of her latest film which begins its shoot this autumn in Southern California. This film will star John Abraham, who had earlier signed for Mehta’s projected movie Exclusion, on the ship that brought in the first Sikh settlers into Canada, which is now on hold. Mehta’s next is titled Luna, based on the true story of the steely courage and death-defying grit displayed by a young woman consumed with the will to save the magnificent tall trees in the Red Wood forests of the US, supposedly a protected area, which were being cut down by greedy timber merchants. The film’s poster says, “On 10th December, 1997, Julia ‘Butterfly’ Hill climbed a 180 foot tree. 738 days later she came down to earth and discovered she had changed the world”. The young lady who chose to undergo this ordeal, Julia Hill, was present. With this film, Abraham makes it to mainstream America, playing the lead in an entirely Hollywood-produced movie. “Another Oscar nomination?” he cheerily asked his audience.

Source: mumbaimirror


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