UTV goes to Hollywood, launches first American production

May 17th, 2008 - 9:50 am ICT by admin  

By Subhash K. Jha
Mumbai, May 17 (IANS) Bollywood corporate houses are venturing into co-production in association with American and European studios. But UTV has gone a step further by producing its first Hollywood film, which is being shot in Texas. Titled “The Exterminators”, it features Heather Graham, Jennifer Coolidge and others and is being directed by cinematographer-turned-director John Inwood.

“We’ve done co-productions like the new Manoj Night Shyamalan film ‘The Happening’, which we did as a tie-up with 20th Century Fox. That was the first tie-up of its kind from Asia. The biggest thing we’ve done so far. Logically, the next step was to do our own independent production in the US,” said Siddharth Roy Kapoor, CEO, UTV Motion Pictures.

After producing hits like “Rang De Basanti”, “Life In A… Metro”, “Khosla Ka Ghosla”, UTV has decided to start its Hollywood production on a manageable scale.

“I don’t think any studio in India has made a film in the US. It’s a $2 million production, hence a small film by both Hollywood and Bollywood standards.

“‘The Exterminators’ is a script that came to us and we really liked. And the fact that someone as popular as Heather Graham wanted to do it obviously clinched the matter for us. She isn’t even charging her full fee, that’s how much she loved the script.”

The film is a black comedy about a group of women who come together to take revenge on all the men who’ve wronged them.

Interestingly, UTV is targeting this film at North America.

“It isn’t a very big investment. It’s meant predominantly for American viewers. And this is the director’s first film. So he shares our enthusiasm. Once the film is ready for release, we’ll start talking to American distributors. Or we can do it ourselves. It’d be a very different distribution express from what we usually do. Our line producers are present on the sets in Texas all through.”

UTV will decide its future in the US after “The Exterminators” is released.

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