Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Remakes in the Other Direction

Indian cinema has for long been remaking Hollywood films unofficially(we're still talking about Kamal's part in this). Maybe we could call them freemakes(can I patent that?!). So its surprising when Indian movies are selected as the source for Hollywood remakes. And today there's news on not one but two such remakes.

- 20th Century Fox has acquired the rights to remake Vidhu Vinod Chopra's hit comedy Munnabhai MBBS. The film, titled Gangsta MD, will star comedian Chris Rock and will be directed by Mira Nair.

- More surprising is Malayalam director Vinayan's claim that he had been contacted by Hollywood director Ron Howard(the man behind Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind, etc.) to remake his Adbudhadhweep. The reason behind my surprise is twofold. One, the movie was a washout when it was released. And two, though I haven't seen the movie, the plot sounds similar to Gulliver's Travels, which has had several TV movie adaptations in Hollywood.

I guess these news items point to a further increase in popularity for Indian cinema in the world arena. Thats a good thing.

11 Comments:

At 9:49 AM, Anonymous Asokan said...

Uh.... wasn't VASOOL RAJA MBBS and its Hindi original already sort of a remake of the Robin Williams comedy-drama PATCH ADAMS (1998)!?! (the whole curing people with laughter angle)

 
At 10:06 AM, Anonymous Vijays said...

Sourced this from Galatta.com:
-Leonardo DiCaprio, the Titanic hero is to play the lead role of the Hollywood remake of a Malayalam film Albhudhadweep. Prithiviraj played the role in the original version.
The story is about four navy officers Hari (Prithiviraj), Joseph (Jagathy), Jagadish and Indrans being marooned on a remote island after their helicopter crashes in the sea. They reach this island where all men are dwarfs but the women are normal and beautiful. According to the folklore, some local deity has cursed the men who became dwarfs!
About 300 dwarfs have acted in this film. The fantasy fairy tale directed by Vinayan was a slow starter but gained momentum later.
Famed Hollywood director Ron Howard, director of English films like A beautiful Mind and Apollo 13 who was on a holiday to India happened to watch Albhuthadweep in a theatre at Cochin, Kerala. The film has fascinated the director so much that he immediately decided to remake it in English. He contacted director Vinayan and the formal agreement will be signed by Ron Howard’s assistant Michael John on the 18th of this month.
“All the 300 dwarfs will take part in the English film too. Usually we borrow ideas from Hollywood. Probably this is the first time they are taking our theme,” said director Vinayan.

 
At 10:52 AM, Blogger Munimma said...

freemakes applies only in India, so no point patenting, they will copy it anyway.
I have seen patch adams and the 2 mbbs movies. I don't really see the similarities, except for the fact that the mind (mental healing?) plays a part in healing.
Does the plot seem like Gulliver's travels? not really imho.
good thing indeed

 
At 12:17 PM, Anonymous ram said...

i'm very surprised how a good-but-certainly-not-great film like Munnabhai has gotten the international interest that has eluded several top-notch Tamil and Hindi productions over the years...not that a Hollywood remake is the biggest thing that could happen to a classic but still...

and reg. Vinayan, oh, my gosh...the guy makes such depressing films...i found both his Tamil films- Kaasi and another name whose title i forget- to be regressive...Ron Howard must check with his agent...has he heard of Mani Ratnam, at all??

freemakes-- nice word! yes, u should get a TM! but u guys...do all the anti-Kamal ranting u want...kamal, the actor, will always remain unparalleled...

 
At 9:46 PM, Blogger Ram.C said...

Direction by an Indian origin (Mira Nair) itself, reveals that impact on this news is not so big..

I feel that Indians will be inspired by Indian outputs and motivated to make some movies. The real vicotry will be if a hardcore westener looks into an Indian movie and gets inspired & makes a movie out of it.

 
At 11:22 PM, Blogger Zero said...

Balaji!
Wasn't "Gangsta M.D." an old news?
Yeah heard abt Vinayan's dwarf movie (last of his umpteenology on handicaps? no sarcasm) being remade by Ron Howard.
Interestingly, not only the mallu movie (which i guess will be more emotional, depreessing and sad version) seems to have similarities to Gulliver's travel (which is more kinda comedy), even Munnabhai was accused to be inspired from "Patch Adams". And, now hollywood is remaking both. Talk abt irony!

Ram.C,
Its no way a smaller news, because it just so happenned that Mira Nair is directing it (may be to understand the story better) and it wasn't her initiative. She was offered to direct it.

 
At 1:11 AM, Blogger F e r r a r i said...

Munnabhai to english ok. But why on earth Mira Nair(close competition with deepa mehta)? The worst ever movie director on planet earth!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 
At 11:21 AM, Blogger Balaji said...

ferrari, why all this anger towards Mira?! i really liked 'monsoon wedding' though 'bend it like beckham' wasnt as impressive. havent seen 'bride and prejudice' yet. but based on her resume, she does seem like a strange choice for 'gansgsta'. the director of 'analyze this' would be a good choice me thinks...

 
At 11:40 AM, Anonymous ram said...

bj, I dont *hate* Mira Nair coz she has one eternally shining gem on her resume- Salaam Bombay. But I do think she's quite overrated...Mississippi Masala, Perez Family, Kama Sutra, Monsoon Wedding--not a single worthwhile follow up to Salaam Bombay...wonder if she will ever do something thaz from the heart...The pedophilia subplot in Monsoon Wedding completely put me off...I thought it was handled in a very amateurish manner...some of the dialogs made me cringe...

PS: u know that it was Gurindher Chadha who directed BILBeckam and B&Prej, rite? as in, from ur post, i got the impression that you thot nair had directed those movies...

 
At 12:18 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

oops... thanx ram. i did confuse the 2 directors. So Mira has not directed anything after 'Monsoon Wedding'?

 
At 12:42 PM, Anonymous ra said...

"Vanity fair," with reese witherspoon.
it bombed...havent seen it...

 

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