Not so long ago, taking roles in mainstream films overseas was pretty much the domain of faded stars who needed some cash and figured the flicks were likely never going to see the light of day in the U.S. — Coolio playing an over-the-top villain in “China Strike Force” is just a less dignified version of Jodie Foster doing a Japanese cosmetics commercial. But lately plenty of established talent has been looking, happily, to Bollywood.
First, of course, there’s “Incredible Love,” the most expensive Bollywood production to date, which is being shot at Universal Studios and which will also be the unlikely first film to feature both Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger. The London Times describes it as “the story of an Indian stuntman who takes Hollywood by storm but cannot find true love there” — the film will star Akshay Kumar.
Before that, thought, Kumar’s going to be working with Snoop Dogg, reports the New York Post, to make a music video for the theme song of his upcoming romantic comedy “Singh Is Kinng,” “about a dreaded gang of criminals who are transformed by one good guy and his selfless love for a beautiful girl,” per Wikipedia.
I don’t know if Jennifer Lynch would fall under the category of “established talent,” but the director and daughter of David Lynch’s next film will also be a Bollywood production. “Nagin – The Snake Woman” is going to be shot simultaneously in Hindi and English, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Irrfan Khan, of “The Namesake,” will star and Robert Kurtzman will do the effects. Lynch’s last film, “Surveillance,” premiered at Cannes and was either so crazily bad it was great (my vote) or so crazily bad it was crazily bad (the opinion of many of my colleagues).
At the Guardian‘s film blog, Nirpal Dhaliwal notes a way in which outsourcing in the other direction has made its mark on Hindi film: “‘Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic’ (A Little Love, A little Magic) is the latest in a growing genre of Hindi children’s flicks that utilise a pool of talented Indian special-effects artists that’s grown with the outsourcing of digital production by US film studios to Mumbai and Bangalore.”
[Photo: Brande Roderick, formerly of “Baywatch,” stars (and speaks some Hindi!) in Apurva Asrani and Ramanjit Juneja’s “Out of Control,” Puja Films, 2003]
+ BOLLY-DOGG (New York Post)
+ Bollywood calls in Rambo for strike on US cinema (London Times)
+ Jennifer Lynch’s ‘Snake’ has two tongues (Hollywood Reporter)
+ Bollywood nights: A spoonful of schmaltz helps the misery go down (Guardian)