MUMBAI: There have been many instances in the past where big production houses collaborated to create cinematic brilliance on the big screen. Now, news comes that Lionsgate has made its way to Indian shores for the first time.
One of the leading global entertainment conglomerate, and Endemol India, operating under the banner ‘Eyedentity Motion Pictures,’ will co-produce the sports drama Warrior in Hindi for the Indian subcontinent.
Warrior (2011), inspired by Lionsgate’s critically-acclaimed North American release of the same name, will be the first film jointly produced by the two companies in India.
“We have got a prestigious title that a lot of people have been vying to get into the country, but we have beaten the competition to it. We have isolated a few other titles as well, but currently we are focused on this acquisition,” said Endemol India CEO Deepak Dhar. “Action-filled and emotionally powerful with themes of forgiveness and the enduring bonds of family, Warrior will be a quality film made with top-of-the-line production values that we believe will strike a responsive chord with Indian audiences.”
The partnership was negotiated by Rohit Tiwari at Morris St. Advisors, Lionsgate's agents in India.
Commenting on the association with Endemol India, Lionsgate president of worldwide television & digital distribution Jim Packer said, “Lionsgate is committed to identifying opportunities to produce and deliver motion pictures, television programming and other premium content to one of the largest and fastest-growing markets in the world.”
Inspired by the American film of the same name, Warrior tells the story of two estranged brothers and deals with their struggling relationship with each other and their father. The film will be adapted for Indian audiences and re-written for Indian tastes. Its focus on contact sport will be integral to the storyline and will position Warrior as one of the few sports dramas made in India.
Lionsgate COO of international distribution Andrew Kramer added, “Warrior is the kind of locally-produced property based on timeless themes that we expect to resonate with mainstream commercial audiences in India, and our partnership with Endemol’s Eyedentity Motion Pictures will bring valuable local expertise to our venture.”
Lionsgate is a global entertainment company whose roster of mainstream commercial releases includes The Hunger Games and Twilight franchises which have grossed nearly $5 billion combined at the worldwide box office.
Eyedentity Motion Pictures and Lionsgate are currently finalising the cast for the film which is scheduled to go into production in December 2014.
“We are looking for established actors to reprise the role of the two brothers and the role of the father, which has been made iconic in the film,” adds Dhar.
Endemol India has also partnered with Fox Star Studios for its ‘emotional thriller’, Traffic in the recent past. It marks the foray of Endemol into Hindi film industry as its first venture. Traffic is the Hindi adaptation of the critically acclaimed Malayalam blockbuster of the same name and will release in April 2014. The movie showcases a high voltage drama and a battle against time when stakes run high and life is in danger. The film stars Manoj Bajpai and Jimmy Shergill in the lead roles along with Bengali actor Prosenjit, Parambrata (of Kaahani fame), Divya Dutta, Kitu Gidwani and Sachin Khedekar. It will be helmed by the national award winning film maker Rajesh Pillai and adapted screenplay by Suresh Nair; with music by Mithoon.
Eyedentity Motion Pictures (the film arm of Endemol India) marks its film debut in the southern market with the bilingual film (Tamil and Telugu) Anaamika (adaptation of Kahaani) in association with Viacom18 Motion Pictures and Moving Pictures. South actress Nayantara depicts a woman's search for her missing husband that brings her from US to Hyderabad and is aptly supported by actors Vaibhav Reddy and Pasupathy.
The film is directed by critically acclaimed filmmaker Sekhar Kammula which is slated for release in April, 2014. Screenplay adapted by Sekhar Kammula and Yandamoori Veerendranath, music and background score composed by National Award winning music director M.M Keervani.
With such a busy slate and more movies in the pipeline, Endemol India’s Eyedentity Motion Pictures looks set to become a production house to reckon with in the coming years.