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Saturday , April 20 2019

Bollywood’s ‘Thugs of Hindustan’ battles the British

‘Breaking Bad’ movie in the works

MUMBAI, Nov 7, (Agencies): Bollywood’s answer to “Pirates of the Caribbean”, the swashbuckling, star-studded “Thugs of Hindustan” sails into cinemas on Thursday, battling British colonisers on a quest for loot and box office records.

This year’s big release for India’s Diwali festival, the seafaring song-and-dance fest with superstars Aamir Khan and Amitabh Bachchan cost $42 million, making it the most expensive movie to date in the Hindi-language industry.

Filmed in India, Thailand and off the coast of Malta, it brings together for the first time Bachchan and Khan, two of Bollywood’s most bankable stars, in battles against the British East India Company in 1795, and with stunts and pyrotechnics galore.

With his witty one-liners, maverick persona and tousled hair, Khan’s character bears a strong resemblance to Johnny Depp’s lovable pirate rogue Jack Sparrow, and the movie has a strong whiff of the “Pirates” series.

“But story-wise, there is no similarity between the two films,” Khan, 53, insisted at a recent news conference in Mumbai.

His previous films including “Dangal”, “Dhoom 3” and “Secret Superstar” have broken box office records and amassed millions across India and beyond, including in China.

Directed by Vijay Krishna Acharya, “Thugs” also stars actresses Katrina Kaif and Fatima Sana Shaikh and all the cast underwent rigorous action training to dodge bullets, leap off burning ships in preparation for their battles with British soldiers.

Trade analysts believe it will break records and take in more than a one billion rupees ($15 million) over the long Diwali weekend, a highly auspicious time for India’s majority Hindu population.

“The move has hype, hysteria, scale and stars some of the biggest Indian superstars and has a holiday weekend to do humongous business,” analyst Akshaye Rathi told AFP.

“It will easily be one of Hindi film industry’s highest grossers with Aamir and Amitabh’s star power and will set new records,” Rathi added.


LOS ANGELES: Illumination founder Chris Meledandri wants to make an animated version of “Super Mario Bros” and Variety has the inside scoop on his plans for bringing the Mushroom Kingdom to the multiplexes.

It’s a daunting challenge. The classic Nintendo game about a pair of Italian plumbers who must rescue Princess Peach from the villainous Bowser has already inspired a critically reviled 1993 movie – it’s a film so bad that John Leguizamo said he and co-star Bob Hoskins drank between takes to dull the pain. Hoskins was slightly more judicious, saying it was one of the worst movies he ever made.

Meledandri, who is the producer behind “Despicable Me” and “The Secret Life of Pets”, relishes the challenge of adapting a property that previously suffered a bumpy transition from game console to the big screen.

“I like that this was not done well the first time,” he said. “I think that’s more exciting or more worthy than simply making another version of a film that was done incredibly well to begin with.”


LOS ANGELES: “Breaking Bad” may have had its finale in 2013, but Variety has confirmed that series creator Vince Gilligan is working on a new film with ties to the beloved series.

Gilligan is working on a two-hour film, though whether it’s destined for multiplexes or television is unclear.

Details are sparse, with no information on what shape the movie would take – a prequel like “Better Call Saul” or something else – or whether any of “Breaking Bad’s” stars will return. The Albuquerque Journal includes a logline stating the film “tracks the escape of a kidnapped man and his quest for freedom.”

The Journal also reports the title as “Greenbriar”, though whether that’s the final title is in the air as well. Production in the Duke City is scheduled to begin mid-November through early February, according to the Journal.

Gilligan, sources say, will pen the script, executive produce and possibly direct. Breaking Bad and prequel series Better Call Saul exec producers Mark Johnson and Melissa Bernstein are also said to be attached to the film project, which is said to follow the escape of a kidnapped man and his quest for freedom. Production is expected to begin this month in New Mexico. The New Mexico Film Office confirmed that a project with the title of Greenbriar is slated to shoot in in the region.

Breaking Bad became a critical breakout for AMC and ran for five seasons. AMC and producers Sony TV quickly greenlighted the prequel Better Call Saul as Gilligan’s follow-up series. Saul, featuring Bob Odenkirk’s small-time lawyer, has been renewed for a fifth season, which set to air in 2019.

The Breaking Bad movie would mark Gilligan’s first project to stem from the new three-year overall deal he signed with Sony TV in July. Sources said the pact is valued at less than $50 million as Gilligan is not in the same volume space as producers like Shonda Rhimes and Ryan Murphy, who both signed nine-figure deals with Netflix.

A Breaking Bad film (of any sort) would be a boon for Sony TV, which, as an independent studio, has been fighting an uphill battle in an era when ownership has become increasingly important.

Gilligan’s new deal keeps one of television’s most respected showrunners in the business at the studio, which continues to focus on cable and streaming deals after a dismal upfront season in which it landed one new series on the five broadcast networks.

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