EXCLUSIVE: Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan has signed with Resolution. Bachchan is considered the icon of the Indian film industry and recently starred in Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby. His breakthrough role was in the film Zanjeer which established his persona of the “angry young man” of Bollywood. Amitabh reworked the image of the Hindi film hero with major hits like Deewar, Sholay, Trishul and Don. He popularized the violent melodrama genre but had an equal flair for tragedies and comedies. Attesting to his popularity, the entire nation of India prayed for his recovery during a near fatal accident on a film set in 1982. The agency will look to build the Hollywood feature momentum that came with Gatsby. Bachchan was once set to star in the Warner Bros film Shantaram when the film got shelved because of the writer’s strike; it’s unclear whether he’ll be involved as it is coming back together with Joel Edgerton starring.
As Bollywood celebrates its 100th birthday on May 3, the release of commemorative film Bombay Talkies approaches — but not without some controversy. The film, which will be the subject of a gala presentation at the Cannes Film Festival later in the month, celebrates 100 years of Hindi cinema via four short stories directed by Karan Johar, Zoya Akhtar, Dibakar Banerjee and Gangs Of Wasseypur‘s Anurag Kashyap. The latter will be in Cannes for the second year in a row in the Directors’ Fortnight sidebar with Ugly, and he’s also a co-producer on official selection title Monsoon Shootout. Both his and Akhtar’s segments of Bombay Talkies have reportedly come under fire in India from filmmakers who claim similarities to their own work. The directors are understood to have refuted the claims.
Veteran Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan, who will be in Cannes to walk the red carpet for his first Hollywood role in The Great Gatsby, stars in Bombay Talkies. But despite being an accomplished singer, Bachchan does not appear in the star-studded video for the movie’s official theme song “Apna Bombay Talkies” (see below), and this has caused some upset among critics and fans, according to ZeeNews. Billed as “special appearances”, about 20 Bollywood bigshots feature in the music video including Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan, Anil Kapoor, Imran Khan, Saif Ali Khan and Priyanka Chopra. But not appearing are such stars as Bachchan, Dilip Kumar, Abhishek Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai and Salman Khan. Indian journalist Shobhaa De tweeted on Saturday: “Not a single shot of Salman Khan in the parade of Bollywood Greats (Bombay Talkies)? His absence registered more than several presences!” The Hindustani Times Sunday Magazine also said today, “We love this Bombay Talkies video, but where are Salman and Amitabh?” Either way, could the infectious anthem be the next Jai Ho? Here’s the trailer for Bombay Talkies, and below is the music video in question:
At 70 years old, Amitabh Bachchan has acted in more than 180 films, won scores of awards and once held the top spot on Box Office India’s highest-earning actors list for 16 consecutive years. He is also a producer and singer whose family is its own industry dynasty: His wife is Jaya Bhaduri Bachchan, who worked with legendary director Satyajit Ray, and his son is Bollywood movie star Abhishek Bachchan, who is married to Aishwarya Rai. In a nod to Bachchan’s clout at home, he recently Q&A’d Steven Spielberg for a Reliance-sponsored event during the director’s swing through Mumbai. But Bachchan had never had a role in a Hollywood production until Baz Luhrmann recruited him to play underworld businessman Meyer Wolfsheim in The Great Gatsby. Bachchan keeps a meticulous blog that he updates daily and on it he recently posted the story of how he came to be cast in the movie and offered some insight into the filming. The Great Gatsby premieres in New York on May 1 and opens the Cannes Film Festival on May 15. “At the end of all this,” Bachchan recently wrote, “I would require a year to recover from symptoms of acute delusion as to what, where and why I am.” His Gatsby blog post is excerpted on the next page: