Though many old and contemporary Bollywood films have been based on novels, including Devdas, Guide, Parineeta, Omkara and Maqbool, the trend has now taken a new turn.
Many filmmakers are now opting for contemporary English works which have been written by Indian authors, turning them into big screen material. We look at some such films.
Immortals of Meluha
Filmmaker Karan Johar is making a film based on author Amish Tripathi’s best-selling novel, Immortals of Meluha. The book, which released in 2010, tells the story of a Tibetan immigrant named Shiva, who is invited to the kingdom of Meluha, where he discovers his destiny. Karan seemed excited about buying the rights of the films, and was quoted as saying, “I was completely fascinated by the world of Meluha and the way Amish created it. I think the book lends itself beautifully for celluloid and we are very excited to promote Amish’s labour of love.”
Though the director and cast is yet to be decided, names such as Hrithik Roshan, Vidya Balan and Kareena Kapoor have been doing the rounds.
Bollywood adaptation of this book, written by author Chetan Bhagat, has been the talk of town ever since it was announced. Filmmakers Sajid Nadiadwala and Karan Johan are co-producing this film, which is being directed by debutant Abhishek Varman and has actor Arjun Kapoor in the lead. “I bought the rights of 2 States because I completely loved the book. I think Abhishek has done a fantastic job of the adaptation of this beautiful love story,” Sajid was quoted as saying. The search for a leading lady for the film is still in progress.
The 3 Mistake of my life
Filmmaker Abhishek Kapoor of Rock On!! fame is turning Chetan Bhagat’s book, Three Mistakes of my Life, into a film. The novel portrays the journey of three friends as they discover cricket, religion and business in their respective fields. Actors Raj Kumar Yadav, Amit Sadh and Sushant Singh Rajput are playing prominent roles in the UTV film which is titled Kai Po Che. Talking about the film, which is scheduled to hit the big screen early next year, Kapoor says, “I have retained 50% of the book and have changed the other 50% to suit its cinematic adaptation. The story demanded new faces and that’s the reason I have caste these actors. These guys are versatile, non-celebs and volatile.”
Mukul Sharma’s short story
Filmmaker Vishal Bhardwaj, who has earlier done cinematic adaptations of books such as Shakespeare’s Macbeth (Maqbool), Othello (Omkara) and Ruskin Bond’s short story, Susanna’s Seven Husbands (7 Khoon Maaf), is now working on his next adaptation. His upcoming film, Ek Thi Daayan, which stars actors Emraan Hashmi, Kalki Koechlin, Konkona Sen Sharma and Huma Qureshi, is inspired by a short story written by science writer and journalist, Mukul Sharma (Konkona’s father). “Vishal loved the story and it was him who asked Mukul Sharma to develop it into a full-fledged screenplay for Ek Thi Daayan,” says a source. The film, being co-produced by Ekta Kapoor and directed by filmmaker Kanan Iyer, is set to release in April next year. “When Vishalji came to us with the script, we loved it instantly. It’s not seen before kind of stuff… it’s massy and edgy,” says filmmaker Tanuj Garg. While Emraan plays a magician in the film, Kalki plays a bohemian girl in the adaptation, which is set in Mumbai.
And there are more
The film rights of Chetan Bhagat’s Revolution 2020: Love, Corruption, Ambition — which released in 2011, as well author Ashwin Sanghi’s book, Chanakya’s Chant (2010) have been acquired by UTV. “Both these adaptations are in the scripting stage,” says a source from the production house.