John Abraham’s debut production venture, Vicky Donor (2012), may have turned out to be a success at the box office, but director Shoojit Sircar was disappointed that the production house, Eros International, did not push the film for an Oscar nomination.
This came in the wake of Barfi! being announced as India’s official entry to the Academy Awards. Now, John has shown solidarity towards Shoojit by changing his business loyalties.
A highly-placed trade source reveals that the actor is now striking a deal with Viacom 18 Motion Pictures. “He will be co-producing his next two films — Jaffna and Hamara Bajaj — with Viacom 18. The deal has already been signed,” says the source. Both the films are, of course, being directed by Shoojit.
John, it seems, decided to go with Viacom 18 as he believes that the production house is dedicated towards promoting content-driven cinema, and shows a lot more ownership of their projects, post release. “The way Viacom promoted (filmmaker) Anurag Kashyap’s Gangs Of Wasseypur played a big role in the success of the films. So John believes Viacom is his best bet,” says the source.
John isn’t the only one who has chosen Viacom. Even Akshay Kumar decided to go with OMG: Oh My God!. “Thanks to the way the Paresh Rawal film was marketed, it turned out to be a success. It seems, John wants to replicate the same trend,” says the source.
When contacted, spokespersons from Viacom 18 chose not to speak on the subject.
Banana is produced by John Abraham and will mark the debut of Imtiaz Ali's younger brother Sajid. Hamara Bajaj is another Abraham production with Shoojit Sircar (of Vicky Donor fame).