There was a time when Bollywood filmmakers didn’t think twice before copying Hollywood movies, and called it ‘just an inspiration’.
But gone are those times.
Now, it’s official — as many as seven upcoming Hindi films have been announced as certified remakes of international movies. These include desi adaptations of Hollywood films Oculus (2013), Warrior (2011), The Fault in our Stars (2014) and Buried (2010), French films Intouchables (2011), Beautiful Lies (2010) and Priceless (2006), and South Korean film, The Man from Nowhere (2010).
While the Oculus remake will star sibling duo Huma Qureshi and Saqib Saleem, the Warrior adaptation, titled Brothers, will feature actors Akshay Kumar and Siddharth Malhotra in the lead.
Other such films whose star casts have been confirmed are the Beautiful Lies remake, titled Shimla Mirchi and starring Hema Malini, Rajkummar Rao and Rakul Preet Singh, and that of The Man from Nowhere, titled Rocky Handsome, which stars actor John Abraham.
Film trade experts feel that filmmakers now prefer to buy the rights of an international flick because of increasing global awareness.
“Foreign production houses are becoming increasingly guarded about their films,” says trade analyst Komal Nahta. “Also, since there were some cases where Hollywood biggies took Bollywood copycats to court, Indian filmmakers got somewhat scared and thought it best to officially acquire film rights to avoid any legal hassles,” he adds.
But blatant copy or rightful remake notwithstanding, why is it that the Hindi film industry continues to look overseas for ideas? “When you do a remake, the outside world might be aware about the film, but it definitely has potential in India, provided you localise the story. If the remake is a little different from the original flick, it will thrill the audience even more,” says Mickey Virus (2013) filmmaker Saurabh Varma, who has acquired the rights of Buried.
Trade expert Girish Johar seconds that: “An international film has to be re-interpreted according to the taste of the Indian audience. That’s where creativity comes in.”