After winning the National Award for I Am (2011), Onir will now flag off an adaptation of Hamlet by the year-end. For this, he is transporting the Shakespearean play from Denmark to the corporate world of today’s London and Lucknow. It will reflect the dilemma between the modern and traditional.
“I visited IIM Lucknow early last year and decided to shoot Hamlet in the city of Shatranj Ke Khiladi (1977) and Umrao Jaan (1981),” says Onir, who will start a countrywide talent hunt for the two lead pairs. “With films like Ishqzaade, Vicky Donor and Gangs Of Wasseypur doing well this year, it’s the right time to bring in fresh faces.”
Hamlet will be Onir’s first studio collaboration and he’s looking to open the film in the second half of 2013. “We will crowd-source some of the talent from smaller cities. The National Award was a validation for the work we’ve been doing and gives us the confidence to go on. In a way it’s easier now, but the challenges are bigger since we want to reach out to a world audience,” says Onir, who was recently in Germany working on his script. He also screened I Am in Paris on June 26 to mark its French release, followed by its screening in Switzerland.
Tigmanshu Dhulia does a Hamlet too In 2001, director Tigmanshu Dhulia and producer-director Goldie Behl had discussed making a film on Hamlet. “He’s such an enigmatic hero, dynamic yet self-defeating,” says Shrishti Behl, Goldie’s producer-sister. “In these 10 years, we’ve grown up and are better equipped for Hamlet.” Are the rumours that Abhishek Bachchan will play the part true? “We’ve just started. How can we even begin thinking of the casting till it is locked?” she says.