Preity Zinta’s first home production, Ishkq In Paris is going to be an Indo-French collaboration with actors from both countries. “The film should go on the floors by year-end and will be shot entirely in Paris in a start-to-finish three- month schedule,” informs director Prem Soni. “We are looking at a summer 2012 opening and will be announcing the release date soon.”
Meanwhile, Prem and Preity are in talks with a ‘supportive’ French government for permission to shoot the rom-com at some popular tourist spots in the world’s romance capital, which mirror the local culture and history. “We will definitely be shooting at the historic Eiffel Tower,” asserts the director.
“We are also in talks with an agent to get the car used in Transformers 2 (2009), it’s built into our script.” The script took Prem a year to complete and the title came along with it: “I was shuttling between Paris and Ishkq In Paris. I settled for the latter because ishq (love) has a nice ring to it. It means love and after Love In Tokyo (1966), Ishkq In Paris will take our Bollywood prem kahanis (love stories) one step ahead,” he smiles.
Some time ago, Katrina Kaif was toying with the idea of turning producer with a film titled Paris. Prem insists that this is not the same film. “I took my story to Preity first since it goes with her chulbuli (perky) image. She’s a friend who’d done a special appearance in my debut film, Main Aur Mrs Khanna (2009). She loved the narration I gave her, and immediately agreed to play the lead and then enquired about who was producing it. I asked her to do it herself since she’s been thinking of making a movie anyway,” he reminisces.
Main Aur Mrs Khanna, even with Salman Khan and Kareena Kapoor in the lead, didn’t work commercially. Prem has put the failure behind him. “It only pushed me to work harder and make sure I didn’t repeat the same mistakes. I don’t want to live in the past. That film didn’t do well, this one must. Period,” he shrugs.
“I’m lucky to have Preity on board because though she’s a first-time producer, after being around for over a decade as an actor, she knows the business well.” Preity reportedly is in talks with top fashion houses in Paris for an endorsement tie-up and there are plans to create one classic little black dress along the lines of what Audrey Hepburn wore in Breakfast At Tiffany’s (1961) that she will be co-designing and launching as part of her signature line. Prem nods, “Yeah, there’s a plan. In fact there are several plans. Merchan-dising is part of script.”