Actor Hugh Jackman visited the country in March this year for the FICCI Frames conference. During his short trip, he impressed everyone with his theatrics and even danced and sang with some of Bollywood’s biggest names, apart from expressing his desire to work in a Hindi film. But for now, his interest seems to have veered towards the business of entertainment in India, more than anything else.
According to insiders in the know, the Hollywood actor is keen on investing in the country and more particularly, in Mumbai. He was supposed to come to India this month to promote his upcoming sci-fi action flick Real Steel, but had to cancel his trip due to simultaneous promotion commitments abroad.
The X-Men star had plans to study the Indian entertainment market during his stay here, but since he couldn’t make it, he has been in touch with Reliance Entertainment executives to gather information on the number of theaters India has, how many of them are located in Mumbai and what the market share of Hollywood films in India actually is.
Says an official spokesperson for Reliance Entertainment, “It is true that Hugh Jackman has been in touch with us. He is looking at expanding the reach of his films, as an actor and producer in the Indian market, because he believes there is a possibility of heavier consumption of Hollywood films here. He has been enquiring about the number of theaters in Mumbai suburbs and all over the country. He wants to set up distribution of his films in the country. During his last visit (for FICCI) he was intrigued by the amount of business Bollywood does. He was also surprised to see the kind of response Hollywood films get in India, especially ones like Slumdog Millionaire (2008) and Avatar (2009).”
For the time being, the Australian actor seems to only be interested in exploring business opportunities with regards to Hollywood films. “As of now, we haven’t discussed any plans on Bollywood films doing business in India or abroad. But he is aware of the length, breadth and popularity of Bollywood films internationally and is keen on even working in one,” says the spokesperson.
Who is Hugh Jackman?
The Australian actor is most noted for his role as Wolverine in the X-Men film series. His next, Real Steel, releases on October 7.
Jackman distributes films abroad through his production company Seed productions which he jointly owns with his longtime assistant John Palermo. Jackman’s wife Deborra-Lee Furness is also involved in the Sydney-based company that focuses on financing low-budget films and harnessing local talent.