Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Tadanobu Asano to star in a Walt Disney Bollywood film?

by Chris MaGee

I'll let that headline settle in for a few seconds before I go on. Asano. Walt Disney. Bollywood.

Okay, you ready for details now? Good.

News has come from a couple of Indian entertainment news sources (here and here that Tadanobu Asano has been cast in a martial arts film titled "19 Steps". Set in India during the 9th century, the story will follow Asano as a student of the ancient Indian martial art of Kalarippayattu (read more about it here). His teacher will be played by Indian megastar Kamal Hassan (above left) while Asano's love interest will be portrayed by beautiful Bollywood newcomer Asin. "19 Steps", set to start shooting next this coming summer with an estimated $50 million budget, will be a co-production between India's Bharath Bala Productions and Walt Disney. The aim is to give the film international appeal so expect to see every last penny of those $50 million on the screen.

Asano has never been afraid of taking roles outside Japan. His Russian/ Kazakhstani Genghis Khan bio-pic "Mongol" got nominated for best foreign languge film at this year's Oscars and he's been a frequent collaborator with Thai director Pen-Ek Ratanaruang, but a Walt Disney co-produced Indian martial arts films? The idea just makes me giddy... and nervous at the same time. Let's hope this one is brilliant. More news on this as it comes out.

1 comment:

Todd said...

Koji Yakusho was originally attached to this, something like a year or year and a half ago. I'm hoping it gets made but it's been a LOOOOOONG time in development ...