Friday, June 26, 2009

Tadanobu Asano's Bollywood martial arts epic shelved?

by Chris MaGee

Way back in October of last year a very intriguing report came out about a project that would involve three things that you'd never think would come up in the same sentence: Tadanobu Asano would star in a Bollywood martial arts film produced by Disney. Strange, huh? But also maddeningly intriguing at the same time. The film, titled "The 19th Step", was rumoured to be budgeted at $50 million and would revolve around the 9th-century founding of the ancient Indian martial art of Kalarippayattu. Shortly after reporting on "The 19th Step" I spoke with Twitch Film's Todd Brown who mentioned that the film had been in development hell forever, and now according to a report at Nippon Cinema it looks like a million and one different factors will keep it that way for the foreseeable future.

According to the report Asano's proposed co-star and love interest, Asin Thottumkal, had injured her leg while practicing martial arts move and is currently out of commission. Then there is the current global swine flu pandemic that has hot Japan hard, hard enough to scare Indian film crews from traveling there to shoot scenes with Asano. Finally the film's producers have announced that there have been "creative differences" between them and one of the film's stars, but does that mean Asano or Thottumkal? Nothing is really clear except for the fact that production on "The 19th Step" has been postponed for an unknown amount of time. Too bad, it sounded really impressive.

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