MUMBAI: Viacom 18’s film outfit Studio 18, which has been in the news lately for the high attrition rate of its senior management, is now firming up its movie pipeline for 2011 under the its new team. After delivering a string of flops like It’s A Wonderful Afterlife, Striker, ShortKut, Luck, Road Movie, Kidnap, Hum Tum Aur Ghost amongst others, the company has now lined up seven films with a total budget of more than Rs 1 billion (Rs 100 crore).
Studio 18 has inked a four film co-production deal with producer – director Anurag Kashyap. The first movie is Shaitan, which will be directed by Bijoy Nambiar and stars Kalki Koechlin, Shiv Pandit and Rajat Kapoor. The second film is tentatively titled Michael, which will be directed by Ribhu Dasgupta and stars Nasseruddin Shah and Mahie Gill amongst others. As per information available with Businessofcinema.com, the cost of production (COP) of Shaitan and Michael is approximately Rs 50 million (Rs 5 crore) each (excluding print and advertising).
As as a part of this co-production deal, Kashyap will also direct a movie called Gangs of Wasseypur, which will be made in two parts. This will be a musical gangster film spanning three decades and both parts will be made on a total budget of approximately Rs 300 – 350 million (Rs 30 – 35 crore). This will be Kashyap’s most ambitious project till date and stars Manoj Bajpai, Nowazudin, Piyush Mishra, Jameel Pathak, Vipin Sharma, Richa Chaddha, Huma Qureshi, Reema Sen, Anurita Jha, Rajkumar Yadav, Jaideep Ahlawat, Gaurav Sharma, Anurag Basu and Tigmanshu Dhulia. Kashyap wrote on his Twitter about the film, "A cast of 140 actors.. it’s Black Friday meets Satya meets Dev.D."
Additionally, Studio 18 has also inked a co-production deal with Amitabh Bachchan’s AB Corp for a movie called Buddah. The movie will be directed by Puri Jagannath (Pokiri) and will be made on a budget of approximately Rs 250 – 280 million (Rs 25 – 28 crore). Starring senior Bachchan in the lead role, the rest of the star cast is still being finalised. Jagannath is a prominent director of South Indian films and this will be his first Hindi film.
Another film that Studio 18 will be producing is the official remake of Chashme Buddoor, which will be directed by David Dhawan. The movie is currently in its pre-production stage and casting for it is underway. The movie is being made on a budget of approximately Rs 250 – 300 million (Rs 25 – 30 crore).
As has been previously reported by Businessofcinema.com, Studio 18 is also producing the official remake of The Italian Job, which has been titled Players and stars Abhishek Bachchan, Neil Nitin Mukesh, Omi Vaidya, Bobby Deol, Sikandar Kher, Johnny Lever, Bipasha Basu and Sonam Kapoor. The first schedule of the film was recently completed in Goa. The movie is being directed by the Abbas – Mastan and is being made on a budget of approximately Rs 500 million (Rs 50 crore).
Studio 18 will also be releasing Tanu Weds Manu. A source close to the development informs that the movie’s shooting is complete and Studio 18 will be working closely on the post-production of the film. Tanu Weds Manu is directed by Anand Rai and stars R Madhavan, Kangana Ranaut, Jimmy Shergill, Deepak Dobriya and Aijaaz Khan. It is produced by Shailesh Singh and Bohra Brothers.