MUMBAI : The box-office success of Taxi No. 9211 and Rang De Basanti have prompted UTV Motion pictures into big time production activities. Meanwhile, they have taken over Hrithik Roshan ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ Aishwarya starrer Akbar-Jodha from Adlabs. It is said that the film has been acquired on the lines of Ashutosh Gowarikar’s Swades, reportedly on the issue of completion agreement.
This apart, UTV is producing four films, viz; Rock Star to be directed by Imtiaz Ali and starring John Abraham at a fabulous fee. The next is titled as Metro. It will be directed by Anurag Basu and will star Shiney Ahuja, Shilpa Shetty, Konkona Sen and Irrfan Khan.
The third one is Rahgeer and is directed by Rituparno Ghosh. Suniel Shetty and Arjun Rampal have backed out to play the lead. Stepping in is Akshay Kumar. Negotiations are on with Aishwarya Rai to play the female lead.
Last but not the least the fourth one is titled as Hat Trick. Directed by Milan Luthria, it stars Nana Patekar, Paresh Rawal and Naseeruddin Shah with Kunal Kapoor (post Rang De Basanti), Sharman Joshi, Rimii Sen and Hema Malini lends her grace to the proceedings. The film has elements of cricket running through it and will be released a month before the ICC Cricket World Cup ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ February 2007.
Ronnie Screwvala, CEO of UTV says, “Being a large corporate house, we are well equipped to handle 4 to 6 films at a time. The total investment of these five films should be around Rs. 800 million (Rs. 80 crore). Together we have developed a unique concept and assembled a fabulous cast to see them through. Having a worldwide distribution network is like having an ace up the sleeve. We are pleased to be doing these films with all the talented directors who are in complete sync with the cinematic language of today.”