R-ADAG’s BIG Pictures to launch formally with 30+ films

MUMBAI: The cat’s finally out of the bag! Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group’s (ADAG) entertainment arm, which has been doing its ground-work on the motion picture business for the last one year, has now firmed up its plans.

The formal launch of the company’s motion picture banner – BIG Pictures – is slated to take place in the coming two weeks. Additionally, all movies that were under the Adlabs umbrella are likely to come under BIG Pictures. All in all, the company has more than 30 movies lined-up that are under various stages of development.

Last year, Businessofcinema.com was the first to report that Reliance is setting up its BIG boutique, which will house all the entertainment related businesses of the company.

BIG Pictures is betting big on Hindi as well as regional films. Businessofcinema.com is privy to the company’s line-up of more than 30 films that will release over the next two – three years.

In the regional cinema space, BIG Pictures has trained its eyes on Bengali films and has at least 12 films in the pipeline. Directors like Rituparno Ghosh, Buddhadeb Dasgupta, Shwopan Shah and Haranath Chakraborty will be directing films for Ambani’s banner. Ghosh’s film Sab Choritra Kalponik starring Bipasha Basu is also a part of the bouquet.

Apart from Bengali cinema, BIG also has two- three Tamil films, a Telugu film, and two Malayalam films. One of the Malayalam films will have south star Mammootty in the lead.

As far as Hindi films are concerned, BIG Pictures has a five film deal with Ritesh Sidhwani and Farhan Akhtar’s Excel Entertainment, a three film deal with Vidhu Vinod Chopra and a two film deal with Sudhir Mishra.

On the other hand, film projects under Adlabs’ wing, which may shift to the BIG Pictures banner include acquisitions and productions like Dulha Mil Gaya, Love Story 2050, Halla, Rajnikanth’s animated flick Sultan, B R Films’ Banda Yeh Bindaas Hai starring Govinda, Tabu and Lara Dutta, overseas rights of Aamir Khan starrer Gajini, Ahmed Khan produced Paathshala starring Shahid Kapur and Nana Patekar, 13 B starring Madhavan (which is also simultaneously being made in Tamil and is titled Yavaram Nallam) and a Punjabi film Mera Pind – My Home directed by Manmohan Singh.

According to industry sources, Excel Entertainment will be delivering all five films by the first quarter of 2011. These include Don 2, Rock On, Luck By Chance and Voice From The Sky.

While Don 2 will Shah Rukh Khan, Rock On will be Farhan Akhtar’s debut as an actor. The film also stars Arjun Rampal, Prachi Desai, Purab Kohli, Sahana Goswami and Luke Kenny and is currently on floors. It is being directed by Abhishek Kapoor and is slated to release in August this year.

Zoya Akhtar’s directorial venture Luck By Chance will star Farhan Akhtar and Konkona Sen Sharma with Hrithik Roshan in a special appearance. Luck By Chance will go on floors in the first week of April and will release towards the end of the year.

Farhan Akhtar’s second film Voice From The Sky is a period film depicting the era when telephones came into existence. This will be directed by Akhtar before Don 2. Other films include an untitled thriller by Reema Kagti.

BIG Pictures’ co-production deal with Sushir Mishra includes two films – Good Soldier starring Sanjay Suri and Mammootty and Who’s Speaking tentatively starring Shiney Ahuja.

The films from Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s banner include Idiot directed by Rajkumar Hirani starring Aamir Khan and Kareena Kapoor along with two more which are still under finalization.

With this mammoth line-up, BIG Pictures is slated to make some BIG noise in the coming days in the Indian motion picture industry.

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Rohini Bhandari

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