Ashok Amritraj's next stop Asian movie market

7 years ago

By Bedika After producing films in Hollywood for three decades, Ashok Amritraj now wants to focus on the movie business in India and China, which he believes is growing by leaps and bounds.

The producer says while the markets in North America are slowing, there has been a great increase in the movie watching crowd in Asian countries.

"Indian market is growing but it will always be dominated by Indian cinema. Hollywood films are growing too, which is a good trend. As my company Hyde Park Entertainment expands globally I want to turn my attention to India and china," Amritraj told PTI in an interview.

The producer, however, is very clear about the kind of movies he wants to put his money into. "If I came back here. I don't want to do something classic Bollywood or Tamil. I want to do  something different with innovative young filmmakers," he said.

Amritraj, 55, left tennis to become a Hollywood producer and in his own words "got knocked down pretty often" in the process before finding success with "Double Impact".

He is looking forward to the release of his latest production-- Nicolas Cage, Johnny Blaze and Idris Elba starrer 3D film "Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance", this Friday. The film is being distributed by Warner Bros in India with 400 to 500 prints out of the 6000 prints for the global market. Amritraj hopes that the film hits the number one spot in the first week of its release.

The producer says "Ghost Rider" comes with its own brand of entertainment. "It was great fun partnering with Sony and Marvel on this. Nick (Cage) is back as ghost rider but the visual effects are far better this time. 3D was perfect to capture the depth of action."

The dark shades of the character is what attracted Amritraj to the movie among other things. "It is great to have a brand and title. I always wanted to work with marvel. Nick's character walks the line between good and evil and from that standpoint I thought the screenplay was really good."

It has been 31-years in Hollywood for Amritraj and he has produced successful films like "Premonition", "Bringing Down The House", "Bandits" and "Antitrust".

Amritraj recalls his early days when everyone thought he was out of his mind to leave tennis for showbiz. "It has been 31 years. The last 21 have been successful. I have had really good luck, worked with great stars like Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman, Silvester Stallone, Bruce Willis, Sandra Bullock and Steve Martin. It has been a terrific ride.

"When I took the plunge, I knocked on many doors and most of the time got it slammed on my face. I got knocked down pretty often but sports teaches you perseverance, passion and dedication. After "Double Impact" things started to change.

When I knocked the doors opened more easily and now they come knocking on my door."

Besides his partnership with Abu Dhabi's company, he has also teamed up with National Geographic Films.

"We will do feature films that are factual, something like "Gandhi" and then there are documentaries." He is producing the remake of "Phone", a 2002 South Korean horror film and adapting "Thunder Run" for a movie.

"The subject matter is really difficult. It is about America's tank attack on Bagdad. The film will have CGI environment similar to '300'," said Amritraj.

Though Amritraj refuses to give details about the star cast, the film will reportedly star Gerard Butler, Sam Worthington and Matthew McConaughey. PTI

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