Wanted: Remake Rights

Posted in Cinema, Tamil by Suganth on November 17, 2011

With Bollywood eager for content from the south, remake rights have become a source of income for Tamil film producers

Following the success of Tamil remakes in Hindi, Bollywood producers have been quite eager to buy the Hindi remake rights of Tamil hits for a handsome amount. While acclaimed director Anurag Kashyap is currently filming a (loose) remake of Subramaniapuram as Gangs Of Wasseypur, Hindi versions of Kanchana, Siruthai and Ko (both starring Akshay Kumar), Santhosh Subramaniam are on the way. This has now even become a channel of revenue for Tamil film producers.

Says Murali, the producer of Kanchana, “Even after our talks to remake the film with Salman fell through, we have been receiving a lot of offers from Bollywood producers for the remake rights. With mass movies enjoying better success there, the focus of Bollywood producers has currently shifted from multiplexes to the single screens. And they are very eager to buy content from the south.”

Murali agrees that remake rights have become a likely revenue stream for Tamil film producers today, something which did not exist five years ago. “Post Ghajini, Wanted and now Singham, remake rights have gone up. A successful Tamil film gets a minimum of Rs 1 crore as remake rights. Not only that, Bollywood TV channels are buying the dubbing rights now for a considerable amount (three to eight lakh for smaller films and even Rs 15 lakh for bigger films),” he reveals.

Even Tamil film directors too seem to be enjoying the benefits of the remake craze. While the most recent example is director Samuthirakani, who is now looking at remaking his yet-to-be released Poraali in Hindi, currently, there is a crop of filmmakers who are planning to take the remake route, as a shortcut to Bollywood. The list includes Gautham Vasudev Menon (remaking Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa as Ek Deewana Tha), Sushi Ganesh (remaking Thiruttu Payale as Shortcut Romeo), Lingusamy, (who is planning to remake Paiyya) and Raghava Lawrence (planning a remake of Kanchana). Talking about why he wants to do Poraali in Hindi, Samuthrakani says, “My film has a universal theme extolling the virtues of compassion. So, it will work well in Hindi as well.”

The trend began with director A R Murugadoss who tasted success (and how!) with his remake of Ghajini in Hindi. Now, Kollywood’s directors have latched on to the idea of remaking their own superhits in Hindi and making it big in B-Town. Recently, director Siddique had similar success by remaking his Kaavalan (which was a remake of his Malayalam film Bodyguard) in Hindi with Salman Khan.

Meanwhile, industry insiders also say that some of the ‘planned’ remakes are nothing but publicity stunts to either attract Bollywood producers, especially if the film was released some time back, or in the case of upcoming films, to keep film in the public eye. For instance, after its release, there were reports on Samuthrakani’s earlier film Nadodigal being made in Hindi but there has been no progress on that so far. So, does announcing a Hindi remake a way of creating publicity for films? “Not at all,” says Samuthrakani, “I don’t need to create publicity for my film through such gimmicks as there is already a lot of talk about the film,” he says and adds, “I sold the Hindi remake rights of Nadodigal to a popular Bollywood director but due to some issues, he has stalled the project for the time being. It is one reason why I have been clear in wanting to direct Poraali myself.”

Copyright ©2011 Chennai Times

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