Mandalay Pictures has picked up the rights to adapt Ramayan 3392 A.D., a comic book created by philosopher Deepak Chopra and filmmaker Shekhar Kapur (the Elizabeth films) that is essentially a simplified sci-fi retelling of one of the Hindu religion’s most sacred texts.
The action-adventure story centers on Prince Rama — a legendary blue-skinned warrior who in mythology is an incarnation of the god Vishnu — as he fights to save his beloved from demon forces.
Screenwriter John Collee (Happy Feet) will adapt the comic book. I’d personally be more interested in seeing a big budget spectacularly epic version of the original antique tale, which has Rama travelling to Sri Lanka to save his kidnapped wife Sita, but I’d want that movie to have Indian actors, so I’m kind of glad Hollywood is going this route.
British director Jon Amiel (The Core) is currently in pre-production of Creation, a Charles Darwin biopic written by John Collee (Happy Feet). Darwin, who is of course best remembered as the man behind the concept of evolution, will be played by Paul Bettany (The Da Vinci Code) while Jennifer Connelly (Reservation Road) will portray his wife/cousin Emma. Interestingly, Bettany and Connelly also shtump in real life, however they’re thankfully not related.
Like all biopics, this is one movie that can go both ways, as those films can just as easily be fascinating or well-made but dull. There is however considerable talent involved here, and a subject whose controversy is undeniable, but if all else fails we’ll at least have the stunning Jennifer Connelly to look at for 90 minutes or so.
Creation (which was previously titled Origin) is expected to be released next year. In the meantime, you can next see Paul Bettany in the promising The Secret Life Of Bees starting October (trailer here) and wife Jennifer Connelly in the sci-fi remake The Day The Earth Stood Still this December.