Exclusive New Trailer and Poster: Roadside Romeo (also Disney’s plans for India)

I apologize for the sometimes hard-to-read subtitles, but it’s from the official website! Roadside Romeo marks Walt Disney Pictures’ first venture into Indian cinema, in co-production with Yash Raj Films, one of the biggest local studios.

Disney must have confidence in the Indian market as, in addition to two more animated features with Yash Raj Films, they’ve begun planning four live-action films on their own, the first two of which are just about ready to begin production.

‘The 19th Step’ starring top South Indian actor Kamal Hassan, directed by Bharat Bala […] will feature Japanese star Asano Tadanabo and Indian actress Asin. Director Bala is one of India’s best-known music video directors. “Step” is said to revolve around the ancient Indian martial arts form Kalarippayattu and will be a multilingual Indian release.

‘Zokkomon,’ starring top child actor Darsheel Safari and directed by Satyajit Bhatkal, is a children’s tale.

As for Roadside Romeo, which opens October 24th, it is written and directed by newcomer Jugal Hansraj, stars the voice talents of Indian stars Saif Ali Khan (Dil Chahta Hai/Do Your Thing), Kareena Kapoor (Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham…/Happiness & Tears) and Javed Jaffrey (Fire). The film follows a pampered dog who is abandoned by his owner and learns to survive in the streets of Mumbai.

I’m all for American studios producing movies out of the US. Disney is already doing it in China and France, Columbia in India and China, and Warner Bros in France, India and Italy (and those are only the ones I know about). But why stop there? Why not release the movies you make in those movies internationally? Seems like it could only be a win situation wouldn’t it?

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Disney announcements galore

The Walt Disney Company had a big presentation a couple of days ago where they announced a bunch of new movies, including three starring Johnny Depp (Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street). These are a new adaptation of The Lone Ranger written by Ted Elliott & Terry Rossio (National Treasure: Book Of Secrets) where Depp will play Tonto and George Clooney (Burn After Reading) might play the titular character, a new part live-action/part CGI adaptation of Alice In Wonderland written by Linda Woolverton (Mulan) and directed by frequent collaborator Tim Burton (Sweeney Todd…) so yeah obviously, and as expected, a fourth Pirates Of The Caribbean film.

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It was also announced that Cars 2 would be released in 2011 instead of 2012 and that the story will have Mater joining Lightning McQueen on a world tour. Additionally several short films entitled Car-toons will be set between the two films and will air on the Disney Channel and perhaps before some theatrical films. Thus, the Disney/Pixar film originally planned for 2011, Newt, will instead be released in 2012.

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Yet another Disney flick for The Rock?

After The Game Plan and the forthcoming Race To Witch Mountain, former wrestler Dwayne Johnson aka The Rock may star in a third Disney film, Tomorrowland, based on the eponymous “world” found in Disney theme parks (known in Disneyland Paris as Discoveryland), and particularly on the famous Space Mountain ride. Screenwriting duo Jon Lucas and Scott Moore (Rebound) will pen the script.

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Movie Of The Day: Invincible (2006)

In 1993, Walt Disney Pictures released Cool Runnings, a film chronicling the true story of the first Jamaican bobsled team competing at the 1988 Winter Olympics. The film was huge hit, and even though nothing came out of it immediately, it was a foreshadowing of things to come. Indeed, when the studio’s Remember The Titans, an american football film also based on a true story came out seven years later and made more box-office gold, Disney understood they had a foolproof formula in their hands, releasing no less than five inspirational sports movies based on true stories in five years, Invincible being the last so far.

Set in 1976 as new coach Dick Vermeil takes over the crappy Philadelphia Eagles football team, Invicible relates the tale of Vince Papale, a 30 year old bartender/part-time teacher who went on to play for the Eagles through three NFL seasons after his wife left him, despite having no college football experience.

Invincible marks the first feature directing effort for cinematographer Ericson Core (Daredevil) and the first produced script by Brad Gann (Black Irish). The film stars Mark Wahlberg (The Happening), Greg Kinnear (Baby Mama), Elizabeth Banks (Meet Dave) and Michael Nouri (The O.C.) among others. Trailer and review after the jump.

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Thirst to get a big release in the US? How about not?

Word has surfaced that Universal Pictures and Focus Features are pitching in to finance Thirst, the new vampire film from celebrated director Park Chan-Wook (Old Boy), and that Focus will distribute the currently shooting film in the US. A lot of people are taking this as a sign that the movie will get some sort of important release in America…All I can say is hold your horses.

You may not know this, but American studios have been financing foreign films for quite some time. As far as I know, Warner Bros has produced French, Italian and Indian films, Walt Disney has made French, Indian and Chinese ones and Columbia has financed Indian and Chinese movies.

Inexplicably, of all these films, barely a handful of them have received any kind of release in the US, and while you can argue that Focus Features is different than other studios, keep in mind they botched Lust, Caution‘s release last year. Thirst will more than likely be one of those movies you’ll have to seek out if you live in the United States, the country where foreign films aren’t allowed.

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Keira Knightley isn’t enthusiastic about Pirates 4

Britsh actress Keira Knightley, who plays Elizabeth Swann in the extremely successful Pirates Of The Caribbean trilogy and owes much of her fame to those films, isn’t very keen to reprise her role in the proposed fourth movie.

“I think it was wonderful and an amazing opportunity and those films were just extraordinary and I was extremely lucky to be a part of them. But no. I think my pirating days may be over.”

I don’t think Keira needs to worry, as Pirates Of The Caribbean 4 will reportedly focus solely on Johnny Depp’s character Jack Sparrow, the Elizabeth Swann/Will Turner story arc having concluded in the last film.

Walt Disney wants to start production in 2009, but that may be pushed back as many details haven’t been set yet (director, script, cast, etc…). In any case, except a new Pirates movie by 2010/2011. As for Keira Knightley, her latest period drama The Duchess was released five days ago in the UK to generally positive reviews.

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Warner Bros prepping new Tarzan movie

Now that Hellboy II director Guillermo Del Toro will helm The Hobbit, Warner Bros has chosen the less prestigious Stephen Sommers (Van Helsing) to replace him in directing a new Tarzan movie. While it certainly would have been interesting to know what Del Toro would have done with Edgar Rice Burroughs’ classic tale, I actually think Sommers is a perfect fit for the job.

Stephen Sommers is an extremely underrated director who delivers films which are meant to be entertainment and nothing else, and he does that well. If you need proof he can churn out a good Tarzan, check out his 1994 adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book.

Stephen Sommers’ movie will be an original take, not a retelling of any of the books or previous movies (though I’m sure elements will seep through). He will write the screenplay with Stuart Beattie, with whom he already collaborated on his next movie, G.I. Joe: Rise Of Cobra, to be released next summer.

Tarzan is best known to moviegoers for the 1999 eponymous Walt Disney cartoon and Greystoke: The Legend Of Tarzan, Lord Of The Apes, starring Christophe(r) Lambert. Others may recall a series of twelve films starring Olympic swimmer Johnny Weissmuller in the thirties and forties. No date has been set for this latest adventure.

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