Disney Discovers Bollywood
In the old days, Disney was paralyzed by indecision as executives kept trying to imagine “what Walt would do.” Under recent management, the studio has been expanding in many different directions, including adding foreign points of view to their filmmaking. The studio is now proceeding with making live-action film under a new Walt Disney Pictures India banner.
The Hollywood Reporter says four films will be produced for starters.
"We have finalized two projects to start with, which include The 19th Step starring top South Indian actor Kamal Hassan, directed by Bharat Bala. The second is Zokkomon, starring top child actor Darsheel Safari and directed by Satyajit Bhatkal," a WDCI spokesperson told the trade.
Joining Hassan in Step will be Japanese star Asano Tadanabo and fellow Indian actress Asin. Step’s plot will “revolve around the ancient Indian martial arts form Kalarippayattu”.
Zokkomon is described as a children’s tale. Its star, Safari, gained praise from last year’s Taare Zameen Par (Stars on Earth). Walt Disney Home Video acquired the film about a boy with dyslexia for international distribution.
Mumbai-based Yash Raj Films has previously partnered with Disney for animated fare and the first effort from that partnership, Roadside Romeo, with voices from Bollywood’s Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor will open October 24.