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India to Remake 'The Italian Job'

"Players" to Feature Seaside City of Goa as Location

GOA, India -- Players, an official Hindi remake of Paramount's The Italian Job, produced by Studio18 is currently shooting, having wrapped a schedule in the coastal resort of Goa recently.

Directed by the brothers Abbas-Mastan, known for their stylish action thrillers such as 2008's Race, Players was announced about a year ago but since then Studio18, part of joint venture Viacom18, went through a management restructuring that saw the recent appointment of a new CEO, Vikram Malhotra.

Without giving a budget figure, Malhotra said Players was the rejuvenated Studio18's “marquee” release slated to hit theaters in the second half of 2011.

Players stars top actor Abhishek Bachchan and actress Sonam Kapoor along with model-turned-actress Bipasha Basu and actors Bobby Deol, Sikander Kher and Neil Nitin Mukesh.

As for how the film's storyline will refer to the original, Malhotra added, “The principal storyline and concept will remain integral to the original but suitable adaptations will be done keeping in mind the Indian audience sensibilities.”

Players wrapped its Goa shooting schedule last week with the production moving to New Zealand early next year followed by Russia.

While the Indian film industry has long been accused of plagiarizing foreign film storylines, the trend seems to be changing.

Indian producers are now getting official clearances to remake local versions of Hollywood films such as recent release We Are Family, an adaptation of the Julia Roberts and Susan Sarandon-starrer Stepmom. Directed by Siddharth Malhotra, the film – which performed below expectations - starred top Bollywood actresses Kareena Kapoor and Kajol and was produced by Karan Johar's Dharma Productions and distributed by UTV Motion Pictures.

Meanwhile Goa – long a favorite shooting destination for Indian films – is also serving as the location for Fox Star Studio India's in-production Hindi release Dum Maaro Dum, which also stars Abhishek Bachchan and Bipasha Basu.

A thriller set in the drug underworld of top tourist destination Goa, Dum Maaro Dum is coproduced by FSSI with Ramesh Sippy Entertainment and directed by Rohan Sippy slated for release early next year.

In terms of international shoots, Goa was most notably featured in a chase sequence in 2004's The Bourne Supremacy starring Matt Damon.