Bollywood joins H'wood A-list


Indian producer Reliance Big Entertainment, which made waves last week with the announcement of a new billion-dollar film fund, has followed that by unveiling development deals with eight of Hollywood's best-known names.

The nonexclusive deals with Nicolas Cage's Saturn Prods., Jim Carrey's JCB 23, George Clooney's Smokehouse Prods., Chris Columbus' 1492 Pictures, Tom Hanks' Playtone Prods., Brad Pitt's Plan B Entertainment and Jay Roach's Everyman Pictures will provide a development silo for each production entity.

Reliance put a value of $1 billion on the deal but said there was potentially no limit to the amount to be invested.

Reliance also has the option of co-financing projects realized through the deal and will take Indian rights on any co-financed films. Their partners will retain full creative freedom.

"In the next 10 years, I believe we will see a new world order in the entertainment industry," Big Entertainment's chairman Amit Khanna said. "This deal is an expression of the soft power of India in the international media industry and our expansion abroad."

The company envisages investment in about 10 projects a year.

"The idea is to develop strategic partnerships," Khanna said. "We don't want to put a limit on this participation." (partialdiff)