Fox Star to distribute 'Khan'

Top Bollywood star joins longtime collaborator for road movie

NEW DELHI -- Following its success with "Slumdog Millionaire," Fox Searchlight will handle the U.S. release of "My Name Is Khan," starring Shah Rukh Khan, Bollywood's biggest boxoffice draw.

Kahn's frequent collaborator, Karan Johar, will direct.

Searchlight acquired the title, which is in postproduction and set to be released early next year, as part of a deal announced Thursday by Fox Star Studios India, the joint venture between 20th Century Fox and Star.

FSSI, which released "Slumdog" in India, will distribute "Khan" in that country. Fox International will handle other worldwide territories beyond India and the U.S.

Reports have pegged the deal at $21 million. FSSI would not comment.

"Khan" is co-produced by Johar's banner Dharma Prods. and Khan's Red Chillies Entertainment. The film examines the life of a Muslim man from India (Khan) living in San Francisco who embarks on a journey across the U.S. "inspiring people and inviting debate, creating an accidental revolution." The film reunites Khan with his frequent onscreen paramour, actress Kajol, who plays his wife.

The FSSI deal extends the long-running relationship broadcaster Star India has had with Khan and Johar. The former hosts Indian versions of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" and "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader," the latter fronts the popular celebrity chat show "Koffee With Karan."