Fox Star pulls trigger on 'Quick Gun'

Will distribute the spoof film in India in the fall

NEW DELHI -- Already a major player on the Indian television scene, News Corp.'s Bollywood plans have taken a big step forward with the acquisition of "Quick Gun Murugan," a comedy about a South Indian cowboy, which it will distribute here in October.

The film will mark one of the planned releases from the company's Fox Star Studios, the new film unit headed by Vijay Singh, former president of strategy and corporate development at News Corp.'s Mumbai-based network Star India.

Singh joined Star India in February as president of strategy and corporate development. In the late '90s, he was managing director of Sony BMG Music India, after which he was group commercial director, developing markets at Tetley Tea in London.

Fox is just the latest Hollywood major to debut a local feature affiliate here, following in the footsteps of Sony, Warner Bros. and the recently announced film unit of Turner International. Disney, meanwhile, is co-producing its debut animation feature here, "Roadside Romeo," with veteran Bollywood banner Yash Raj Films.

"Quick Gun Murugan" is based on a popular character created in the mid-'90s for Star India's music outlet Channel V. The film is a spoof in the vein of "Borat" and "Austin Powers," centering on a South Indian character, Murugan, depicted as a Western cowboy.

Promoted with the tag line "An epic battle between vegetarianism and nonvegetarianism," the film is directed by Shashank Ghosh, who created "Quick Gun" as a series of short promos while he was creative director at Channel V.

The film stars South Indian actor Rajendra Prasad and will be dubbed in various languages.

At the American Film Market in November, Phat Phish signed New York-based MonteCristo International to sell "Quick Gun" worldwide outside India.