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NEW DELHI – Following Disney-UTV’s recent success at the box office with the Shah Rukh Khan-starring blockbuster hit Chennai Express and last year’s Barfi!, which was India’s Oscar entry, the studio has unveiled its 2014 slate.
The three tentpoles in the pipeline include the comedy P.K., which reunites superstar Aamir Khan and director Rajkumar Hirani after 2009’s megahit 3 Idiots; Jagga Jasoos, another comedy reuniting actor Ranbir Kapoor and director Anurag Basu, both from Barfi!; and ABCD 2, the sequel to India’s popular 3D dance film, again directed by choreographer Remo D’Souza and starring Prabhu Deva.
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Before Disney acquired a controlling stake in Indian multimedia conglomerate UTV, its film banner, UTV Motion Pictures, was already an established player delivering a string of hits over the past decade. These include the studio’s various collaborations with Aamir Khan — as actor, director and co-producer — on movies such as Rang De Basanti, Taare Zameen Par, Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na, Peepli Live, Delhi Belly and Dhobi Ghat.
Khan’s upcoming P.K. co-stars actress Anushkha Sharma and is considered one of 2014’s most anticipated releases, given that director Hirani’s 3 Idiots was the highest-grossing Indian film of all time (surpassing $60 million) until that record was beaten by Chennai Express, according to Disney-UTV.
Following the Chaplinesque Barfi!, director Anurag Basu and Ranbir Kapoor will reteam on Jagga Jasoos, which is described as a musical comedy about a young detective and his zany adventures. The film also stars actress Katrina Kaif, who was recently featured in The Hollywood Reporter‘s list of leading international stars.
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“Jagga Jasoos has the potential to emerge as the first Disney-branded franchise out of India, with long-term plans to create sequels, merchandise, graphic comics, a television show, online games and much more,” Disney-UTV said in a statement.
Earlier this year, the studio produced India’s first 3D dance film ABCD (Any Body Can Dance), directed by choreographer Remo D’Souza and featuring Prabhu Dheva, one of India’s best-known dancing stars, in the lead. The sequel, ABCD 2, will be partly shot in the U.S., so D’Souza recently visited Walt Disney’s Burbank studios accompanied by Disney UTV creative executives and “spent some time discussing the movie with senior executives at Disney and Marvel,” the company said.
“Since the integration of Disney and UTV in India last year, the studio’s team has been actively looking for the right stories to develop into our first set of Disney-branded local productions,” said Disney-UTV managing director of studios Siddharth Roy Kapur. “With P.K., Jagga Jasoos and ABCD 2, we are confident we have a slate of movies that capture the essence of the Disney brand — heartwarming, uplifting and fun for the whole family.”
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