India's Reliance Entertainment Forms Bollywood Joint Venture Plan C Studios

Special 26 One Sheet - P 2013

Reliance is partnering with Friday Filmworks to produce a slate of new films including historical drama 'Rustom' starring Akshay Kumar.

India's Reliance Entertainment is forming a joint venture with Friday Filmworks, creating a Bollywood production company called Plan C Studios.

Plan C Studios will kick-start its slate with historical drama Rustom starring top actor Akshay Kumar and directed by Tinu Suresh Desai. The new company's lineup also includes Ghalib Danger, to be helmed by Neeraj Pandey, in addition to projects from a slew of directors including Shivam Nair, Chandra Prakash Dwivedi, Anurag Singh, Anvita Dutt and Shree Narayan Singh. No financial terms related to the venture were given.

Reliance Entertainment, owned by the Reliance ADAG group headed by billionaire Anil Ambani, is part of the new alliance with Steven Spielberg's DreamWorks, Jeff Skoll's Participant Media and Entertainment One that formed Amblin Partners. Reliance's association with DreamWorks started in 2009 when it originally invested $325 million in the company.

Friday Filmworks is backed by producer Shital Bhatia and director Neeraj Pandey.

“This relationship is in line with our continuing strategy in the media and entertainment business, of partnering with like minded and successful individuals, while playing the role of supportive investors on our part,” Reliance Group group managing director Amitabh Jhunjhunwala said in a statement.

Pandey's award-winning filmography includes 2008 terrorism thriller A Wednesday followed by 2013 heist drama Special 26 and 2015 actioner Baby, the latter two starring Kumar. All three titles were produced by Friday Filmworks. The director is currently working on cricket biopic M S Dhoni — The Untold Story, produced by Fox Star Studios India.

The latest partnership builds on Reliance's pact last year with another banner, Phantom Films, co-founded by acclaimed director Anurag Kashyap (Gangs of Wasseypur), Vikas Bahl, Vikramaditya Motwane and Madhu Mantena.

Simultaneously, the company has also boarded international co-productions such as the upcoming Viceroy's House, directed by Gurinder Chadha (Bend It Like Beckham) and backed by BBC Films, Ingenious and Deepak Nayar (Sense8).

In January, Reliance announced it will co-produce Indo-French mountaineering drama nOmber One to be directed by Serge Hazanavicius. Hazanavicius' brother Michel directed the Oscar-winning film The Artist.