Mickey Rourke in talks for 'Horses'

Caper is director Vidhu Vinod Chopra's Hollywood debut

NEW DELHI -- Indian writer-director Vidhu Vinod Chopra is in talks with Oscar nominee Mickey Rourke to star in Chopra's Hollywood debut, the gangster caper "Broken Horses," the director said Friday.

Co-produced by Mumbai-based Reliance Big Pictures, "Horses," which plans to shoot in New Mexico and New York, is part of a multipicture deal between Chopra and the Indian studio.

It also would mark RBG's first Hollywood effort since its parent company, Reliance Entertainment, funded DreamWorks' exit from Paramount for $550 million.

Mark Johnson ("Chronicles of Narnia") will executive produce the film, which is based on an original story by Chopra. It's being turned into a screenplay by Indian writer Abhijat Joshi and script consultant Jason Richman ("Bangkok Dangerous").

Chopra, who like Rourke is repped by ICM, said that he met the actor in Los Angeles after a special screening of "The Wrestler," the film that earned Rourke an Oscar nomination as well as the best actor prize at last month's Golden Globes.

"I was bowled over by his performance," Chopra said. "Both of us had an instant connect when we met in Los Angeles."

Chopra is one of India's best-known filmmakers, from his breakthrough feature as a director, 1989's "Parinda" (Bird), to such recent producing successes as the comedy caper "Lage Raho Munnabhai" (Keep Going Munnabhai).

Chopra's 1978 film "An Encounter With Faces" was nominated for an Oscar in the documentary short category.