CANNES, FRANCE – May 15, 2010
MARQUEE PICTURES, a Beverly Hills based production venture, announced today at the Festival de Cannes that its first theatrical motion picture release will be BOMBAY DREAMS adapted from the hit musical produced by Andrew Lloyd Webber, with music by two-time Oscar winning composer A. R. Rahman, and will be directed by Oscar nominated director Deepa Mehta. The screenplay adaptation of the London stage production will be written by Sabrina Dhawan, acclaimed writer of Monsoon Wedding.
The Bollywood-themed stage musical, based on a concept by Lloyd Webber, opened in London in 2002 and ran for two years, winning the prestigious Emma Award. The musical also was produced on Broadway in 2004 where it won 3 Tony Awards and 4 Drama Desk Awards.
Marquee Pictures was established for the purpose of bringing hit Broadway and West End musicals to the Big Screen. The company is headed by former Universal senior executive Jeff Segal, former ICM packaging agent and producer Steve Waterman ( Alvin & The Chipmunks, The Squeakquel, Stuart Little I and II ), Arclight Films president Gary Hamilton, and Azure Media Group Chairman Steve Wilkinson. Chairman of Marquee Pictures is Jack Crosby, former Chairman of the Sundance Film Institute.
The motion picture adaptation of Bombay Dreams will be produced in association with The Really Useful Group, Lloyd Webber’s UK based entertainment company, and will feature an all-star international cast.
A Romeo and Juliet story set in the glamorous, high-stakes world of Bollywood, Bombay Dreams – The Movie will feature new songs and music underscore by A.R. Rahman, with an expanded storyline and lavishly staged production dance numbers. The film will be produced with state-of-the-art production technology. The producers are presently evaluating the prospect of releasing the film in stereoscopic 3D. Lloyd Webber will be actively involved in all facets of development and production.
“I am very proud to have presented Bombay Dreams in Britain where it was a ground-breaking show, and also to have been involved with the Broadway production which was years ahead of its time,” said Lloyd Webber. “It was deeply rewarding for me to see A. R. Rahman’s work recognized in America when he won two Oscars and I am thrilled to be working with him again on this exciting project.”
“I have had a wonderful collaboration with Andrew on Bombay Dreams,” said composer Rahman. “And now I am very happy to continue this collaboration as we transform the stage musical into a film. I am very fond of this score and the story that we are telling,” he added. “I have now worked on more than one hundred movies, and believe that this may be my most exciting project.”
“We couldn’t be prouder of our association with Andrew Lloyd Webber,” said producer Jeff Segal. “He is clearly the preeminent producer and creator of musical theater in the world today. Bombay Dreams is a very cinematic show, with enormous potential, particularly because we have A. R. Rahman’s great score, which people everywhere, of every age, will love.”
“I am delighted to be part of the Bombay Dreams team,” added director Deepa Mehta, whose film Water was nominated for an Academy Award, and won Canada’s most prestigious film award. “I very much look forward to working with Andrew Lloyd Webber, Rahman, and Sabrina as we put this film together. It has a rich and compelling story, appealing characters and a satisfying interplay of comedy, romance and the dramatic. It really is the ideal musical to adapt for film.”
Steve Wilkinson, who has a background in theater, both as producer and performer, and whose company Azure has provided development funding for the film, observed “While every production has an inherently uncertain outcome in the marketplace, Bombay Dreams, with its amazing musical pedigree and an award-winning production team, has a chance of becoming one of the great musical films of the decade.”
Gary Hamilton agreed and added, “The global success, both critical and commercial of Slumdog Millionaire, particularly in North American, west European, and Asian markets, demonstrates that there is an appetite for films like Bombay Dreams – with its Indian influenced music score, that can breakout with all demographics and perform well in all territories.”
Steve Waterman, a producer with a billion-dollar track record, added “_Bombay Dreams_ is a hybrid that taps into the best filmmaking traditions of both Bollywood, with its extravagant production numbers, and Hollywood, bringing to mind the great MGM and Warner Brothers movie musicals, but with a distinctly modern flair.”
Bombay Dreams is set to commence principal photography in India in 2011 on stages and practical locations primarily in and around the city of Mumbai, and will be produced in association with a major Indian production partner.
Bombay Dreams is being represented outside of the United States by Arclight Films International Pty. Ltd., the international sales and production organization based at Fox Studios Australia with representative offices in Beverly Hills, Tokyo and New York City.