My deal with Fox Studios is historic: Karan Johar

August 18, 2009

karan johar 250x276Mumbai, Filmmaker Karan Johar dismisses reports that his deal with Fox Star Studios for his forthcoming Shah Rukh Khan-Kajol-starrer is worth $20 million. He says the deal is not about the money but an attempt to expand the reach of Hindi-language cinema with “My Name Is Khan”.

“Let me tell you the amount mentioned is nowhere near being a realistic one. The deal among Star Fox Studios, my company (Dharma Productions) and Red Chillies is an internal matter and can’t be discussed in public. What makes this deal so historic is not the money involved but the attempt to cross the diaspora with a Hindi-language film,” Karan told IANS.

He also rubbished reports that Fox is trying to give the Islamic world a positive image in the West by buying “My Name Is Khan”.

“It’s not the politics of the film. It’s when the film moves you on a human and emotional level that matters. ‘My Name Is Khan’ endeavours to do just that. I don’t think Fox was swayed by the positive message. It’s the human aspect that won them over,” he said.

Excerpts from the interview to IANS:

Q: You’ve inked a deal with 20th Century Fox for an astronomical never-heard-of amount of money?

A: Let me tell you the amount mentioned is nowhere near being a realistic one. The deal among Star Fox Studios, my company and Red Chillies is an internal matter and can’t be discussed in public. What makes this deal so historic is not the money involved but the attempt to cross the diaspora with a Hindi-language film “My Name Is Khan”. We’ll reach out in places where Hindi-language films have not gone before.

Q: Why Fox Studios?

A: The Fox guys read the script and have followed the project. They’re close enough to it to know what it’s all about. I’ve shared a comfort zone with them from day one. Both Shah Rukh and I believe they are the best people to handle “My Name Is Khan”. They have faith in our brand power and content creation. It’s not about money. It’s all about mutual respect.

Q: Is Fox trying to give the Islamic world a positive image in the West by buying a film about Islamic isolation and the western world?

A: It’s not the politics of the film. It’s when the film moves you on a human and emotional level that matters. “My Name Is Khan” endeavours to do just that. I don’t think Fox was swayed by the positive message. It’s the human aspect that won them over. I believe in the emotional content of both my cinema and personal relationships. Look at the longevity of the association between my company Dharma Productions and Shah Rukh Khan’s Red Chillies and you’ll see what I mean.

Q: You are adapting Fox’s “Stepmom”. Will there be more such adaptations of American films produced by Fox?

A: I’d always want to direct original content. But there are young filmmakers in my company who are excited by the idea of adapting films. Siddharth Malhotra, for example, is doing a Hindi version of “Stepmom” for our company. He’s working really hard on it. An adaptation is as difficult as an original film. And Siddharth is working really hard on it.

Q: What is the final cast of “Stepmom”?

A: It’s Kajol, Kareena Kapoor and Arjun Rampal.





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