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Ash turns Hollywood producer
rediff Entertainment Bureau |
December 06, 2004 14:48 IST
Last Updated: December 06, 2004 20:57 IST
Aishwarya Rai has announced that she will executive produce and star in a major motion picture about the Bhopal gas tragedy. The project, titled Windfall, will be produced by Zachary Coffin and is scheduled to begin filming mid-2005.
The film, a murder mystery inspired by true events, is set largely in present day America, with flashbacks to Bhopal. It's the story of a young woman's search for her father, a plant manager on duty the night of the disaster. Aishwarya will play the lead, Jasmine Singh, an Indian-American born in Bhopal but raised in Beverly Hills.
"The story of the disaster in Bhopal is all too tragic," emediawire.com reported Aishwarya saying. "But this film will be inspiring. The story of a young woman's search for her father, the love story with her American fiancé and the issues she goes through as a survivor of the disaster – I simply had to be involved. I hope the film's success will draw attention to the need of victims in Bhopal, and to those everywhere who've suffered from injustice."
"This is a heroic role, like Erin Brockovich, but on an epic scale – The Insider meets Titanic," said producer Zachary Coffin. "Aishwarya was our first, last and only choice to play the lead, and I truly believe this will be the most inspiring performance of her career yet."
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The film was announced on December 3, during the 20th anniversary commemoration in Bhopal. "Today, 20 years to the day of the tragedy, this spot may well be the most symbolically significant square mile on the earth," said Coffin, speaking from the statue of Bhopal Mother in front of the now abandoned Union Carbide factory. "For what happened here with Union Carbide is directly connected to what happened in the US with Enron, Tyco and Halliburton, and what is happening in scores of places around the world. Bhopal has become a metaphor for our times. It is the story of the most blatant example of corporate injustice, the most glaring instance of globalisation gone awry. It is a story whose time has come."
"But if you think this film will be depressing," he added, "I dare say you'll be surprised. This is a dramatic journey set against an historic epic backdrop. It's true to the spirit of what happened, such that victims and stakeholders feel comfortable, and yet accessible to a global audience – an international epic movie that has it all – murder mystery, romance, grand scale, political manipulation, corporate abuse, high stakes legal battles, backroom deals and a passionate personal quest for the truth."
Two-thirds of the film will be shot in the North America and one-third in India.