Actor-producer Shah Rukh Khan and filmmaker Karan Johar have inked one of Bollywood's biggest deals with a Hollywood studio. Fox STAR Studios will finance and distribute their forthcoming film "My Name Is Khan", reportedly spending Rs.100 crore (Rs.1 billion / $20 million) in the process.
Shah Rukh and Karan, who are co-producing the film, announced their tie-up with Fox STAR Studios, a joint venture between 20th Century Fox and STAR, at a press conference here Thursday.
"We are very happy that Fox STAR Studios is taking responsibility of a film of this stature that too in a different language, though we do speak a bit of English in the film as well. This is a wonderful opportunity for us to take Indian cinema further," said Shah Rukh.
Though they didn't talk about the money, Fox STAR Studios have reportedly bought distribution rights for around Rs.100 crore for the film about a Muslim (Shah Rukh) who suffers from the Asperger syndrome, a form of autism that impacts social interaction abilities. He is arrested as a suspected terrorist in post-9/11 Los Angeles after authorities mistake his disability for suspicious behaviour.
Fox STAR Studios will market and distribute "My Name Is Khan" in India, while its sister companies, Fox Searchlight Pictures and Twentieth Century Fox International, will distribute the movie in the US and other territories respectively.
Karan Johar is wielding the megaphone after three years to narrate the emotional journey of a Muslim man from India in the film, in which Shah Rukh has teamed up with Kajol. In the past, the two have starred in hits like "Baazigar", "Karan Arjun", "Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge", "Kuch Kuch Hota Hai" and "Kabhie Khushi Kabhie Gham".
Talking about the movie, Karan said: "I'm almost petrified when it comes to making a movie with Shah Rukh and Kajol. Together, they have given iconic love movies and so they raise the level of expectations each time they are paired.
"This time it is again a love story but with a different treatment. It won't be like 'Dilwale Dulhania...' or 'Kuch Kuch Hota Hai', nor will it have songs shot in Egypt or Switzerland. But it will still leave a mark in the hearts of people."
The partnership on "My Name Is Khan" follows Fox STAR Studios' distribution deal with multiple Oscar-winning "Slumdog Millionaire" in India earlier this year.