Mumbai, Jan. 1 -- Next year, Ramesh Sippy will return to direction after two decades (his last outing was Zamaana Deewana in 1995 starring Shah Rukh Khan), with an adaptation of the French film, De Vrais Mensonges (2010).
But Sippy isn't alone. Hollywood has served as an inspiration to several Bollywood filmmakers over the decades, but directors are now exploring newer pastures such as French, Korean and Japanese cinema.
While Karan Johar is slated to remake the 2006 French hit, Hors De Prix with Sidharth Malhotra, another French project, The Intouchables (2011), will be adapted by Mohit Suri.
Also, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan's comeback film, Jazbaa, is believed to be a remake of the 2007 Korean thriller, Seven Days. Jazbaa director Sanjay Gupta feels several Hollywood films find their way to Indian theatres anyway. "Most Hollywood studios have set up shop in India, so film-makers here can't just lift their film's ideas like earlier. Also, if they have the rights, won't they produce them on their own?" says Gupta.
Trade analyst Komal Nahta says that the Indian audience has become receptive to new concepts. "At one point, we would say, 'women-oriented films don't work.' But that has changed now. The taste of the audience has changed, and they have an appetite for world cinema. But since it's (taking cues from international films and books) a new phenomenon, how well these films will do is something only time will tell," says Nahta.
In the recent past, too, Bollywood has often been inspired by world cinema. But, if we analyse the record, such remakes and adaptations haven't yielded desired results. Total Siyapaa (2014) was an official remake of the Spanish film, Only Human (2004), while Hansal Mehta's CityLights was an Indian remake of Metro Manila (2013), a British-Filipino film.
Explaining why more film-makers are opting for Japanese or Korean scripts, film-maker Anees Bazmee says, "Ultimately, all creative people always look for a good script - be it from Japan, Korea or south Indian cinema. Language is never a concern. Plus, those film's prices are also less when it comes to buying their rights. In comparison, Hollywood films are expensive to buy," he says.
Film-maker Sajid Khan is remaking the 2009 Korean romantic comedy, My Girlfriend Is An Agent, while John Abraham stars in Nishikant Kamat's adaptation of the Korean film, The Man From Nowhere (2010). Also, Tigamanshu Dhulia's Yaara is a remake of the 2011 French drama, Les Lyonnais. "Indians are emotional, and world cinema - in the absence of big budgets - focuses more on fleshing out characters and scripts, which resonates with our audiences' taste," says film-maker Rohan Sippy, who adapted the 2003 French comedy, Apres Vous, as Nautanki Saala (2013).