Filmmaker Paul Schrader is Headed to Bollywood?!
by Alex Billington
November 25, 2008
The man behind such screenplays as Taxi Driver and Raging Bull is headed to Mumbai, India to join the ranks of Bollywood. Paul Schrader will write and direct a Bollywood action movie titled Extreme City. Schrader says of the current state of Hollywood: "I take a good look around and what I see is a barren, barren place -- in terms of the financial community, in terms of audiences, in terms of distribution. It's cold out there." Extreme City is a cross-cultural tale that will center on an American man who travels to India to help resolve a kidnapping case for his father-in-law, only to get caught up in a gangster plot.
Schrader is one of the first American directors to up and move to India, but isn't the the first one to dabble in the world of Bollywood. Will Smith's production company has a deal with Indian entertainment company UTV to produce two movies. DreamWorks became an independent company after it was funded by the India-based Reliance Big Entertainment. And we all know about Danny Boyle's sleeper hit this year, Slumdog Millionaire, which is another India-set story with a lot of Bollywood elements. Despite all these crossovers, however, this news is baffling. Is Hollywood really that barren or is he just full of himself?
I hate to be the one to break it to you Mr. Schrader, but your last few films weren't that great. The Walker is the last film that he both wrote and directed and Adam Resurrected is the last one he directed based on someone else's script. I never saw The Walker, but it was designed from the ground up to be a disaster. Adam Resurrected, on the other hand, I did see, and it was very weird. It's not Hollywood that is barren, it's that your movies are barren themselves, Mr. Schrader. And traveling to India to bury yourself in the world of Bollywood isn't going to fix anything. It'll just make room for more competent filmmakers.