Stephen Frears Set to Direct Fox Searchlight's 'Bengali Detective' Film
Jai Ho? This actually sounds fun. Variety is reporting that Fox Searchlight has lined up acclaimed British director Stephen Frears and screenwriter D.V. DeVincentis, who made High Fidelity (2000) together and are working on Lay the Favorite next, to direct & write the English-language version of The Bengali Detective. A few may remember hearing about this pick-up at Sundance earlier this year, with Searchlight nabbing the "remake" rights, or adaptation rights, as it's a documentary about a real private eye in Calcutta named Rajesh Ji who takes on the criminal underworld while pursuing his dream of dancing on Indian TV.
There are already numerous comparisons to Slumdog Millionaire out there, which is fine considering the studio behind it, but I expect this to be something else entirely, as that was mostly a Danny Boyle creation. Frears' recent work has included some milder fare like Tamara Drewe, Chéri and The Queen, though I trust Searchlight made sure to choose the perfect guy for this. Ridley and Tony Scott's Scott Free banner will produce. Fox Searchlight execs Zola Mashariki & Richard Gold will oversee development at the studio. D.V. DeVincentis also wrote the Grosse Pointe Blank script and Lay the Favorite as well. No start date is set yet.
I didn't personally catch The Bengali Detective while I was at Sundance, but based on photos like the one above of the real Rajesh (left) and reviews like this one or this one, I expect this feature version will turn out to be quite good. I have no idea what direction they're taking it in, whether it's just a mockumentary remake or a dramatic biopic, but I'm intrigued nonetheless. Frears is a very reputable and certainly talented name to get involved with this, and I'll be looking forward to seeing how it turns out. Stay tuned for any updates!