By Mack Chico
Oscar nominee Mickey Rourke will star in Indian writer-director Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s Hollywood debut, the gangster caper “Broken Horses,” the director said Friday.
Co-produced by Mumbai-based Reliance Big Pictures, “Horses,” which will shoot in New Mexico and New York, is part of a multipicture deal between Chopra and the Indian studio.
It also marks RBG’s first Hollywood effort since its parent company, Reliance Entertainment, funded DreamWorks’ exit from Paramount for $550 million.
Mark Johnson (“Chronicles of Narnia”) will executive produce the film, which is based on an original story by Chopra. It’s being turned into a screenplay by Indian writer Abhijat Joshi and script consultant Jason Richman (“Bangkok Dangerous”).
In a statement Friday, Chopra said that he met Rourke in Los Angeles after a special screening of “The Wrestler,” the film that earned him an Oscar nomination as well as the best actor prize at last month’s Golden Globes.
“I was bowled over by his performance,” Chopra said. “Both of us had an instant connect when we met in Los Angeles. He was my first choice and was finalized even before he won the Golden Globe. It’s great to have him on board for one of the key roles in the film. Mickey deserves all the acclaim he is getting, and I hope he wins the Oscar as well.”
Chopra is one of India’s best-known filmmakers, from his breakthrough feature as a director, 1989’s “Parinda” (Bird), to such recent producing successes as the comedy caper “Lage Raho Munnabhai” (Keep Going Munnabhai).
Chopra’s 1979 film “An Encounter With Faces” was nominated for an Oscar in the nonfiction short category.