UTV Motion Pictures has announced its strategic tie-up with 20th Century Fox. The two entities come together for the co-production of Hollywood Director M Night Shyamalan’s forthcoming film ‘The Happening’. The movie has an estimated budget of $57 million. The revenues will be shared equally by UTV and Fox.
Ronnie Screwvala, CEO, UTV, said, “Night is an immensely talented writer and director. We have developed great chemistry since our first conversation, about two months back. I am really glad things have moved fast enough to allow us to work together. Ever since his ‘Sixth Sense’, I have followed and admired his work. With 20th Century Fox, and the strength they bring in marketing and distribution in the US, this sci-fi thriller is going to get the best worldwide release.”
UTV has also forged partnership with Sony and Disney. UTV, which is diversified in different media streams, also has two Will Smith co-productions in the pipeline. The entity will be also signing the largest movie co-production by any company from South Asia or South-East Asia.
M Night Shyamalan is known for his sci-fi thrillers like ‘Signs’, ‘Sixth Sense’, ‘The Village’ and ‘Unbreakable’ among others. ‘Happening’ will be seen as come back from ‘Signs’ genre of a sci-fi thriller.
Speaking from Philadelphia on the reasons for choosing UTV, an Indian production company for his latest venture, Shyamalan said, “India is always on my mind, I have always nurtured a desire to do something with India. As a first step, it's important for me to build a relationship with audiences in India. I believe in partnerships and working with the best people in the world.”
'The Happening' is a big-budget studio film focusing on Earth vs Man issues and portraying the environment as the victim of mankind's villainy. Most of the shooting is currently taking place on the East Coast of America and in Philadelphia – Night's hometown. The simultaneous worldwide release of 'The Happening' is slated for June/July 2008.