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Saturday, December 29, 2007

Friday, December 28, 2007

Sonam-Abhishek in Mumbai after Bereavement

It's been a trying time for the lead pair of Dilli 6. First Abhishek Bachchan lost his grandmother and had to rush back from Jaipur to Mumbai. Then Sonam Kapoor, with whom director Rakeysh Mehra was doing solo shots in Abhishek's absence, lost her grandfather (her mother's father) and had to return to Mumbai too.However, professionalism being a part of the duo's heritage, Abhishek and Sonam have both flown back on Friday to Jaipur to resume shooting. Not that Rakeysh was sitting idle. He has a huge cast assembled in Jaipur. And that includes Rishi Kapoor, Tanvi Azmi, Divya Dutt and the amazing Waheeda Rehman whom Rakeysh coaxed out of retirement.

Welcome and TZP benefit due to Jodha Akbar's delay

Welcome being a super-success and Taare Zameen Par showing steady escalation isn't news any more. What is news though is an extended great run at the box office for both the films, which is pretty much on the cards now due to Jodha Akbar being postponed to February. Though the official date being cited is February 15, there are still doubts if this would stick on to be the final date.With coming weeks boasting of mostly small/medium budget productions with a limited market and only a handful of films which could be taken seriously, it greatly helps the prospects of Welcome and Taare Zameen Par to enjoy a longish stay at the screens. Coming Friday sees Return of Hanuman and Showbiz. While Anurag Kashyap has been quoted as saying that "Return of Hanuman could be as big a blockbuster as Om Shanti Om,” Mukesh Bhatt has maintained that "Showbiz would work with word of mouth going in it's favor". The fact still remains that none of the two films are expected to embark on an earth-shattering opening, hence allowing Akshay and Aamir to stay strong even in the second week. A film like Manthan Ek Kashmakash that may release on January 4 (deadly first weekend of a year), spells Z grade from miles away and the only thing it guarantees is an inauspicious beginning to 2008. A week later things turn better but still not in a way which could announce Halla Bol at the box office. Bombay To Bangkok is a small film by Iqbal team of Subhash Ghai, Nagesh Kukunoor and Shreyas Talpade and would see a limited release. Raj Kumar Santoshi, who would be desperate for a box office, has announced, "Halla Bol is a wake-up call for our collective conscience" while also clarifying that this Ajay Devgan (who plays a superstar) starrer is not set in the film industry. The film again belongs to ‘wait and watch’ category, as is the case with the third release of the January 11-My Name Is Anthony Gonsalves, which marks the debut of Nikhil Dwivedi. Earlier this month, producer Surendra Bhatia had postponed his Rajpal Yadav, Ashish Chaudhary, Neha Dhupia starrer Rama Rama Kya Hai Dramaaa stating, "There are number of biggies slated for a release in December, and we would be forced to vacate theatres/multiplexes once these films release." The situation definitely has improved as January 18 currently stands as an open weekend for this comedy. Still, it is more or less a negligible competition for Welcome and Taare Zameen Par. The first major competition, which comes, the way of Akshay and Aamir is Sunday which hits the screens on January 25, 2008. "The film unabashedly promises to be a mix of action, comedy, romance, and thrills. Director Rohit Shetty appears to have a winner in hands," says a trade insider. A solo release, it is followed by small/medium budget films like Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na and Superstar, promotion for which is still to begin. What this means for both Welcome and Taare Zameen Par is that both the films would now have more or less an uninterrupted run for an almost 8 weeks! Astonishing, since in the times when there is competition arriving every Friday, Akshay and Aamir would have as many as two open months for their films.

Monday, December 24, 2007

'Welcome' beats Akshay's record in Overseas

With a historic opening, the Indian Films-Studio 18 mega release WELCOME has emerged a winner at the box-office. The numbers in Overseas have also surpassed those of all erstwhile solo Akshay Kumar titles, creating a new record for the actor.In U.K., the preview and opening weekend gross was a smashing £ 370,000 (approx) from 40 locations. In UAE, just the 5-day business of WELCOME was nearly as much as the lifetime gross of Akshay’s earlier hits. The business to date is AED 1.8 million from 29 locations. In the US, the first two days grossed $ 100,000 only from the mainstream theatres (independents excluded), extremely impressive considering the biggest grosses will start from December 26. In almost every mainstream location, WELCOME out-grossed even the major Hollywood openers like CHARLIE WILSON'S WAR, P.S. I LOVE YOU and WALK HARD: THE DEWEY COX STORY.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Subhash Ghai announces Hello Darling

Showman Subhash Ghai announced yet another new project under his banner Mukta Arts Ltd. The film titled Hello Darling is an out and out comedy based on the lines of Hollywood blockbuster series Charlie’s Angels and revolves around three heroines and a villain.Actresses Celina Jaitley, Gul Panag and Ishaa Koppikar have been roped in for playing the 3 lead roles while Javed Jaffery would be playing the villain in the film, which also stars Divya Dutta, Rajpal Yadav , Chunky Pandey and Sunny Deol in a special appearance. The movie which went on floors on December 16, 2007 is directed by Ghai’s chief assistant Manoj Tiwari while Pritam would be composing the music. Besides the above mentioned film, the coming New Year would also see the release of movies like Black and White, Bombay to Bangkok, Cycle Kick, and Right Yaaa Wrong from Ghai’s banner. Subhash Ghai is currently busy directing his ambitious project Yuvraajstarring Anil Kapoor, Salman Khan, Katrina Kaif and Zayed Khan in lead roles.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Aladin marks Eros' foray into visual effects

Eros International, the London AIM listed leading integrated company within the Indian media and entertainment sector, has announced the launch of Sujoy Ghosh's modern day Aladin, the evergreen Arabian Nights story in a big Bollywood format which has recently gone on floors. With Aladin, Eros also makes a foray into visual effects with their recently launched EyeQube Studios handling the same for the film.Eros International in association with Sujoy Ghosh's production company Boundscript is producing the hi-end special effects film, which stars Amitabh Bachchan, Sanjay Dutt and Riteish Deshmukh and will introduce Jackie Fernandez opposite Riteish. “We are extremely excited about producing Aladin which promises to be a visual extravaganza and will take visual effects in Indian cinema to new heights. We will be leveraging our strength into new areas by using the most talented expertise in the special effects arena through EyeQube, our recently launched visual effects company”, says Sunil Lulla, President, Eros International, India. “We have chosen the toughest audience for our film - kids who are exposed to the best of the best today with the Harry Potters, Lord of the Rings etc, hence their benchmark is higher. With Aladin, we want to present a visual delight and a film with definite positioning for children, in sync with Hollywood summer blockbusters. Through Eros' global positioning, we hope to present the film on a worldwide platform at par with the other leading state-of-the-art visual effects films”, says director Sujoy Ghosh. “We are approaching Aladin with the same proven methods employed on large-scale Hollywood productions. We have designed the look and feel of the show prior to filming and also been involved with the production design to help weave in our effects more naturally. Basically, this film will really surprise people, it will open their eyes to a new kind of Indian film, the visual effects for this production are well thought out and will amaze the audience” says Charles Darby, Creative Director of EyeQube & Senior Visual Effects Supervisor. As part of its 360 degrees presence strategy, Eros International recently announced the launch of EyeQube, a visual effects company. EyeQube will create specific teams to handle individual film projects and exclusively handle top-end visual effects for Aladin. Aladin has just wrapped its Rajasthan schedule and the second schedule is presently being shot in Mumbai at Filmcity and Mehboob Studios. The film is aiming for a 2008 release. Aladin comes as part of a five-film deal between Eros International and Boundscript. All five films will be high-end visual effects driven and each film will be aimed at raising the visual effects benchmark.

Aamir to host Pogo Amazing Kids Awards

Aamir Khan’s special bond with children is something that’s known to one and all. With Aamir’s directorial debut, Taare Zameen Par, revolving around children, the actor has been going all out interacting with his young fans be it at a radio station on Children’s day, or judging a kids’ musical reality show on television.The latest news doing the rounds is that Aamir will be hosting the Pogo Amazing Kids Awards 2007. Incidentally, Darsheel Zafary, the lead child protagonist in Taare Zameen Par would be co-hosting the award function which would be telecast on Dec 29 2007. This is the first time that the normally reclusive actor would be hosting an awards show and apparently the only reason he has agreed to do it is because kids have been a real source of inspiration and strength for him. Considering the popularity the kids channel Pogo enjoys among tiny tots, one thing is certain that Aamir would add many loyal fans for his film, which opens on Dec 21.

Ghai signs Sunny, Bobby

Subhash Ghai is expanding his horizons further. Having announced a slew of projects with a number of stars, Ghai has now added the Deol brothers to Mukta Arts’ family. The Showman has signed Sunny and Bobby for two separate projects, to be launched in August and October, 2008. Incidentally, Sunny is already starring in Mukta Arts’ RIGHT YA WRONG, being directed by Neeraj Pathak, the writer of Ghai’s PARDES and Anil Sharma’s APNE.Meanwhile, Ghai begins the year 2008 with BOMBAY TO BANGKOK, which is slated for release on 11th January.

Salman's call to Amrita

Amrita Rao received a surprise call from, hold your breath, Salman Khan on Friday night. Amrita, who’s shooting in Jaisalmer for Anil Kapoor’s film, flew to Mumbai to partake in the music launch celebrations of MY NAME IS ANTHONY GONSALVES. Looking radiant, the pretty actress received compliments aplenty during the music launch. Salman, who was shooting in Hyderabad for Boney Kapoor’s film, was watching the music launch on television and promptly called Amrita, showering generous compliments on her. “I was pleasantly surprised when he called. In fact, Boney-ji, who was also with him, also spoke,” Amrita reveals excitedly. Amrita’s glam look in MY NAME IS ANTHONY GONSALVES is surely creating ripples!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Sohail Khan Signs 60 crore deal

Salman-Govinda starrer Partner has not just given a boost to David Dhawan and Govinda's career but it has helped producer Sohail Khan, too. If sources are to be believed the director-actor has been offered a Rs. 60 crore-deal by Indian Films Production Company. According to the deal, Sohail will co-produce two films with Indian Films Production Company and both movies will have Salman in the lead. However, Sohail isn't too happy with the amount that has been offered to him by the production company and we hear that he's in talks with them to increase it. "Both the films will have Salman Khan as the protagonist. If everything goes well, one of the films will be a sequel to Partner, while details of the other film is yet to be finalized," says a source. After Partner Sohail has become so conscious about the production value of his films and thus wants both these films to be big budget ventures. It is also believed that big brother Salman who is always there for his family has already assigned dates to Sohail. Although we are told that Sohail had already been given Rs. 20 crores of the 60 crores in advance, Sohail maintained that he wasn't aware of any such deal when we contacted him.

All the best heroes were in the 70's - Farah Khan

Excerpts from ‘The Making of Om Shanti Om’“I remember we used to stand in line to go and get tickets, we would stand on Monday to get tickets for a Friday show. The entire family would go; my mother, my brother and half the building! I was growing up then, between ages of 5 and 15, I was in the 70’s-the biggest influences of life come at that age,” says Farah. All the best and commercial movies of Indian cinema were made in the 70’s, whether it was Sholay or Deewar or Trishul or Don or Bobby. You had great music with R.D. Burman and Laxmikant Pyarelal. All the best heroes were in the 70’s points out Farah- Dharmendra, Shashi Kapoor, Jeetendra, Rishi Kapoor, Amitabh Bachchan, even the heroines, you can’t beat a Rekha or a Hema Malini or Parveen Babi or a Neetu Singh… (Page 08) “Think about it,” urges Farah. “If 30 years from now, you want to make a period film about Bollywood, a film about the 90’s or the 2000’s, you will find it very difficult. The 70’s had distinct villains Ajit or Gabbar Singh, you had vamps like Mona darling and the villainous sidekick Mac, the dens with the crocodiles, the Mere Paas Ma Hai dialogues… there are characteristics that just scream 70’s at you, you recognize them instantly. The 80’s still had disco and Mithunda clothes, the 90’s might be known for Shah Rukh or Karan’s colours but the current crop of movies, we don’t have this anymore.” “Besides in every reincarnation movie they never ever show the period before, if you see Karan Arjun or Karz, the world looks the same now and 30 years back, everything looks the same. I thought that reincarnation would be a really good idea because the first half is set 30 years earlier and we could base it in the 70’s so that it would have to be a period film in the first half,” says Farah. “Frankly the movie is about what we like about the 70s” Shah Rukh tells me… (Page 09) Most people in the film industry have such big dreams that one lifetime is not enough. Thus spoke Farah Khan. I cannot think of a better line that sums up her vision of Om Shanti Om… (page 12) Let’s check in with Mayur again. “In the opening scene of the film,” he says, “the shooting of the famous song ‘Om Shanti Om’ is in progress. The moment you see the set with the turn table, you immediately connect it with reality. That really happened, in the movie Karz that is, there’s Rishi Kapoor on stage, lip-synching the song. That really happened. We see Subhash Ghai, the director, famous for cameos in his own films, in his trademark hat yelling ‘action’! Yes, all of this actually happened, a couple of decades back. Then the hero throws his jacket on to the crowd of junior artistes jumping and cheering. The jacket falls on one junior artiste. Now, this didn’t happen in the original but what if it had? Then this is the story of that junior artiste. Om. Played by Shah Rukh Khan.” …… (page 12) The above excerpts are taken from the book –'The Making of Om Shanti Om' written by Mushtaq Shiekh and published by Om Books International

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'Khan' or 'My Name Is Khan'?

So what is Karan Johar’s next venture called? Is it KING KHAN? Or is it KHAN? Or has it been re-titled MY NAME IS KHAN? Reports in the media suggest it’s called MY NAME IS KHAN. In fact, Karan is breaking away from the ‘K’ factor this time [all his films start with the alphabet ‘K’].“I haven’t zeroed on any title yet,” Karan confides, “It could be MY NAME IS KHAN or just KHAN. But it’s not KING KHAN. Where did that one come from?” Reportedly, the film is based on terrorism. “It’s not! That’s another rumour. There’s no terrorism angle in my film. Yes, there’s a mention of the 9/11 episode, but nothing beyond that,” he clears the air. The film has been delayed slightly. It was expected to start before the year came to a close, but will now roll in second quarter of 2008 and will hit the screens in April 2009. And yes, the film teams the golden combo – SRK and Kajol – after a hiatus. “I can’t confirm on Kajol’s presence till I talk to her. I’ve shifted my film ahead and need to sit with her on the fresh dates,” Karan reveals. Meanwhile, Karan has started work on the animation version of KUCH KUCH HOTA HAI, called KOOCHIE KOOCHIE HOTA HAI. Also, the Tarun Mansukhani-directed film, starring Abhishek, Priyanka and John, is expected to roll shortly

John follows SRK's footsteps

John Abraham is following Shah Rukh Khan’s footsteps. While SRK set a precedent vis-à-vis the promotion of OM SHANTI OM, John is also going that extra mile to promote his new film DHAN DHANA DHAN GOAL. Last week, the actor flew to London [Monday] to spread the word, the next stop was Dubai [Wednesday] to partake in the Dubai premiere, thereafter it was Mumbai [Thursday] for the Mumbai premiere, the next morning it was New Delhi for a special screening, then Goa and subsequently, Pune [mingled with the moviegoers at E Square multiplex].At E Square, Pune, John threw more than 50 footballs -- with his signature on each ball -- at the overjoyed audience. “The crowd went berserk. The penultimate 25 minutes have caught on in a big way,” an elated John informs me. The promotion doesn’t end there. John is visiting various cities next to promote the film: Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata, Ahmedabad and Pune [once again]. “John’s dedication and his interest in marketing the film makes me wonder if he has joined our [UTV] marketing team,” UTV Vice President Siddharth Roy Kapur beams with joy. That’s a wonderful compliment. Wish all actors were as enthu as SRK and John!

"SRK, Farah visit Manoj Kumar

By now its general knowledge that Manoj Kumar aka Mr. Bharat raised an objection stating that he was very deeply hurt with his portrayal in the latest blockbuster Om Shanti Om. And rumors had it that he had demanded the said scene to be deleted from the film. Needless to say that one cannot expect anything but the unexpected from the King Khan. The current status is that SRK and Farah Khan had called press conference to publicly apologize to Manoj Kumar. Meanwhile Mr. Bharat, it seems that, wanted SRK to call on him personally and lend his apology, which was not happening, all thanks to the King Khan’s choc-a-bloc schedules. That’s when Yash ‘Mr Romance’ Chopra, himself decided to play the mediator between the two by calling Manoj Kumar on Tuesday night amidst his dinner and said that he wanted to drop by, without divulging any further details. Manoj Kumar’s joys knew no bounds when he saw SRK along with his better half, Gauri and Farah accompanying Yash Chopra! SRK soon played the ‘real-life’ Raj of DDLJ and in no time all of them were happy with the outcome of the family re-union! In the meanwhile, Farah has gone on record to say that Manoj Kumar’s scenes won't be chopped off from Om Shanti Om. As the dialogue from the film goes “Aakhir mein sab kuch thik hi ho jata hai…”

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Singh Is Kinng

Singh Is Kinng is a upcoming film starring Akshay Kumar and Katrina Kaif in lead role.

[edit] Cast
Akshay Kumar as.......... Amritpal Maan Singh
Katrina Kaif as.......... Jaya Maan Singh
Neha Dhupia as.......... Adhiti Maan Singh
Sunil Shetty as.......... Aditya Maan Singh
Sonu Sood as.......... Shashank Maan
Harjeet Singhas.......... BindaJatt Maan Singh
kawaljeet as.......... Kawal Maan Singh

Akki set to welcome new year

Welcome is my last major comedy of 2007," says Akshay Kumar. After having a successful year with three comedies, Namastey London, Heyy Babyy and Bhool Bhulaiyaa, Akshay is now gearing up for his next release Welcome on December 20.
Welcome, being touted as one of the biggest Id and Christmas release, marks the return of the Akshay-Katrina Kaif pair for a third time, besides assembling the biggest ensemble cast comprising Paresh Rawal, Anil Kapoor, Feroz Khan, Nana Patekar and Mallika Sherawat.
Akshay, who is presently shooting for Singh Is Kingg in Australia laughs and says, "Earlier, everyone said I was synonymous with action. I bagged the khiladi tag. Now, with my last few films being successful comedies, I’ve become synonymous with comedy."
Ask him about his reign at the box office this year and he smiles, "I’m happy that the three comedies I did this year have done well at the box office. Welcome is the king of them all! It’s a laughter riot from the word go and I hope everyone enjoys it during the festive season."
He adds, "Comedy comes as naturally to me as action. I have a variety of films on the anvil next year. I am getting back to action with Chandni Chowk To China and Tashan . But for now, I want everyone to concentrate on Welcome and welcome the new year with a bang."

Brett Lee to star in Bollywood film on cricket

Sydney, Paceman Brett Lee has long expressed his desire to act in a Bollywood film and now fans of the Australian cricketing legend can look forward to soon seeing him in action on the big screen.
Lee will star in "Victory", a film on cricket to be produced by Vivek Aggarwal and Ajit Pal. Starring alongside Lee is Australian cricketing great Allan Border and fellow Australian cricketers Mike Hussey and Jason Gillespie. "I am excited to be making my Bollywood debut in 'Victory' and I'm hopeful playing the role of a cricketer will come naturally to me!" said Lee, 31, who earlier this year released "You're The One For Me", a duet with Asha Bhonsle. Not long ago, Lee had told IANS: "I would love to appear in a Bollywood movie one day soon. I have had a couple of offers but my schedule at the moment is primarily focused on cricket and family. The time will come and I can't wait!"The shooting of the film will commence in Australia in January 2008 during the India-Australia cricket series and will feature more than 20 current and recent cricket stars from around the globe "This is a huge boost to Indo-Australian film trade and follows the success of 'Heyy Babyy' and the anticipated release of 'Love Story 2050', both of which were shot in Australia," said the film's Australian producer, Anupam Sharma of Films and Casting Temple.Cricket and Bollywood make a heady mix. The announcement of a film on cricket comes close on the heels of the recent sporting box office hit "Chake De India", which was shot in Melbourne and Sydney.Producer Vivek Aggarwal said: "This is a complex and ambitious project, but Australia was the natural choice. Not only because of the film-friendly culture but also because India and Australia share such a strong passion for cricket". In "Victory", Ajit Pal makes his directorial feature debut. The film will be presented by one of the leading Indian production houses, AdLabs.International cricket stars include Simon Jones and Saj Mahmood from England and New Zealand's Craig McMillan, Daryl Tuffey, Nathan Astle and Martin Crowe. The lead actor is Harman Baweja, who recently shot his debut futuristic film "Love Story 2050" set in South Australia. The film stars Anupam Kher, Amrita Rao and Gulshan Grover among others.

I'll do another film if I like the script: Madhuri Dixit

Mumbai, With Madhuri Dixit's comeback film "Aaja Nachle" already attracting the crowds - and controversy - there is talk on her next move. Is another film in the offing?
"I haven't signed anything new. I haven't planned any new project as yet. And it isn't because I want to see how my so-called comeback is accepted," Madhuri told IANS."The box office outcome of 'Aaja Nachle' has nothing to do with my future in films. I'll sign another film if I like it," she said.So how does Madhuri plan to balance her domestic duties in Denver, Colorado, with her movie manoeuvrings in Mumbai?She pondered for a while and said, "We'll see how it goes. Maybe I could again shoot in India during the kids' vacations. Or then the film could be shot in the US."Madhuri's sons Arin and Ryan have seen mom's films in passing. "They've seen 'Devdas' fully. They found me strange in that film because I was bedecked and bejewelled from head to toe. What I've worn in 'Aaja Nachle' is how they see me dressed at home. 'Hum Aapke Hain Koun' was another film that was pretty close to me in dress and thought," she said.She cuts down all speculation about her unwillingness to be in India to promote "Aaja Nachle".The actress said: "What rubbish! Yashraj Films and I had decided that I should be here 15 days before the film's release. I think two weeks is a decent period to acquaint people with a film."Madhuri admits she had never gone all-out for any of her earlier films. "Times have changed. Now you need to tell people to come and see your film. It's like inviting guests for a daughter's wedding. And you know what? I'm enjoying it."

Halla Bol

Ashfaque (Ajay Devgan) is a small town boy aspiring to be a film star in the Hindi film industry. He joins a street theatre group run by a reformed dacoit Sidhu (Pankaj Kapur) who uses street theatre as a medium to bring about an awakening in the masses. Ashfaque struggles to give a creative vent to the actor in him in order to realize his dreams.
Ashfaque's determined struggle pays off and he gets a break in films. He gets a new screen name - Sameer Khan. With the passage of time, the roles start becoming better and he moves up the success ladder in a very short time. Soon, he becomes Sameer Khan the superstar - one who can enact any role with finesse, get under the skin of any and every character with ease and walk away with audience applause.
Sadly, amidst all adulation and applause, he slowly loses his own identity. He forgets his real self and imbibes all characteristics of the various roles essayed by him on screen. Corruption takes over his entire system, alienating him from all loved ones, including his wife Sneha (Vidya Balan).
A shocking incident at a party changes everything, rocking Sameer Khan's lifestyle. He gets caught between his human self on one side and his corrupted superstar image on the other.
Whether the conflict within him gives way to good sense and whether he is able to discard his corrupted image and emerge as a true life hero, becomes an integral part of this true life cinema

Sarkar Raj to see Ash in glam avatar

It is believed that Aishwarya Rai’s role in Ram Gopal Varma’s Sarkar Raj is based on the character of Rebecca Mark. Aishwarya plays a contemporary business woman in the film, and hence, Varma has modelled her role on Rebecca.
Rebecca was the famous head of Enron International, a division of Enron. She later was promoted to the post of vice-chairman of Enron, but resigned from the company in 2000. She is not only remembered for her business acumen, but for her looks, clothes, and legs as well. Gossip columnists claimed she won the Dabhol contract due to her sex appeal. Rebecca’s mini-skirts, puffed blouses and three inch spiked heels were her trademark.
Sources say, "RGV was very keen for Aishwarya to have the look that Rebecca was famous for and has shaped up her character accordingly"
According to insiders, Sarkar Raj is shaping into Varma’s best work to date. And the Bachchans are extremely upbeat about it since; this is the first film that Ash and Abhishek Bachchan will be cast together after their marriage.
Sarkar Raj is the sequel to Varma’s superhit Sarkar, which also starred Amitabh and Abhishek. An insider says, "A major part of the story is however based on the conflict of emotions between Amitabh and Abhishek. Supposedly, in this film, Abhishek is said to be the new sarkar in this movie. The film is scheduled to release early next year."