Fox Star Studios, the joint venture between 20th Century Fox and Star, has struck a deal to finance and distribute forthcoming Bollywood project My Name Is Khan. India’s biggest actor Shah Rukh Khan stars and Karan Johar directs.
Fox Star Studios will market and distribute in India and Fox Searchlight will market and distribute the film in the US. 20th Century Fox International will distribute outside of India and the US.
Khan plays a Muslim man from India living in San Francisco and traveling across the US, inspiring people and creating an accidental revolution. The film reunites him with frequent co-star Kajol, who plays his wife in My Name Is Khan.
Fox Star Studios already worked on the Indian release of Slumdog Millionaire earlier this year (which Searchlight handled with great success in the US). Star’s television properties have a long history with Khan and Johar.
Johar has famously collaborated with Khan on his his three previous films as director - the blockbuster hits Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Khabi Khushi Kabhie Gham and Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna.
“For us it was important to find a partner who is like minded, has a similar vision and the capability to take Indian cinema to international markets,” said Johar from Los Angeles. “This movie is essentially about human emotions that are relevant to people across the world, and I am happy that audiences unfamiliar with these films will get a chance to see what Indian cinema has to offer to the world.”
“We are extremely proud of this collaboration, which reflects our ongoing commitment to partner with the best filmmakers in the world,” said Jim Gianopulos, chairman and CEO of Fox Filmed Entertainment. “My Name is Khan is a powerful, emotional journey that will cross borders and cultures and enthrall audiences all over the world. Karan and Shah Rukh have a brilliant vision for the film, and we’re thrilled to combine their enormous talent with our global commitment to its success in 2010.”
Vijay Singh, the CEO of Fox Star Studios India who has spearheaded the deal said, “Karan and Shah Rukh have been the most successful combination in Bollywood, and we are delighted to be working together on My Name is Khan. This relationship will help us further build the Fox Star presence in India, and provide an opportunity to demonstrate our marketing and distribution capabilities.”
Fox Star Studios plans to soon move into other markets including China and Southeast Asia.