If the trailer of the new Jackie Chan starrer, Kung Fu Yoga, is anything to go by, then the Indian cast that had been bragging about the movie all through 2016 has much to be embarrassed about.
Throughout the duration of the trailer, we can see Jackie Chan with a male Chinese co-star and a lion in a car. Disha Patani shows up as an Indian princess — or the way Indian royalty is seen by foreign cinema — in boutique-borrowed exotica. And poor Amyra Dastur makes but a fleeting appearance in a lion’s cage.
Sonu Sood, who’s been giving out best buddies vibe when it comes to his camaraderie with Jackie, busts the myth with his two-shot appearance in the trailer. His villainous role is pretty evident in the clip, a fact that was revealed by the film’s erstwhile producers, but was denied by Sonu himself. It’s interesting to note that the movie, promoted as an Indo-China co-production is not quite what it appears to be, as the Indian production partners, Eros International, pulled out of the partnership citing “serious creative differences” with their Chinese counterparts.
Apparently, the Chinese producers, Taihe, were unilaterally changing the script and production set up, as soon as Jackie came on board. Kung Fu Yoga had been signed as the first official co-production between India and China during the prestigious 1st International Silk Road film festival in Xian, China in 2014. As a result of this, the first official co-production between the two countries, the official co-operation treaty between India and China was signed when Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited China to meet President Xi Jinping.
Says an informed source, “The film produced by the Chinese company Taihe was to have Eros as the Indian partner. It was supposed to be a two-hero action film with Jackie Chan and Hrithik Roshan in parallel roles. As soon as Jackie Chan signed the contract, the Chinese producers began making arbitrary changes in the production plan and the script, to the extent that Hrithik’s role became marginalised.” As a result, Hrithik opted out of the movie, and Eros followed soon after.
While this year will see Bollywood actors trying to make their presence felt in international cinema, it doesn’t look like Kung Fu Yoga has much room for Indian contribution....