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FROM PAGE TO SCREEN: RAMAYAN 3392 AD (2011)
 



 

What does the box office disappointment of Watchmen mean for these two planned comic book adaptation movies that seems destined to offend religious groups?

TITLE: RAMAYAN 3392 A.D.

WHEN’S IT DUE? 2011

WHO’S STARRING IN IT? No one has been cast yet. Screenwriter John Collee (Happy Feet, Master and Commander) is writing it. No director as yet.

WHO’S MAKING IT? Mark Canton (300) will produce with Mandalay Pictures' Cathy Schulman.

SO IT’S A COMIC? Yup, one published by the new Liquid Comics (formerly Virgin Comics) imprint. It was apparently “created” by New Age guru Deepak Chopra and Shekhar Kapur, director of the two Elizabeth movies starring Cate Blanchett.

WHAT’S IT ABOUT THEN? A sci-fi retelling of The Ramayana, an Indian epic dating from about 400 BC which is part of Hindu religious canon. In the comic Ramayan is the blue-skinned warrior prince Rama who battles Asuras (demons) led by the demon-lord Ravan in a post-apocalyptic year 3392. Think a superhero Lord of the Rings, but with Bollywood visual iconography set in the far future and you will have an idea of what to expect. Or maybe not . . .

WHO WILL IT OFFEND? The same Hindu religious groups that caused a media stink about Mike Myers’ Love Guru last year have already made their displeasure known in the press.

BUT WILL IT REALLY OFFEND THEM? See above.

NEVER MIND RELIGIOUS SENSIBILITIES, ARE THE COMICS ANY GOOD? Ramayan 3392 A.D. is a bit of a wasted opportunity and never really lives up its promise. Still, its sci-fi Bollywood visuals made it a lot more interesting than the generic Image Comics look and vibe of The Magdalena. It could just have been so much better.

AND THE MOVIE? This is one movie we would like to see get made to be honest. It’ll make for a great Lord of the Rings meets Hellboy sort of rousing adventure with the right amount of time and effort spent on replicating the comic’s visuals. It’d definitely be something different. However we’re not too sure whether Ramayan 3392 A.D. will ever get made into a movie because (a) to really do it justice will cost will a bundle and (b) Westerners will think it’s a Bollywood musical and stay away in droves . . . (No use in shortening the title to simply Rama either because then people would mistake it for a popular brand of margarine or a series of science fiction novels by the late great Arthur C. Clarke.)

USELESS FACT: Deepak Chopra’s son is named Gotham Chopra. No, really. His name used to be the more traditional Gautama until he changed it to Gotham because (a) it is more hip and (b) he was tired of people in the States mispronouncing it all the time. Gotham is involved with bringing Ramayan 3392 A.D. to the big screen . . .


 



 

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