The martial arts action genre continues to play heavily in India’s highly productive market despite anyone’s notice of these films beyond their borders. So, it still a delightful surprise to see such films come about, and much to the chagrin of some critics, that includes remakes which are pretty typical in Indian cinema as directors sometimes remake their own films or that of other directors, local or abroad.
In this instance, we take the name Gavin O’Connor whose 2011 feature-length mixed martial arts drama, Warrior, was a critical hit, but flopped in the U.S.. This week, that film falls at at the feet of Bollywood writer and director Karan Malhotra for the Hindi remake with lead actor Sidharth Malhotra (pictured above) and potential addition, action hero Akshay Kumar respectively portraying the roles previously played by Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton.
The original film’s distributors at Lionsgate are producing the remake with Endemol India to retell the story that previously featured fight choreography by J.J. Perry (Haywire, The Expendables 3) and centered on Hardy and Edgerton as two brothers, one a former Marine and the other a former UFC fighter-turned-schoolteacher, on opposite ends of a three-way family rift stemmimg from their abusive childhood at the behest of their father, played by Nick Nolte. Driven by their own motives, the two brothers eventually find themselves competing in the same mixed martial arts tournament with the grand prize of 5 million dollars to the winner.
In my opinion, not a lot of people are very familiar with Indian action cinema as it gets overlooked by a lot of other films from Hollywood, Hong Kong and the like. But with Lionsgate helping out the project, we’ll see how much publicity this one gets in the states. Granted it might gain its footing mostly with filmgoers familiar with Bollywood cinema, but it could go as far as the film festival circuit in North America much like Vidyut Jammwal’s 2013 hit, Commando, and grow its audience from there. But, time will tell.
In the meantime, Malhotra is currently expected to dazzle audiences at home with director Mohit Suri’s latest romantic murder thriller, Ek Villain, which releases natively on June 27. Check out the trailer below!
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