Official Remake of Sholay

August 30th, 2007

Biggest handshake of Bollywood history. Pritish Nandy Communications (PNC) has officially entered into a $100-million franchisee deal with “Sholay Media and Entertainment”, to remake the 70s masterpiece Sholay. Sholay Media & Entertainment, headed by Sascha Vijay Sippy, holds the official franchisee rights of Sholay, produced in 1975 by his grandfather GP Sippy and directed by his uncle Ramesh Sippy. The production house will not only remake Sholay, but also do an animated version of the original film, and then a prequel and a sequel.

The deal comes at a time when Ram Gopal Varma’s controversial movie, Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag, said to be an unofficial remake of Sholay, is set to release this weekend with 700 prints.

Sholay is the most successful film in India’s cinematic history and ran in movie theatres for five-and-a-half years without interruption. Many Indian production houses, as well as a couple of international studios, had approached the Sippys in recent years for the rights to remake the classic. Ram Gopal Varma who was keen on crafting a fresh version of the 1975 blockbuster, also asked them for the rights, but they turned him down. Varma ultimately went ahead with his version, leading to a full-fledged legal battle with the Sippys. He lost and was forced to change the name of his film, alter its characters and assure the court that the film his making would bear no resemblance whatsoever to the original Sholay.

Sasha Sippy, the grandson of G P Sippy says on redoing Sholay

Sholay deserves someone who can respect its scale and magnificence. Pritish Nandy does. We have great respect for PNC’s creativity, innovation and excellence in film-making,  It’s the perfect fit for us. We have been hunting for the correct creative and business partner whom we can trust to take our family legacy, Sholay, to the next level. We have found him.

Nandy responded,

It’s a terrific challenge, but we are ready to pick up the gauntlet. Sholay is not only about remaking a great movie but also about recreating a legend. It’s the biggest and most successful film ever made in Bollywood, and it will not be easy. But we love creative challenges. And this is as big as they get.

PNC would have a revenue-sharing arrangement with Sholay Entertainment & Media instead of the licensing fee model. The $100 million would cover all four projects. The official rights holders would have a say in how the film should be treated in its new avatar The cast, crew and the distribution of the film would be worked out in the due course. PNC will first start work on the production of the animated version of the movie mid-September. The ‘official’ remake of Sholay will also start in 2007-end.

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  1. Official Vs Unofficial.
    I still remember, how Pepsi stole the limelight from Coca-Cola during the 96 World cup by its punch line of “Nothing Official about it”.
    Ramu is also trying to get the attention with its unofficial remake of Sholay.
    Let us wait and watch to see how far he can go?

  2. Abhi picture dekh ke aaya, le duba Ramu sabko apne saath.
    I am very happy for the failure of the movie, I never liked the idea of remaking the golden films. I guess we all want to live with the dialogues of the old Gabar, Veeru and Jay and Basanti.


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