New Delhi : One of Taiwan’s most celebrated producers, Hsu Li-Kong, wants to make “a Bollywood-type” movie. And he finds India a rich source of themes, be it the stories behind its many gods or its “tiffin culture”.
“I do hope I’ll make a Bollywood type of movie. That is one of the main aims; I have come to India this time so that I get to know what Bollywood movies are like,” Li-Kong told IANS in an interview through an interpreter.
“I am here on a survey and collecting some preliminary information. I do want to make such a movie but I don’t have any idea in my mind right now. But I would like to cast some Bollywood stars in my movie, especially the cast of ‘Slumdog Millionaire’,” he added.
Is he referring to Dev Patel and Freida Pinto who shot to fame with Danny Boyle’s Oscar winning drama?
“Yes, I’d like to cast them, but I’ll have to wait for the right script. Then only I’ll know what kind of actors I want and their characteristics. And I am sure you can find all kinds of actors in India,” said the 65-year-old.
“It will tentatively come on board after a year.”
He was on a five-day visit to the country and was the guest of honour at a retrospective of Taiwanese-American filmmaker Ang Lee’s films.
So are Bollywood musicals well-known back home?
“Obviously everyone is aware of Bollywood like Hollywood. The fact that Bollywood movies are an integral part of every Indian is a well-known fact there.
“But there are not many chances to see a Bollywood movie. These don’t come out in many theatres and are very rare. The main reason for that is the Hollywood market there is too strong. Even European movies suffer the same fate. The best way to watch Bollywood movies, however, is through international film festivals where all nations get a chance to showcase their movies,” he said.
So what fodder has he collected from his India visit?
“I found so many things interesting here like gods. There are so many gods here. There must be some story behind each and every god. That could be an interesting topic for a movie,” he said.
“Then the tiffin culture in India is very interesting. I see people carrying tiffins every time. You can easily buy a sandwich or something for lunch, but why would someone carry a tiffin? Is it just because they like to eat hot food?
“There must be some very touching story behind it within the family… may be about the wife and the husband or the mother and the son. That is something which could be very exciting to work on,” added the veteran.
Li-Kong is all praise for Ang Lee. Known for giving the latter a break in showbiz, Li-Kong produced four of Lee’s successful outings – “Pushing Hands” (1992), “The Wedding Banquet” (1993), “Eat Drink Man Woman” (1994) and “Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon” (2000).
The producer is now looking forward to teaming up with the Academy award winner again.
“Every year we meet to discuss projects; so it is an ongoing idea. Another film together is possible. In fact, after the success of ‘Crouching Tiger…’, Ang Lee and I had a plan to make a prequel but he didn’t want to make the same type of movie again,” said Li-Kong.
“He wanted to explore and do something very different. Even though we completed the script for the prequel, we decided to stall it and keep a more creative and innovative movie in line.
“Ang Lee is a man of innovation. He wants to do something special again which is a mental drama something like you have in Hollywood. I do hope this relationship continues in the future,” he added.
The three-day “Retrospective of Ang Lee’s Films” last week was organised by the Directorate of Film Festivals in association with the Taipei Economic and Cultural Centre.
Li-Kong’s future projects include a sequel to “Eat Drink Man Woman”.