To many Indians Ronnie and Vasan are household names, but non-Indians may not know much about these men and their standing in the industry. This article goes into some detail, showing that these two are a great choice to be the powers, influence and money behind this proposed new Phantom film.
Ronnie Screwvala is a veteran in the movie industry having founded UTV Motion Pictures in the 1990's. He has produced over 80 movies that include box-office blockbusters, as well as winners of the prestigious Indian National Film Awards.
Ronnie sold UTV to Disney for a reported enterprise value of US $1.4 billion. Since then, he has ventured into EdTech and sports, where he owns sports leagues and teams. In the last few years he's moved back into the media and entertainment industry with RSVP Movies, a film production house.
The writer and director of the proposed project, Vasan Bala, may only have a couple of movies under his belt so far but they were critically acclaimed. In fact, Vasan and Ronnie worked together on one of them! Their 2018 collaboration Mard Ko Dard Nahin Hota [The Man Who Feels No Pain] is reviewed very positively on Rotten Tomatoes and looks on its way to also becoming a cult classic.
Bollywood remains the world’s largest film industry measured by number of movies produced each year, but outside India the industry has been more popularly identified with rom-coms and musicals.
In recent years however, Bollywood has been experimenting in cinema with a whole lot of new acting, writing and directing talent emerging. New avenues such as web series and streaming originals by Netflix and Amazon Prime, with producers / entrepreneurs backing offbeat movies and themes, have increased competition in the industry.
Ronnie and Vasan have already acquired the screen adaptation rights for The Phantom and the team has begun research on the story. Given they’ve worked together in the past, Ronnie’s track record in the Indian film industry, and the speed with which the team is moving, this movie appears all set to happen in 2020 (perhaps with a potential release in 2021).
A comic book hero based movie project usually requires a big budget. With Ronnie’s backing, this proposed The Phantom movie seems to have found the necessary financial clout to make it a reality soon.
I hope this brief look into the two men will help excite phans even more. Finally a new movie is coming to life that we can all get behind!