The trend of borrowing a book to make a movie is getting bigger. This year, there are at least seven books that will be converted into film scripts, the latest being Tigmanshu Dhulia adapting journalist Aashu Patel’s crime thriller, Madam X.
Huma Qureshi (left) has reportedly been cast in Madam X
The book provides an insight into dark alleys of the underworld in its peak period — the ’90s. A small town girl comes to Mumbai and becomes a receptionist, then a model, call girl, B-grade actress and finally joins the underworld when her lover leaves her penniless. While the filmmaker has confirmed Huma Qureshi’s presence in the project, he is exploring other options too.
2015’s first release to be based on a book will be Anurag Kashyap’s Bombay Velvet that features Ranbir Kapoor, Anushka Sharma and Karan Johar. Inspired from Gyan Prakash’s Mumbai Fables, it is set in the ’60s. Further, Abhishek Kapoor’s Fitoor, a modern take on Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations, was to hit the theatres this year, but is said to have been pushed ahead. It stars Aditya Roy Kapur, Katrina Kaif and Rekha.
Hitlist gives you a lowdown on projects that are banking on bestsellers...
Battle For Bittora
Reel show: Rhea Kapoor’s film by the same name
Lowdown: Fawad Khan and Sonam Kapoor will reportedly be paired together for the second time after Khoobsurat for the cinematic adaptation of the Anuja Chauhan political thriller.
Sonam Kapoor and Fawad Khan
It will be directed by Shashanka Ghosh and will have the Pakistani heartthrob playing the scion of a North Indian royal family.
Sonam is likely to be seen as Jinni, an animation artist working in Mumbai, who is asked by her bossy grandmother to contest the Lok Sabha elections from their native place, Bittora.
Reel show: Mohit Suri’s film by the same name
Lowdown: Chetan Bhagat’s latest novel is a love story about Madhav, a Bihari boy, who falls in a love with Riya, who hails from an affluent family from Delhi.
While Madhav wants a relationship, Riya has her doubts and as a compromise, agrees to become his half girlfriend. The main cast of the film is yet to be locked. During the film’s announcement, Kriti Sanon was named as the lead, but the deal with her fell through.
Karachi, You’re Killing Me
Reel show: Vikram Malhotra’s Delhi, You’re Killing Me
Lowdown: Abundantia Films, which is making Airlift with Akshay Kumar and Nimrat Kaur, will adapt Karachi, You’re Killing Me authored by Pakistani journalist Saba Imtiaz.
The book chronicles the life of Ayesha Khan, a progressive-thinking journalist in her late twenties, who drinks and smokes in a city that is yet to shed its orthodox tag.
The Accidental Apprentice
Reel show: Sriram Raghavan’s yet-to-be-titled film
Lowdown: The director is all set to adapt Vikas Swarup’s The Accidental Apprentice into a film, which is yet to be titled.
The book is based on a shop assistant, Sapna Sinha, who is invited to become the CEO of a business empire if she can pass a series of seven tests. The story explores corruption in a modern India context. Buzz is that Deepika Padukone will be seen essaying the protagonist’s role.
The Immortals of Meluha
Reel show: Karan Johar’s film by the same name
Lowdown: KJo’s Dharma Productions has bagged the film rights of Amish Tripathi’s bestselling debut novel, which is the first of the Shiva trilogy.
The story is set in the imaginary land of Meluha and starts with the arrival of the Tibetan tribal Shiva, who later learns how his choices reflected who he aspires to be and how it led to dire consequences. The book attracted much attention since Amish announced he was on the lookout for a producer to adapt his book.
Reel show: UTV Motion Pictures’ film by the same name
Lowdown: Fourth in the series of Chetan Bhagat’s five bestselling novels, Revolution 2020 is set against the backdrop of a corrupt system and interspersed with a love story.
It talks about Gopal’s unrequited love for his childhood friend, Aarti and explores his bond with another friend, Raghav.
Raj Kumar Gupta will helm the film adaptation which is likely to star Arjun Kapoor as Gopal. The role was earlier offered to Rajkummar Rao, but he had to opt out of the film to act in director Ramesh Sippy’s comeback film. The two other leads, Aarti and Raghav, are yet to be finalised.
The Devotion Of Suspect X
Reel show: Ekta Kapoor’s untitled film
Lowdown: Balaji Telefilms has acquired the rights to the best-selling romantic thriller written by Japanese bestselling author Keigo Higashino.
The book revolves around a desperate woman craving a peaceful life and ends up killing her abusive ex-husband. Several film studios around the world are in the process of producing this film in their own languages.
Sujoy Ghosh has been signed on to direct the Indian version. While Saif Ali Khan will be seen playing an investigator in the film, Kangna Ranaut had apparently been signed to play the leading lady, but her presence in the project is now doubtful.
“Over a period of time, the film industry has realised the importance of literature. On the other hand, the literature industry has also expanded a lot. Both industries have come closer and that’s the biggest reason for several bestselling books being adapted into films.”
— Amish Tripathi, author of The Immortals of Meluha
“Films based on books mostly work when they have been bestsellers and a talking point. Some changes are made as per the script requirements, but it’s a treat for those viewers who have read that particular book it is adapted from. It’s also good for the writers as they get good publicity too
— Aashu Patel, author of Madam X