After Anil Ambani and Ronnie Screwvala, it is now Yash Chopra’s turn to make a Hollywood debut. the The four-decade old Yash Raj Films, has launched a Hollywood-based production and financing company ‘YRF Entertainment’, which will produce international content.
Chopra’s younger son, Uday Chopra will serve as the CEO of YRF Entertainment and US-based Jonathan Reiman will be head of development and production.
According to industry officials, the company will focus on developing and producing feature films for the US and the international market. The studio already has 'The Longest Week' starring Jason Bateman, Olivia Wilde and Billy Crudup, as its first project.
Industry officials said, that Chopra son got interested in the project after the original financier abandoned the film and deal was signed with his business and legal team in less than two weeks.
“My family has a deep commitment to making quality films. I share that passion, as well as a love for American films that I have had since childhood. It is that enthusiasm and my love of the creative process of film-making that drove me to start this new venture,” said Uday Chopra.
YRF Entertainment is also building a slate of projects that it will develop and produce from the ground up. The first project the company will develop is an untitled action-comedy by Dan Ewen.
In past few years ago, YRF had changed its strategy with lower budgets, a youth focus, long-term actor contracts like a corporate entity. In May, YRF had launched Y films targeting the 18 and 24 year old-in cities and create a new talent pool with fresh actors.
The company has formed eight strategic business units - talent management, Y Films, television, distribution, studio, digital, home video and big-budget films with each having an independent profit centre.
YRF entry to foreign shores, comes at a time when Anil Ambani’s Reliance Big Entertainment is still waiting for its Hollywood gamble to pay off. “The funding deals with stars like Brad Pitt and George Clooney to develop scripts are yet to fructify into a single movie and DreamWorks has been thus far struggling at the box office,” said an analyst.
So far, UTV Motion Pictures had tie-up with Hollywood studio Fox Searchlight to co-produce Mira Nair's Namesake for $9 million. Then Reliance made its big bang Hollywood entry by buying out Steven Speilberg’s Dreamwork studios for $325 million.
Meanwhile, parent banner Yash Raj Films – whose creative head is Yash Chopra's elder son Aditya - will continue to produce mainstream Bollywood films which includes Ladies vs Ricky Bahl starring actor Ranvir Singh and actress Anushka Sharma, Dhoom 3 and also untitled project directed by Yash Chopra starring Shah Rukh Khan and Katrina Kaif.