The studio will distribute its first Bollywood film, a historical drama co-produced by Viacom18 Motion Pictures and director Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s banner.
The film is co-produced by Viacom18 Motion Pictures and director Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s banner Bhansali Productions. The film stars Deepika Padukone, Shahid Kapoor and Ranveer Singh. As one of the most anticipated titles of the year, Padmavati will be released in India by Viacom18 Motion Pictures.
The film revolves around the titular character of queen Padmavati (Padukone) from Rajasthan and her husband Maharawal Ratan Singh (Kapoor) who battled the Mughal invader Sultan Alauddin Khilji (Singh).
Bhansali first directed Padmavati as an opera in 2008 for the Theatre Du Chatelet in Paris, which was based on the 1923 opera written by Albert Rousselan. Bhansali’s production traveled to Rome and was also performed at Italy’s Spoleto festival.
As one of India’s most acclaimed directors, Bhansali is known for his signature blockbuster productions, such as 2015’s hit Bajirao Mastani, which was based on historical figures and also starred Padukone and Singh.
"Padmavati has all the makings of a hit film and we are excited to bring Sanjay’s incredible vision to audiences across the international market place,” Paramount Pictures president worldwide distribution and marketing Megan Colligan said.
“This is a first-ever such collaboration with Paramount Pictures releasing a Viacom18 Hindi feature across international markets,” added Viacom18 Motion Pictures COO Ajit Andhare. “With Paramount coming on board, we will take the film to a whole new level globally.” Details about the film's U.S. screen count are still awaited.
Paramount’s association with Viacom18 goes back to 2011 when the companies entered into an alliance for Viacom18 to handle Paramount’s studio releases in India.
When the alliance was announced, then Paramount Pictures International president Andrew Cripps had talked about the possibility of Paramount distributing Bollywood films, saying: “Bollywood films are gaining popularity in various international territories and the market is only growing. Viacom18 are making some very interesting movies and if there is potential in some of them we'd be happy to look at that opportunity.”