India’s Reliance Entertainment signs Hollywood deals

NEW DELHI, May 18, 2008 (AFP) – India’s Reliance Entertainment said Sunday it had signed deals with the production houses of top Hollywood stars such as Brad Pitt and George Clooney to make films worth about a billion dollars. The media group has signed separate deals with the production firms of Hollywood stars Nicolas Cage, Jim Carrey, George Clooney, Tom Hanks and Brad Pitt and filmmakers Chris Columbus and Jay Roach, it said in a statement.

“With this deal, we hope to develop up to 30 scripts, of which hopefully, 10 will go into production,” Reliance Big Entertainment’s chairman Amit Khanna told AFP by phone from Cannes in France, where the firm made the announcement.

“The value of this slate of films will be worth a billion dollars,” Khanna said.

The films will be made in the next two years under different genres and will have a range of budgets, Khanna said.

“We will be dealing directly with top talent,” he said, adding the agreements would take India to the forefront of global entertainment.

The agreements are “the first major building block in the creation of a virtual studio, or new-generation media company”, the company said.

“They are part of Reliance Entertainment’s long-term strategy