Karan Johar vs Hollywood: Who will win the race to film Amish Tripathi’s Immortals of Meluha?

Karan Johar-Amish Tripathi

Hollywood and Bollywood – the two most prominent film industries in the world have acquired rights to make the award-winning book into a film. How different will the approach of each be? Will KJo add naach-gaana? Will the Americans ace it with technology? We try and figure this one out…

Karan Johar expressed his eagerness to make a film on Amish Tripathi’s bestselling novel Immortals of Meluha a couple of years ago. He bought the Bollywood adaptation rights for the book based on Lord Shiva, but the ace Indian filmmaker has yet not started working on it, even after calling it his ‘most ambitious project’ yet. We wonder why…

More recently, a US-based producer bought the rights to the Hollywood adaptation of the same novel. Amish Tripathi announced this at the Jaipur literary festival a few weeks ago, but did not want to give details. Will the Hollywood adaptation be better than KJo’s? And will it be released before Karan’s version? We ponder…

So we decided to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of the two versions.

First: Karan has been making films on human relationships all his career and Immortals of Meluha is based on Shiva’s personal life and his relationships. On the other hand, there are very few Hollywood films that have a deep understanding of Indian interpersonal dynamics or mythology. For instance, the West often finds it difficult to understand how a son can spend his whole life living with his parents. And then there is the matter of making films on relationships – the Los Angeles Times published a feature article a few months ago with the headline: ‘Why so many Hollywood relationship movies are box-office duds’. The story stated that many H-Town movies that had relationships as their focus were flops because the audience just did not connect well to the theme. Although there have been movies like My Sister’s Keeper, The Magic Of Belle Isle, Rum Diaries,The Descendants, etc, based on relationships, we know KJo will do it better. And with Shiva as the central character – the desi magic would rule!

After Karan Johar, US producer buys rights of Amish Tripathi’s Shiva trilogy The Immortals of Meluha

Second: Hollywood films are known for their technology, visual effects and big budget. The Hollywood film would definitely take advantage of all the three and make the movie a grand spectacle. Movies like Avatar, Transformers, X-Men, Titanic, Avengers, etc are testament to that fact. No Indian producer could muster up such monies – productions like RA One and Blue pride themselves on their budget, although none has been even a tenth of what a Hollywood movie’s production could cost. So if the US-based producer takes on the project, it would likely make for a far more impressive movie, with Shiva’s character as super-powered as Iron Man, Superman, Spiderman or Wolverine.

Will Karan Johar still be making Immortals of Meluha?

Third: KJo’s attitude towards making the film is a big let-down. Hollywood films are made on a grand scale and tend to fulfil the commitments they make, especially apropos deadline, even if it is announced a couple of years in advance. In contrast, Karan has not even started scripting for the film, he says, though he has had it for the past two years. He could be working on it away from the prying eyes of the media, but we all know that he has been busy with hosting chat shows, judging reality shows and producing movies for other directors. He seems to have lost that drive to direct that he had in his initial days as a filmmaker. When Johar decided to bring the world of Meluha alive on the big screen, he said, “For me, it is not just another film. I would say it would be a game-changer for Dharma.” But to us, it seems as if he has stopped playing the game, never mind changing it. And wethinks Immortals Of Meluha is the last thing on KJo’s mind for now.

Now we leave it to you BollywoodLifers, to decide which movie would be better…and faster made. As Indians, we want Bollywood to win this race. But as ardent fans of the Shiva trilogy, we want it to be made in Hollywood first so that it could have all the advantages those budgets and technology can give it. What do you think?

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  • Thash G.

    I just hope that Hrithik Roshan will be the lead actor protraying Shiva! He completely suits the role.
    (But ya, i would prefer an Indian Filmmaker to make this movie…more suited )

    • Cattypuss

      I would HATE this movie to be made by Hollywood – they would murder it! The book deserves to be bought to life by an Indian director, with Indian actors…and yes, I will suffer the subtitles when it comes out on DVD.

  • Cattypuss

    Roshan has unexpectedly pulled out of Shuddhi :-( but maybe, just maybe Karan Johar will consider HR for Immortals of Meluha trilogy instead?. HR would be absolute magic in that role. He’s currently shooting Bang Bang, and rumors are rife that he will take a long break from filming to sort out his private life.

    • Anu Pathak

      Only HR can do full justice with this kind of role.Bang Bang is going to release on October 2nd 2014, so he has much time after that to do this film because he hasnot signed any other film till date.And shooting of Bang Bang will be over by june or july.Karan will definitely consider him because he knows nobody else can do this kind of role with perfection.

      • Cattypuss

        Let’s hope so – as I understand it, The Immortals of Meluha is the first book of a trilogy about Shiva. The Lord of the Rings was also screened as a trilogy, and that went on to huge success at the cinemas, making a fortune for it’s backers. Roshan has the depth and presence to make this a roaring success in India, and maybe even overseas if it were given to him by Karan. The Indian diaspora would love it! But poor me…….I will have to suffer the indignity of being relegated to subtitles again!

        • Anu Pathak

          hahahahaha…Yeah i am totally agree with your point of view.I have read “The Immortals of Meluha” it is very nicely written book.

  • Kartik Shingala

    I will love both the films.. as i m a big fan of shiva trilogy and shiva too….. but as an Indian citizen i would like to prefer the movie to be hollywood,so that every one in the world could see the Indian culture as well as understand it and respect it. Also if bollywood makes the movie i will be excited because the actor will be known enough to every indian.In both the way i will be excited but please make the movie as soon as possible directors. Har Har mahadev

    • Prashanth Purastu

      Guys me too big fan of tripati’s Shiva trilogy… Awesssom book

  • Aditya G

    Haven’t you all seen vidyut Jamel yet? He would be the perfect fit for Lord Shiva’s role in the movie!!

  • Sledge

    Its not just money and technology. Hollywood big names like Steven Spielberg, James Cameron, Peter jackson etc… these guys put there entire dedication when making films. Their attention to detail and perfection is very much visible in their movies. They know what they are doing and what they want to show. Best example is District 9 movie. It had a low budget and unknown cast.
    Any ways can’t wait for the movie.

  • Prashanth Purastu

    Guys me too big fan of tripati’s Shiva trilogy… Awesssom book

  • pandi56541

    Mohit raina portrayed image of Shiva perfectly in mahadev TV series . I think its time to give new comers chance. Mohit will do right judgement with lord Shiva’s character better than any actor.