Paul Schrader Is Off To Bollywood

To direct action movie, Extreme City

Paul Schrader is swapping Hollywood for Bollywood.

The screenwriting genius behind Taxi Driver and Raging Bull has not only agreed to make his next film, the action thriller Extreme City, in Mumbai, but he’s soaking up the stylistic influences of the Indian film industry as well.

The film, which tells the story of an American who travels to India to resolve a kidnapping incident for his father-in-law, only to get caught up in gangster business, will incorporate some Bollywood traditions, such as musical numbers, while dialogue will be spoken in English and Hindi.

It’s a bold move for Schrader, but in a way, it’s not entirely a surprise. Even though his most recent directorial effort, Adam Resurrected, has been attracting good reviews, particularly for the lead turn from star Jeff Goldblum, Schrader has always faced a struggle to get his movies made in America.

This came to a head most famously in 2003 when his work on what would have been The Exorcist: The Beginning was halted by Warner Bros., who hired Renny Harlin to shoot a new version of Schrader’s own material. Even though Schrader’s vision was eventually released as Dominion: A Prequel To The Exorcist, the experience must have provoked him into looking for alternatives to Hollywood.

And he’s found it in Bollywood, with famous Indian director Anubhav Sinha pulling producing duty. Schrader is currently working on the script for the movie, which may yet be funded by a large Bollywood studio. We wish him well.

If it comes off, Schrader will be just the latest director to try their luck in India – Danny Boyle, of course, shot the vibrant and Oscar-tipped Slumdog Millionaire in Mumbai, Wes Anderson shot The Darjeeling Limited there, and Jennifer Lynch’s next movie, Hisss, is a Bollywood production.