Shekhar Kapur Planning Paani

A dystopian water crisis thriller

Shekhar Kapur Planning Paani

by James White |
Published on

It’s been a couple of years since we’ve had a new film from Elizabeth director Shekhar Kapur (his contribution to **New York, I love You **doesn't count). But now he’s planning to tickle our consciences as well as our pleasure centres, gearing up to make Paani, a disturbing, dystopian thriller focused on the issue of the world’s shrinking, mismanaged water supply.

Paani – the Hindu word for water – will take place in a near-future city that is split in two, divided along the lines of those who have the precious fluid and those who do not. While the story was originally set in 2040, Kapur realised that the pace of water shortages meant it could be set just a few short years from now.

Kapur is now apparently in talks with several actors to snatch roles, though since the deals aren’t sealed, he’s staying mum about them for now, aside from cryptically describing them as an 18-year-old American actress, an internationally famous Latin American pop star and a 40-year-old European thesp. Your guesses please, ladies and germs.

But it’s clearly a subject close to his heart, and he was inspired by another filmmaker who has been pushing an important issue in his work. “As storytellers, we have the ability to create emotional epics about that which bothers us. This issue really bothers me, as it should bother everybody in the world. It should. Because we’re running out of water. We’re not in a comfortable position. People are already fighting over water,” Kapur tells The Hollywood Reporter.

“When James Cameron wants to talk about the environment he made a beautiful film, Avatar, but the film became such a big hit, not only because James Cameron is such an incredible filmmaker, but also because he’d found something in the consciousness of the people. And now I believe the people of the world are afraid about water. I feel that I’d be able to tap into that consciousness.”

With Danny Boyle on board as an executive producer, Kapur aims to lock in distribution deals and kick off shooting in November ready for a release next year.

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