Dubai: Film-maker Mira Nair was sighted at the Dubai Film Festival to promote her film AIDS Jaago. CNN-IBN's Somen Mishra caught up with the director.
Somen Mishra: We know that Irrfan and Tabu have been travelling to the US to campaign for the Oscar thing. How is it looking? Can you expect some good news there?
Mira Nair: Well, the Oscars are always a crap shoot, you know. One never knows. But we were very heartened, the response - I mean, The Namesake opened in March of this year in the States and it has played for - what? - six months on the screens. So people really - it's a beloved film. People have not forgotten this film, and have certainly not forgotten the extraordinarily luminous performances by Tabu and Irrfan Khan.
Somen Mishra: Also the news doing the rounds that we are soon going to see Monsoon Wedding on Broadway. Is that true?
Mira Nair: Yes, it's very true. In fact, now that Shantaram was postponed - hopefully for less than a year - I've decided to put this project of Monsoon Wedding as a spectacular musical to Broadway on the front-burner. And that's what I'm going to be doing next.
Somen Mishra: There's a lot of news floating around Shantaram. You know, it's happening-it's not happening-it's postponed. So if you can clear the air on that, what's exactly is the scene? Johnny Depp not doing it because he asked for big money?
Mira Nair: There is a lot of untruth to a lot of rumours. Johnny Depp is very much Shantaram. He is actually the producer of Shantaram. He is the one who has asked me to direct him in Shantaram. All that still remains.
We were all set to shoot in February and because there's a writers' strike in Hollywood, and it's a very important strike and a crippling strike, where literally all pencils must go down and no writing on any scripts - no changes or improvisations can happen during this strike - and it's very difficult to work in that atmosphere when you are making a film of this magnitude. So producers, and Johnny and myself felt that we should just wait until the strike is resolved and then we resume our work.
Somen Mishra: Now that it's postponed, as you're saying, anything else on the cards?
Mira Nair: Well, I bought the rights of Mohsin Hamid's book The Reluctant Fundamentalist, which was recently short-listed for the Booker prize, and that would be my next film, you know, maybe before Shantaram, but probably after.
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