Uday Chopra is reinventing himself. He’s emerged from the wings with a diverse slate that focuses on business and production. Chopra recently launched Yomics, and will be heading Yash Raj Film’s Hollywood division. In conversation with Uday Chopra…
You’re multi-tasking a lot these days. You have your collaboration with Hollywood, Dhoom 3 and now you have launched Yomics. How will you juggle so many things?
For a while, I didn’t do much but now everything is happening at the same time. We will start shooting for Dhoom 3 this week. My Hollywood projects are also in the pipeline and now Yomics. But I am not getting stressed. Instead, I want to work some more.
Will you be writing all the comic books yourself?
I have written Dhoom and Daya Prochu. Later, I will pass on the writing to other writers but I will continue writing Daya Prochu as it’s a small comic.
How many comic books do you plan to launch every year?
We will be launching at least one Yomic every month. The same story will continue for six months and then we will introduce more characters and stories. During Diwali, we will definitely come out with a new story.
Why so many stories at a time?
Writing, drawing and making comic books are an art and readers may not like everything I write. So I have decided to launch many at the same time. Some people will like one character, others may like something else.
How have you priced your comic books and what is the audience you are targeting?
They are not very expensive and cost only Rs 99 each. People who like reading comics will pay. Our audiences are not restricted, and as the tag line suggests, they are ‘Not Just For Kids’. We want everyone to read Yomics. After gauging their market value, we may go international.
You said you may make romantic Yomics later. Will we also see Neel ‘N’ Nikki too?
(Laughs) I think audiences didn’t like that movie, so we should not…
You are also handling the international project for Yash Raj. How is that coming along?
Right now I am concentrating on Grace of Monaco starring Nicole Kidman. We will go into production from September. I am really looking forward to it. We are also working on a few scripts and looking for production houses to collaborate with. Our next project will be Bunty Aur Babli, which we are really looking forward to making over there. But the script is under process.
You mentioned Bunty Aur Babli. Who will you cast in the Hollywood version?
We haven’t taken any decisions yet. But I would love to cast Taylor Swift and Michael Cera in the English version. And I want to make the film a little more quirky and comic than the Indian version.
Now that you are making Hollywood films, will you cast Indian actors in them?
No, the aim is not promoting Indians in English films. We will cast Indian actors only if the script demands it. The idea is to think of ourselves as an American company. Writers, directors, everyone will be from there. But if a story requires an Indian character or if AR Rahman agrees to do my music, that’s fine.
Your comic book is reminiscent of Roadside Romeo. Will Yash Raj never make another animated film again?
Roadside Romeo was a good film with a different touch but we don’t have a market for animated films in India yet. We love watching Hollywood animated films but not Indian animated films. So we didn’t go forward with that. But starting with Yomics, maybe after ten years, we can make another animated film or cartoons.
Coming to your next film, Dhoom 3. What’s the status of the project?
We are starting our shoot from this week and it’s going to be a lot of hard work. I will be sharing the screen with Aamir Khan, who is such a big star, and I know I can’t be Aamir so I have to work hard even to stay close to him. You will see more action and stunts in Dhoom 3.
Will we see you in other films too?
No, I have taken a backseat and I will do more behind-the-camera work. I will mainly be involved in production.