Wednesday, October 21, 2009

'Indian Summer' producers shelve plans to shoot film

NEW DELHI: An early winter appears to have struck `Indian Summer' -- the controversial film on the Nehru-Edwina romance -- with its producers

formally informing the I&B ministry that the project has been shelved.

In a letter on October 5, India Take One Productions said the script was being revised and the film's production had been rescheduled for the latter half of 2010.

Incidentally, recession in the UK has been cited as the reason for the delay. The communication comes close on the heels of the controversial script "cuts" -- sanitising the script of all intimate scenes as mandated by the I&B ministry. The film is an adaptation of British historian Alex von Tunzelmann's 2007 book `Indian Summer: The Secret History of the End of an Empire'. American director Joe Wright was to begin filming in early 2010 and Cate Blanchett was expected to play the part of Edwina Mountbatten.

The letter written by India Take One said, "The producers of the film Mashobra Films are revising the script and are planning to reschedule the production of this film in the latter half of 2010 after removing all the concerned objections. Due to recession in UK, they have delayed/postponed the project till further notice."

Among the scenes that the ministry has reportedly suggested be knocked off include intimate scenes between Nehru-Edwina. It has also suggested that a disclaimer that the film was a work of fiction be added at the beginning. Sources also said the producers wanted to shoot in places like Rashtrapati Bhawan, the erstwhile Viceregal Lodge, where most of the "action" took place.

A ministry official said, "Only the President can give permission for shooting at Rashtrapati Bhawan, which seems difficult at best."

The producers have said that once pre-production is re-started, they will inform the ministry and submit the undertaking required.