Tamil audience always welcome quality content and talents, irrespective of language and country. Many Hollywood films had received overwhelming response from movie lovers in these parts, with the latest example being ‘Avengers: Endgame’.
As part of its Friday special articles series, Mykollywood.com this week intends to track some Hollywood blockbusters which made huge waves in Tamil Nadu too in the last two decades or so.
‘Jurassic Park’ is a 1993 American science fiction adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg and produced by Kathleen Kennedy and Gerald R Molen.
The first installment in the ‘Jurassic Park’ franchise, it is based on the 1990 novel of the same name by Michael Crichton and a screenplay written by Crichton and David Koepp. The film is set on the fictional island of Isla Nublar, located off Central America’s Pacific Coast near Costa Rica.
There, billionaire philanthropist John Hammond and a small team of genetic scientists have created a wildlife park of de-extinct dinosaurs. When industrial sabotage leads to a catastrophic shutdown of the park’s power facilities and security precautions, a small group of visitors and Hammond’s grandchildren struggle to survive and escape the perilous island.
Before Crichton’s novel was published, four studios put in bids for its film rights. With the backing of Universal Studios, Spielberg acquired the rights for $1.5 million before its publication in 1990; Crichton was hired for an additional $500,000 to adapt the novel for the screen. Koepp wrote the final draft, which left out much of the novel’s exposition and violence and made numerous changes to the characters. Filming took place in California and Hawaii between August and November 1992, and post-production rolled until May 1993, supervised by Spielberg in Poland as he filmed Schindler’s List.
‘Titanic’ is a 1997 American epic romance and disaster film directed, written, co-produced and co-edited by James Cameron. A fictionalized account of the sinking of the RMS Titanic, it stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet as members of different social classes who fall in love aboard the ship during its ill-fated maiden voyage.
Cameron’s inspiration for the film came from his fascination with shipwrecks; he felt a love story interspersed with the human loss would be essential to convey the emotional impact of the disaster. Production began in 1995, when Cameron shot footage of the actual Titanic wreck.
The modern scenes on the research vessel were shot on board the Akademik Mstislav Keldysh, which Cameron had used as a base when filming the wreck. Scale models, computer-generated imagery, and a reconstruction of the Titanic built at Baja Studios were used to re-create the sinking. The film was partially funded by Paramount Pictures and 20th Century Fox; the former handled distribution in North America while Fox released the film internationally. It was the most expensive film ever made at the time, with a production budget of $200 million.
‘Harry Potter’ is a British-American namesake film series based on the eponymous novels by author J K Rowling. The series is distributed by Warner Bros. and consists of eight fantasy films, beginning with ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’ (2001) and culminating with ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2’ (2011).
The series was mainly produced by David Heyman, and stars Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson as the three leading characters: Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger.
Four directors worked on the series: Chris Columbus, Alfonso Cuarón, Mike Newell, and David Yates. Michael Goldenberg wrote the screenplay for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007), while the remaining films had their screenplays written by Steve Kloves.
Production took place over ten years, with the main story arc following Harry Potter’s quest to overcome his arch-enemy Lord Voldemort.
The James Bond film series is a British series of spy films based on the fictional character of MI6 agent James Bond, ‘007’, who originally appeared in a series of books by Ian Fleming.
It is one of the longest continually-running film series in history, having been in on-going production from 1962 to the present (with a six-year hiatus between 1989 and 1995).
Six actors have portrayed 007 in the Eon series, the latest being Daniel Craig. In 2017, MGM and Eon offered a one-film contract to co-finance and distribute the upcoming 25th film worldwide, which was reported on 25 May 2018 to have been won by Universal Pictures.[
‘The Mummy’ is the title of several horror-adventure film series centered on an ancient Egyptian priest who is accidentally resurrected, bringing with him a powerful curse, and the ensuing efforts of heroic archaeologists to stop him.
The original series of films consisted of six installments, which starred iconic horror actors such as Boris Karloff (only in the original one, as Imhotep); Tom Tyler and Lon Chaney Jr. as Kharis; and lastly Eddie Parker, who played Klaris, a cousin of Kharis. The series of films is part of the larger Universal Monsters series.
‘Avatar’ is a 2009 American epic science fiction film directed, written, produced, and co-edited by James Cameron, and stars Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Stephen Lang, Michelle Rodriguez, and Sigourney Weaver.
The film is set in the mid-22nd century, when humans are colonizing Pandora, a lush habitable moon of a gas giant in the Alpha Centauri star system, in order to mine the mineral unobtanium, a room-temperature superconductor.
The expansion of the mining colony threatens the continued existence of a local tribe of Na’vi – a humanoid species indigenous to Pandora. The film’s title refers to a genetically engineered Na’vi body operated from the brain of a remotely located human that is used to interact with the natives of Pandora.
Development of ‘Avatar’ began in 1994, when Cameron wrote an 80-page treatment for the film. Filming was supposed to take place after the completion of Cameron’s 1997 film ‘Titanic’, for a planned release in 1999, but, according to Cameron, the necessary technology was not yet available to achieve his vision of the film.
Work on the language of the film’s extraterrestrial beings began in 2005, and Cameron began developing the screenplay and fictional universe in early 2006. ‘Avatar’ was officially budgeted at $237 million. Other estimates put the cost between $280 million and $310 million for production and at $150 million for promotion.
The film made extensive use of new motion capture filming techniques, and was released for traditional viewing, 3D viewing and for 4D experiences in select South Korean theaters. The stereoscopic filmmaking was touted as a breakthrough in cinematic technology.
KUNG FU PANDA
‘Kung Fu Panda’ is a 2008 American computer-animated wuxia comedy film produced by DreamWorks Animation and distributed by Paramount Pictures. It was directed by John Stevenson and Mark Osborne and produced by Melissa Cobb, and stars the voices of Jack Black, Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie, Ian McShane, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu, David Cross, Randall Duk Kim, James Hong, Dan Fogler, Michael Clarke Duncan, and Jackie Chan.
The film is set in a version of ancient China populated by anthropomorphic talking animals and revolves around a bumbling panda named Po, a kung fu enthusiast. When an evil kung fu warrior named Tai Lung is foretold to escape from prison, Po is unwittingly named the “Dragon Warrior”, that was destined to defeat him.