EXCLUSIVE: On the eve of AFM, Lionsgate has picked up North American and UK rights to Indian action movie Kill for theatrical release in 2024.
The rare deal marks one of the first times an Indian production has partnered with a Hollywood studio on a theatrical release in North America and the UK for a mainstream Hindi-language film.
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WME Independent, which is handling global sales, brokered the deal on behalf of the filmmakers alongside Christopher Davis and Kaycee Holcomb for Lionsgate.
Kill is directed by Nikhil Nagesh Bhat and produced by Karan Johar and Apoorva Mehta for Dharma Productions and Guneet Monga Kapoor and Achin Jain for Sikhya Entertainment.
Starring newcomer Lakshya alongside Raghav Juyal and Tanya Maniktala, the likely R-rated action movie made its world premiere at this year’s Toronto Film Festival as a Midnight Madness selection.
In the film, star-crossed lovers Tulika (Maniktala) and Amrit (Lakshya) find their clandestine relationship jeopardized after Tulika’s family whisks her aboard the Rajdhani Express bound for New Delhi and an arranged marriage. Commandos Amrit and his friend are far from willing to let fate dictate their story. They embark on a “rescue” mission that becomes a gory adventure.
“American audiences have become more open than ever to bold filmmaking from all corners of the world. We were astounded by Kill and dazzled by the artistry of director Nikhil Nagesh Bhat,” said Lauren Bixby, SVP Acquisitions and Co-Productions at Lionsgate. “We’re confident that Kill will find an audience ready to delight in this film’s exuberant mayhem.”
In a joint statement, producers Karan Johar, Apoorva Mehta from Dharma Productions, and Guneet Monga Kapoor and Achin Jain from Sikhya Entertainment said: “It is a huge leap and moment for us to be joining hands with Lionsgate for our U.S. and UK theatrical releases. We’re thrilled to be partnering with the studio that’s behind the success of globally acclaimed cinematic masterpiece such as John Wick. This is a historic moment in Indian cinema and we’re elated to be creating a new milestone with our commercial Indian action thriller Kill, a never-before-seen genre film in India.”
Dharma Productions recently produced Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahani, and Sikhya Entertainment earlier this year scored an Oscar win for The Elephant Whisperers.
As we revealed earlier this month, Indian powerhouse producers Guneet Monga Kapoor and Karan Johar, who have previously collaborated on lauded drama The Lunchbox, are moving ahead with their Hindi-language adaptation of French smash Intouchables by hiring director Collin D’Cunha.
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