The passing of his father Yash Chopra appeared to have paved the way for Uday Chopra to go beyond his less-than-illustrious acting career by helping set up the international production and financing arm of Yash Raj Films.
Now, it seems, the first major Hollywood production under the new Los Angeles-based YRF Entertainment banner has hit the rocks.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, YRFE’s first major production ‘Grace of Monaco’, starring Nicole Kidman, has been shelved “indefinitely” owing to differences between the film’s director Olivier Dahan and Harvey Weinstein, the legendary Hollywood producer behind The Weinstein Company which had bought the international distribution rights for the film.
The news comes just days after it was announced that the film will open this year’s Cannes Film Festival.
The film stars Nicole Kidman and tells the story of the glamorous Hollywood starlet and fashion icon Grace Kelly and her romance and 1956 wedding to Monaco’s Prince Rainier III in what was then called the “Marriage of the Century”.
The Hollywood Reporter quoted sources within the Weinstein Company as saying that the film had not been delivered to the studio which was in turn unable to produce any marketing and promotional material.
Director Dahan however provided a different story, telling a French newspaper that it was difficult working with “an American distributor like Weinstein”. Reports also suggest that Frenchman Dahan has refused to make several cuts to the film recommended by Weinstein.
The notoriously thorough and demanding Weinstein has established a reputation in Hollywood as one of the shrewdest producers in the business and has backed dozens of independent films stretching back to the early 1980’s, including such iconic movies as ‘Reservoir Dogs’, ‘Pulp Fiction’, ‘Il Postino’, ‘The English Patient’ and ‘The King’s Speech’.
‘Grace of Monaco’ has been beset with problems since production began in late 2012. In 2013 the film’s release was pushed back to Spring 2014 owing to rumoured editing disputes. The bickering between the director and distributor has left YRFE and its CEO Uday Chopra in the lurch.
The development and financing of a film such as ‘Grace of Monaco’ as its first major release would have been a not-insignificant achievement for the budding international subsidiary of Yash Raj Films, the studio behind some of the most iconic Bollywood productions of the last quarter century.
YRFE’s second release will be ‘The Longest Week’ starring Jason Bateman and Olivia Wilde.