Raj Kundra’s Book May Be Adapted Into Hollywood Film

As body ages, Jackie Chan longs for Hollywood’s full embrace

“I just love films. I write as if I am watching a film. Hence, in the head it feels like a film. It has the makings of a film and we are in talks with various Hollywood companies, but it’s too early to say anything,” Raj said at the launch of his book here Friday. “There has been a lot of interest (regarding the film based on tghe book) and the day it happens, we will let you know,” added Raj, who is married to Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty. Supporting her husband, Shilpa said: “I definitely see it becoming a film…a Hollywood film for sure. Raj likes to think big.” She says Raj is a bigger film buff than her, and she also stands true to his name ‘Raj’, which has been a popular choice of name for many of Shah Rukh Khan’s romantic characters on screen. “Let me tell you a secret. Raj is even more filmy than me. Raj is as filmy as you can get. He is the ideal Raj, like Raj from ‘Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge’. For me, it is not surprising that it (book) is a little cinematic because that is how Raj thinks,” Shilpa said. “How Not To Make Money” is the story of three friends who live in London.

Hollywood’s African-American film renaissance

Chiwetel Ejiofor, left, stars as Solomon Northup and Michael Fassbender stars as Edwin Epps in

(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times / April 25, 2010) Also By Jason Wells October 18, 2013, 10:31 a.m. Buzz Aldrin , the second man to walk on the moon, will be grand marshal of the 2013 Hollywood Christmas Parade, organizers announced Friday. Aldrin, who followed Neil Armstrong onto the moon on July 20, 1969, during the Apollo 11 mission, said in a statement that he was extremely honored to be chosen to lead the 82nd annual staging of the parade, calling it a treasured American tradition. Come celebrate the holidays with me on the festive streets of Hollywood on December 1st as we moonwalk down the parade route together, he said. The astronaut was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his role in the Apollo 11 mission and has maintained a high profile as an author, speaker and promoter of space exploration. The Dec. 1 parade starts at 6 p.m. after a pre-show at 5. The parade will feature marching bands, floats, equestrian groups and special performances. The route will start on Hollywood Boulevard at Orange Drive, travel east to Vine Street, south on Vine to Sunset Boulevard and west on Sunset, back to Orange. Tickets for reserved grandstand seats cost $85, 65 and $45. Discounted tickets are available for groups of 25 or more. ALSO:

“Then I can continue (my career) because poor me, nobody in Hollywood hires me to make a ‘Kramer vs. Kramer’ (or) like ‘Sound of Music’ – actually I’m a pretty good singer – and nobody hires me to do this kind of film,” Chan said, referring to the 1979 family drama and 1965 musical, both Oscar winners. “All we think about Jackie Chan: Chris Tucker, ‘Rush Hour’ one, two, and three … always action-comedy, action-comedy,” he said about the “Rush Hour” buddy-cop film series with comedian Chris Tucker that helped Chan cement his place in Hollywood 15 years ago. TURNED DOWN ‘INTERPRETER’ Chan has already added “dramatic actor” to his resume with the 2011 Chinese historical drama “1911” about the revolution that overthrew China’s final imperial dynasty. “I really hope someday in Hollywood, some producer or director will hire me only to do drama,” Chan said. “I (would) really appreciate it.” But that is never going to happen, Chan believes. “Why?” he asks rhetorically with a sigh. “Because the audience is just not used to seeing Jackie Chan doing drama.” Chan’s ideal roles would be in films such as 1988 Oscar-winner “Rain Man,” which starred Dustin Hoffman as a savant and Tom Cruise as his yuppie brother together on a road trip, or 1982’s “Tootsie,” also starring Hoffman as an actor who dresses as a woman to land acting roles. “It’s just … my English is not that good,” Chan explains. That also held him back from pursuing a role in “The Interpreter,” a 2005 thriller starring Nicole Kidman and Sean Penn.

Mars or bust, Buzz Aldrin says

This year alone there have been at least half a dozen movies portraying African-American narratives, including Lee Daniels’ “The Butler,” “Fruitvale Station,” “The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete,” “Blue Caprice,” “42” and “12 Years a Slave,” which hits theaters October 18. “Certainly 2013 has been a banner year with regards to the number of films that feature African-American themes,” said Gil Robertson, co-founder of the African-American Film Critics Association. “Those films all really arrive at the threshold in terms of the quality that will seriously put them in the running for Oscar consideration.” Chiwetel Ejiofor, left, stars as Solomon Northup and Michael Fassbender stars as Edwin Epps in “12 Years a Slave.” ’12 Years a Slave’ based on true story Lee Daniels: ‘The Butler’ ends with hope Digging deeper into ‘The Butler’ New era of African-American film emerges Not only do the movies portray the African-American experience, but they’re also created from the ground up by today’s most prominent black filmmakers and actors. Oscar-winner Forest Whitaker, who played the lead role in “The Butler,” says the trend in Hollywood allows for a more diverse storytelling. “There are so many projects where people are being able to have their voices heard,” Whitaker said. “I think that’s hopefully going to continue to expand in the African-American community … and all the voices can be heard in the tapestry of who we are as people.” Hollywood has not seen such an emphasis on African-American storylines since the 1980s and ’90s, with Spike Lee and John Singleton’s street dramas like “Do the Right Thing” and “Boyz n the Hood.” “They were speaking about what was happening in the present day,” said Ya’Ke Smith, professor of Film at University of Texas at Arlington and independent filmmaker. “Speaking to a lot of gang violence, debunking stereotypes about young black men in the hood, speaking to racism going on not only in Brooklyn but all over the world.” By the early 2000s, the American blockbuster took a turn with film series like “Harry Potter” and “Lord of the Rings.” But in 2009, Hollywood rekindled a fascination with African-American storylines, with movies like “The Blind Side,” “Invictus” and “Precious.” Subsequently, “The Help” (2011), “Red Tails” (2012) and “Django Unchained” (2013) hit mainstream theaters. “I think the American attitude has changed with regards to going to see films that perhaps feature all African-American casts or that tell African-American stories,” Robertson said. “Americans are more open to paying their 10-15 dollars and taking in those experiences.” Some credit the shift in Hollywood to Washington, citing President Barack Obama’s 2009 inauguration as the spark that reignited interest in the African-American experience, from slavery to the Oval Office. “People have talked about the ‘Obama effect,'” said Chiwetel Ejiofor, star of “12 Years a Slave.” “If people are interested and they want to go and see movies that have diversity or are about different things in that way, then in a way that allows them to be created more.” Ejiofor’s “12 Years a Slave” co-star Michael Fassbender agrees that the election of the country’s first African-American president, along with other timely events, helped trigger universal consciousness. “We’re dealing with 150 years since the abolition of slavery,” he said. “There are a lot of anniversaries at the moment, (the assassination of) Martin Luther King Jr. We have a black president in America.