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Anil Ambani's Hollywood dreams: what's the gameplan?

June 19, 2008

Anil goes to Hollywood

A film directed by Steven Spielberg, produced by Anil Ambani? Well, this may soon become reality!

Riding high on the entertainment wave, Anil Ambani's Reliance Big Entertainment Ltd (RBEL) has set eyes on big ticket deals in Hollywood.

After announcing a slew of Hollywood projects, including movie ventures with legends like Tom Hanks, Brad Pitt, Jim Carrey and George Clooney, Anil Ambani is all set to sign a deal with the famous Hollywood director Steven Spielberg.

However, when contacted senior officials at Reliance Entertainment, they were tightlipped about the deal. The company is bullish on Hollywood and looking at expanding its foothold across the globe, they said.

"We have already signed eight Hollywood projects. Hollywood is the epicentre of global entertainment content and we see a great opportunity there," Rajesh Sawhney, president, Reliance Entertainment, said on Wednesday.

The ADA Group will invest $600 million in Spielberg's DreamWorks SKG, The Wall Street Journal had reported.

According to the newspaper, Ambani's cash will allow Spielberg, the man behind several blockbusters like Jaws, Schindler's List and Jurassic Park, and his partners Jeffrey Kaztenberg -- the former Disney hotshot -- and music baron David Geffen end their existing agreement with Paramount Pictures, which is owned by Viacom's Sumner Redstone.

A tie-up with Spielberg would be a dream come true for Anil Ambani.

Can Anil Ambani woo the superstar director to join his league? While it will be a big break for Anil Ambani, for Spielberg it would mean more independence working with Ambani, especially when the others like NBC are also in talks with the director, say industry sources.

Media sources point out that "Anil Ambani has a long way to go to scale up and become a truly global player especially at a time when Hollywood financial deals are getting more complicated."

So will Anil Ambani be able to convert his love for movies into big money spinners? Only time will tell...

Text: Manu A B

Image: Steven Spielberg at the 36th AFI Life Achievement Award tribute to Warren Beatty held at the Kodak Theatre on June 12, 2008 in Hollywood, California. | Photograph: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

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