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Last Updated: Monday, 28 April, 2003, 11:43 GMT 12:43 UK
Bollywood breaks budget record
Amitabh Bachchan
Amitabh Bachchan will star in the film

The most expensive Indian film ever made is being developed for the global market, it has been reported.

Action adventure film EK is estimated to have a budget of $20m (£12m), according to trade website

Producer Aditya Basu Bhattacharya told ScreenDaily that he was in the process of choosing an A-list Hollywood actor for the lead role.

EK will not include any of the usual Bollywood features such as singing and dancing.

Indian film star Amitabh Bachchan has already been cast, along with Sanjay Dutt, Nana Patekar and Sunil Shetty.

Makers Varma Corp, owned by filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma, currently have 12 films in production and Varma himself has directed 19 feature films and produced 17 Hindi films.

His latest film Bhoot (Apartment 1202), a horror movie, will have its première at the Cannes Film Festival on 17 May.

The Indian film industry is hoping the horror genre will turn around its fortunes, after it reportedly lost $500,000 last year.

Love stories have made up the bulk of Bollywood's film output over the years but audiences may be tiring of the same format.

Despite its problems, India's struggling film industry is expected to go into profit by 2004.

Films like Raaz or Makdee and Raat, which all dabble in the supernatural, have been huge hits and some new films are trying to emulate that success.

But the growth will be down to larger companies becoming more dominant and fewer films being produced, according to management consultants KPMG International.

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