As the news about Amitabh Bachchan's debut venture in Hollywood broke out, the concern was about the fate of India's biggest reality game show, Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC).
Amitabh Bachchan hosted the Indian adaptation of the UK-based "Who WantsTo Be A Millionaire" game show, KBC, when it was launched in 2000, and it was very well received by the Indian audience. The fourth session of KBC which was started on Bachchan's 68th birthday, Oct. 11, 2010 was a big success, with over five million (50 Lakh) people participating in KBC 4 auditions.
The actor is currently in Australia (Director Baz Luhrmann's home country) for his Hollywood debut, "The Great Gatsby," along with actor, Leonardo DiCaprio.
The news was kept under wraps for one year and suddenly exploded as the Bollywood legend started shooting for the film. Media reports said director Luhrmann and Bachchan met last year on Luhrmann's visit to Mumbai in 2010 and talked about the project.
According to Warner Brothers, Bachchan will play the role of Meyer Wolfsheim in "The Great Gatsby," and filming began this week.
"Leonardo DiCaprio plays the character of Jay Gatsby, with Tobey Maguire starring as Nick Carraway, Joel Edgerton and Carey Mulligan as Tom and Daisy Buchanan, Isla Fisher and Jason Clarke as Myrtle and George Wilson and newcomer Elizabeth Debicki as Jordan Baker. Indian film legend Amitabh Bachchan will play the role of Meyer Wolfsheim," confirms Warner Bros.
Bachchan's character, Meyer Wolfsheim, is a Jewish man, Gatsby, described as a gambler who had fixed the World Series. Wolfsheim is a clear allusion to Arnold Rothstein, a New York crime kingpin who was notoriously blamed for the Black Sox Scandal which tainted the 1919 World Series.
The film is based on the cult novel "The Great Gatsby" which was written by the American author F. Scott Fitzgerald (published in 1925). The classic effectively documents American society during First World War when it enjoyed some prosperity.
Acclaimed Hollywood film maker and Oscar nominee for the film "Moulin Rouge," Luhrmann directs the film on 3D format from a screenplay co-written with his frequent collaborator, Craig Pearce.
"The Great Gatsby" has been adapted for the screen no less than four times. This will be a challenge to the team of "Great Gatsby."
Luhrmann said, "Fitzgerald loved the movies and was a passionate believer in the power of cinema. Fitzgerald's story defies time and geography. The vision and the goal of our remarkable cast and creatives is to do justice to the deftness of Fitzgerald's telling, and illuminate its big ideas and humanity."
In the four-decade-long career in the Indian film industry, Bachchan has acted in more than 281 films. He has won numerous awards, including four National Film Awards, three of which are in the Best Actor category and fourteen Filmfare Awards.
He is the most-nominated performer in any major acting category at Filmfare, with 36 nominations overall.
In addition to acting, Bachchan has worked as a playback singer, film producer and television presenter and was an elected member of the Indian Parliament from 1984 to 1987.
Profile of Amitabh Bachchan
Date of Birth: 11 Oct. 1942
Place of Birth: Allahabad, India
Birth Name: Amitabh Harivansh Srivastav
Nickname: Big B, Munna, One-Man-Industry, Angry Young Man, Bollywood's Shahenshah, Amit & Big A
Height: 6′ 3″ (1.91 m)
Wife: Jaya Bhaduri (3 June 1973), 2 children (Abhishek Bachchan and Shweta Nanda)
Profession: Actor and producer
Trademarks: His heavy voice and French beard
Awards: About 18 wins & 25 nominations