Wright's Indian Summer on hold
We had heard recently that Joe Wright's Indian Summer was facing a few difficulties with the Indian authorities for it's portrayal of the romance between the first Indian Prime Minister and the wife of the departing Viceroy of the British Indian Empire, Edna Mountbatten, well now those difficulties seem to have reached a head, and combined with budgetry restrictions, the project has been put on hold.
Wright himself is the one that seems to have called a halt to the project which had been struggling for some time now. Right now they are awaiting more favourable market conditions.
Well that's what the article in Variety states, but there are quite a few more factors than that. As I wrote about previously the film was struggling because the film looked at the relationship that grew between the first Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, to be played by Irrfan Khan, and Edna Mountbatten, to be played by the beautiful Cate Blanchett, and there were incredibly tight guidelines about how the film should portray these romantic scenes according to Indian authorities.
The last we heard was that Joe Wright was saying that Indian Summer would not be his next film, and he wasn't sure if he would return to it. At the heart of the problem was the pressure from the Indian authorities to change the script, but he also clearly stated problems with the studio and their requirements too, all the while he was trying to keep the film in his vision and that of the original Alex von Tunzelmann novel (Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com).
Recently Joe Wright said of the film:
"You know how it is with studios - sometimes they want certain aspects in more detail…"
He had also spoken of the tight guidelines the film had to follow:
"...subject to a stringent vetting process by the Indian authorities..."
Now he's a little freer to speak, and did just that:
"We were in between a rock and a hard place…The Indian government wanted us to make less of the love story while the studio wanted us to make more of the love story"
Still, according to Variety that's not the only problem on the film and the studio were pressuring him to reduce the budget. Universal weren't happy at the US $30-40 million budget and Wright had tried to take the budget to the US $30 million that Working Title could handle, however it just wasn't working.
So now Indian Summer is on the back burner, and may never start again. The article says that both Blanchett and Wright will remain attached to the film, but no word on Khan or Hugh Grant who was set to play Lord Mountbatten. Bad news indeed, and now everyone loses out from audience to studio to India.