EXCLUSIVE: YRF Entertainment has launched with this week’s production start of The Longest Week, the Peter Glanz-directed comedy that stars Jason Bateman, Olivia Wilde and Billy Crudup. The film just got underway in New York, and Bateman plays an immature man-child who still lives with his parents in a chic Manhattan hotel but suddenly finds himself evicted, disinherited and hopelessly in love with his best friend’s girlfriend (Wilde).
YRF, which will produce and finance films for U.S. and the international marketplace, was started by Uday Chopra, who came on to fully finance The Longest Week when the film’s original backer dropped out. Chopra is producing with Neda Armian. Jonathan Reiman, Chris Marsh, Stone Douglass and Taylor Materne are executive producers. Reiman is Chopra’s new head of development and production.
Chopra grew up learning the film business Bollywood-style. His father is Yash Chopra, whose Yash Raj Films is a prolific producer and distributor. The 41-year old company will make five to seven Indian films next year. Chopra has done everything from starring in those films to writing them (Love Impossible). His father’s company is backing YRF and Chopra’s ambition to break into Hollywood fare as a producer/financier.
“The decision for me was not based on money but rather my passion to make American movies,” Chopra told me. “I grew up watching American films and television, and I wanted to explore it, even though I understand that it is a very competitive business.”
Chopra said he’s moving methodically, with a 5-year plan to develop films in several genres. He’ll be opportunistic when a good project comes along that needs backing. International territories on The Longest Week are being sold by Nicolas Chartier’s Voltage, and while Chopra said he has offers from domestic distributors, he has decided to wait until the film is completed before making a deal. YRF has begun acquiring material including an untitled action/comedy by Dan Ewen (Opposites Attract), about two twentysomethings who leave their respective hometowns to pursue big dreams and become a seemingly unstoppable duo when they find each other.
After sparking to Glanz’s The Longest Week script, Chopra brought the filmmaker and Armian to Bombay and committed to make the film. Chopra said he will open offices in Los Angeles in January, once The Longest Week completes production.