Bollywood epic Padmavati, now titled Padmaavat, will see its worldwide release beginning tomorrow. The Deepika Padukone-starrer has throughout production and to today sparked a furor in India, inciting violence and death threats. It finally cleared censors last week after a December date was delayed amid escalating tensions. Those tensions have not abated. At least 16 people were reportedly arrested on Tuesday in Ahmedabad as they protested the release of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s film. It’s based on Malik Muhammad Jayasi’s epic 16th century poem and earlier confusion over perceived historical inaccuracies and a false rumor that the movie contained offensive sexual content have led to the violence. Police told local press that some 200 protesters set fire to cars and scooters in Ahmedabad and threw rocks at cinemas yesterday. On Sunday in Gujarat, protesters blocked roads and caused local bus services to be suspended. Rajput leaders have said that the situation will “worsen” in the next day if a request to stay the release is not granted. Some Indian states refused to show the film, but a decree this week came down from the Supreme Court ordering it play throughout the vast nation. Paramount is releasing the film in the UK, Australia, New Zealand and the Middle East.
Laura Linney is to make her London stage debut in Pulitzer Prize-winning Elizabeth Strout’s My Name Is Lucy Barton. The Oscar nominee will be directed by Richard Eyre at the Bridge Theatre in the play that runs for a limited engagement from June 2-23. The dramatic monologue is adapted by Rona Munro from Strout’s 2016 New York Times best-selling short novel of the same name. It focuses on the titular character who wakes to find her mother sitting at the foot of her bed. She hasn’t seen her in years, and her visit brings back to Lucy her desperate rural childhood, and her escape to New York. As she begins to find herself as a writer, she is still gripped by the urgent complexities of family life. Eyre previously directed Linney in a Broadway production of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible and on screen in The Other Man.
French studio Gaumont is moving into Germany. The Cologne-based outpost will open in July and be run by Sabine de Mardt who joins from Warner Bros. The focus of the German office will be to produce original, local-language content for television.