Shekhar Kappor who was in India for preproduction of his new film Paani, had to fly back to USA unexpectedly. He has been asked to direct the movie New York, I Love You that the acclaimed Academy Award winning Director, playwright and screenwriter, Anthony Minghella of The English Patient and Cold Mountain fame, was making before his death last week.
Anthony Minghella died on 18 March 2008 of a hemorrhage in Charing Cross Hospital, London, following an operation the previous week to remove cancer of the tonsils and neck
“I wasn’t supposed to do it at all. But Anthony, who was doing one, called me one day and said, ‘I’m not doing it. I’m ill. You do it’,” Shekhar Kapur said. Kapoor did not take this seriously, and wished that Anthony would recover.
“Anthony went to the operating table, but did not return. He was 54 and it was not an age to die. The English Patient was truly a marvellous piece of cinema. Now, it is my duty to do Minghella’s film. This is the first time I am entering somebody else’s creative zone,” says Shekhar Kapoor.
With Shekhar replacing Minghella in New York, I love You, the series has the singular honour of having two Indian directors in its bouquet- Shekhar Kapoor and Mira Nair. Other directors include Fatih Akin, Wen Jiang, Brett Ratner, Scarlett Johannson and Natalie Portman.
New York, I Love You is a series of short films from the same producers who made Paris Je T’Aime (which had Gurinder Chaddha as one of its directors).
Anthony Minghella’s son Max Minghella, who has appeared in several dramatic American films, making his feature film debut in 2005’s Bee Season and starring in 2006’s Art School Confidential, was going to work in the film under the direction of his father. However, he cannot anymore. Shekhar will talk to Anthony’s wife to understand better Anthony’s vision behind this film. After which he will recast the characters.
Shekhar will begin shooting for Minghella’s script in New York in the first week of April.