Danny Boyle Can’t Quit You, Mumbai

Travel Blog  •  Eva Holland  •  06.04.09 | 3:27 PM ET

Photo by babasteve via Flickr (Creative Commons)

Yup, the Indian city has its hooks in the Oscar-winning director of “Slumdog Millionaire,” and it isn’t letting go. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Boyle has bought the film rights to Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found, Suketu Mehta’s Pulitzer-nominated travelogue about Mumbai’s seedy, sometimes-violent subcultures: dirty cops, exotic dancers, religious hitmen and more.

I can’t say I’m surprised to hear that Boyle will be taking his cameras back to Mumbai for another round. He certainly isn’t the first traveler to get hooked on India’s potent colors, smells, flavors and sounds—it’s been nearly five years since I visited, and the memories from that trip remain among my most vivid.

But is it unusual for a director to return immediately to the landscape of his most successful film, using completely new source material? Well, maybe. “Maximum City” apparently served as one of Boyle’s key references during the making of “Slumdog”—he has referred to it as his Bible—so in a way, the move is probably a logical completion to the process.

Regardless of his motives for taking on this new project, I loved the world Boyle created in “Slumdog Millionaire,” and I’d happily see him tackle Mumbai’s sensory overload again. If you’re curious about “Maximum City,” Random House has an excerpt.

Anyone already read it? What do you think, is Danny Boyle the right guy for the adaptation? (Via Get the Big Picture)

Eva Holland is co-editor of World Hum. She is a former associate editor at Up Here and Up Here Business magazines, and a contributor to Vela. She's based in Canada's Yukon territory.

5 Comments for Danny Boyle Can’t Quit You, Mumbai

Mary Arulanantham 06.04.09 | 4:53 PM ET

Its a good thing Danny Boyle is returning to Mumbai; maybe he can tie up all the loose ends he left with the charming child stars that he used to such good advantage in Slumdog. I loved that movie, and have read the (admittedly sensationalized) tabloids concerning the razing of the slums where those children lived. It is fine to exploit the heady subject matter of Mumbai’s rich and rotten underbelly, but his company owes those children more than a trust fund that won’t do them any good for years to come, if they ever even see a penny of it. India may not like the sordid stories that show the country in a distorted light, but leave the pretty stories to Bollywood. Danny Boyle will do a good job, but he needs to also do the right thing.

Eva Holland 06.05.09 | 1:31 PM ET

Hi Mary,

From what I’ve read, his company has given them a good deal more than a trust fund—he has also promised to pay for their educations (effective immediately) and to buy their families houses. And, of course, he also paid them a salary for their work. Given that he is not the legal guardian of the children, and short of kidnapping them, I don’t know what more people expect him to do.

Culture Travel 06.05.09 | 1:59 PM ET

I’m so surprised everyone thought it was so great. I’ve grown up watching Indian movies all my life, and I thought it was mediocre, at best. There are better ones out there, people, don’t wait around until they simply make them English speaking, check out the ones with English subtitles.

ann shwami 06.05.09 | 7:49 PM ET

danny dimak ki ma mat chudd buhat markhaiga

Ling 06.07.09 | 9:54 AM ET

There’s going to be comparisons to Slumdog, even if it’s a completely different script. And you can bet your boots the next one won’t win a single Oscar, even if it’s better than Slumdog.

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