Mumbai, Oct 15: Roger Spottiswoode, best known for his James Bond film “Tomorrow Never Dies”, is working on a movie on Indian mathematical genius Srinivasa Ramanujan starring “Rang De Basanti” actor Sidhharth.
Spottiswoode, who is part of the international competition jury of Mumbai Film Festival, says the film is not a biography of Ramanujan who died at the young age of 32. It will rather deal with his friendship with G H Hardy, the man who first spotted his talent in Cambridge.
Titled “The First Class Man”, the film's scripting has been completed and shooting is being planned from sometime next year.
“We are putting the finance together again hope to shoot next year. One of my friends recommended ‘Rang De Basanti' and Sidharth was brilliant in that. He came to England and loved the script,” Spottiswoode told PTI.
He says the film will capture the unusual friendship between Hardy and Ramanujan and he is looking forward to find an Indian producer.
“Some of it will be shot in India. It is not a biography but about the friendship between these two unusual people. Hardy thought that Ramanujan could be brilliant and as it turned out the young Indian was more talented than him. They collaborated for four years and wrote wonderful papers. It was a wonderful friendship between the two because Ramanujan was deeply spiritual while Hardy was only interested in Cricket and mathematics,” the director says.
Spottiswoode, who other film credits include “Terror Train” and “And the Band Played On” says he was introduced to the mathematician's life through a writer friend.
“An American writer found Ramanujan and wrote a play about him for 10 years. He showed me the draft and I became interested. He wrote a script on it, which later won a prize at Tribeca for best script about science. We have nurtured it,” he says.
Talking about the title, Spottiswoode recalls a famous anecdote.
“When Ramanujan arrived in England, Hardy introduced him to Cambridge with a nice speech and called him ‘The First Class Man' and at the end of the film Ramanujan later thanked Hardy, saying ‘You are a first class man'. My film is more like King's Speech,” he says.
Spottiswoode says his cinematic experiences don't come from Hollywood even though he has made a Bond film.
“I started watching Ray when I was very young. I watched French cinema, European cinema not the Hollywood.”