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Saturday, July 21, 2007

Two Buddha Movies in the Pipeline

As many of you know, a major motion picture is in the works portraying the life of Siddhartha Gotama the Buddha. However, now there is a second one in the works.

The first film titled simply, Buddha is said to be in pre-production as of now, however, regular production is said to begin sometime this year. This is the movie whose script is based on Thich Nhat Hanh's book, Old Path White Clouds--which is fabulous book by the way. In addition, His Holiness the Dalai Lama has given his blessing to the project.

There is much discussion as to who should play the role of the awakened one. Names have been floated from Brad Pitt, Richard Gere to Naveen Andrews (Sayid from the hit American TV series, Lost). Personally I feel that the Great Buddha should be played by someone from the Indian subcontinent (my vote is for Naveen Andrews. UPDATE: (Andrews is of Indian descent but was born in England) which definitely leaves out Pitt and Gere. Andrews is pictured below--He has such kind eyes:
As for the Buddha's wife or mother I'd like to see Indian actress Aishwarya Rai cast in one of those roles:
Thankfully the director is taking the casting of the Tathagata (a name the Buddha used when talking of himself that ambiguously means, "one who has gone beyond) very seriously and is apparently working with Google to find the right person according to a 2006 article from The Buddhist Channel. I don't know how I missed this article until now--I check The Buddhist Channel news all the time:

He said a lot of people across the globe had shown interest in playing the role of the Buddha, but not one matched the image of the Buddha.

“A leading actor of the Japanese film industry has approached us for the role. But it was not an ideal match. We want to do the film in a way that it becomes a reference point for Buddhists and for mankind,” he said.

He made it clear that the hunt would be based on images of the Buddha generated by software engineers in Silicon Valley.

“The software engineers have come up with wonderful images based on history and other information available from various Buddhist societies. We need a face that fits those images. The character of the man who will play the Buddha is also important,” he added.

James
: I am pleased that he mentions the character of the actor to be just as important as the face. I think it shows on screen if an actor or actress's character fits the role.

Contemporary texts described the Buddha as one who radiated the eternal peace and “nirvana” that he had attained in his life, and one with perfect eyes, elongated ear-lobes and exquisite limbs.

James:
I sure hope that this films makes it to the theatres and isn't shelved. It seems that it will fly since it has the backing of both the Dalai Lama and Thich Nhat Hanh and is well financed including (reportedly) by Richard Gere. The other movie that is slated to come out on the life of the Buddha is titled, The Great Quest. Here is one of the tag lines from the website:

Today, in these disquieting times, people the world over are in a quest for peace and tranquility. Millions are turning to the Buddha's spiritual teachings and guidance.

CLICK HERE to access the website for The Great Quest to read more.

If and when these two films hit the big screen I hope that you all will support it and go see it at least once. I know I'll probably see it several times in the theatre and most definitely buy the DVD.

~Peace to all beings~

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20 comments:

dragonflyfilly said...

Brad Pitt as the awakened one! -- oh no, please say it isn't so...should definitely not be someone from the North American Continent, nor Europe...they just do not have the esscence...although one would hope we could transcent the appearance of a person, that is not going to happen. I like your choice, Naveen Andrews... and look forward to this movie.

nameste,
pj

dragonflyfilly said...

hi James,
you can check out my new blog (under construction) kali3ipso, for my email address.

cheers,
pj

Coyote said...

These movies should be interesting. I'll go out and see them, though I rarely see movies in the theater. Hopefully they will cast someone really suitable, like Ben Kingsley in Gandhi. He was the perfect fit for that role. As much as I like Brad Pitt, I don't think he'd make a particularly good Buddha. Of course, the last time I saw the Buddha in a film he was played by Keanu Reeves, so can't do much worse than that (I actually like Reeves, but he's miscast more often than not).

dragonflyfilly said...

me again,
just to let you know that you have been "smoozed", so please go to my blog (dragonflyfilly at "Flamingo's Hideaway") to "collect" your Award.

cheers for now,
pj

They call him James Ure said...

PJ:

I look forward to these movies as well. I hope that it does the awakened one justice. If it sticks to Thich Nhat Hanh's book then It will.

I can't figure out what the address is for you new blog. Can you assist my poor brain a little more? lol.

Coyote:

Yeah I think Keanu Reeves would be even worse then Pitt.

dragonflyfilly said...

ok, so dragonflyfilly HOME OF FLAMINGO'S HIDEAWAY, is sort of the Main Blog, right at the bottom of the Dashboard Index.

You should get to my Dashboard by clicking on my profile picture, (i think - i will have to check).

i'll check back and come back and give you the URL

PJ

thelizzious said...

Contemporary texts described the Buddha as one who radiated the eternal peace and “nirvana” that he had attained in his life, and one with perfect eyes, elongated ear-lobes and exquisite limbs.

Naveen Andrews has all of these "marks". Watch him play dr. Abraham Verghese in "My Own Country" and you know he is the perfect match. Namaste, with love and light, lizzz.

They call him James Ure said...

thelizzious:

I haven't seen that movie--but I will absolutely see it now. Naveen Andrews is such a great actor and has a radiant presence indeed.

Kshitize said...

wow!! i am aleady eager to see these movies!!

Especially Ash Bacchan..

They call him James Ure said...

Kshitzie:

Me too!!

abacus said...

Hi J, i like to link to fellow buddhists. Let me know if I can link you on my poetry blog itchgotmysoul.wordpress.com It would be a pleasure.

zahir said...

wow!!i am aleady eager to see the movies!I like your choice, Naveen Andrews... and look forward to this movie.
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khan said...

I saw the Buddha in a film he was played by Keanu Reeves, so can't do much worse.
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ahmed said...

I don't think he make a particularly good Buddha. Of course, the last time I saw the Buddha in a film he was played by Keanu Reeves.
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anna said...

Great comment. I agree that it is dangerous that we are becoming desensitized to violence.
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ashiq said...

I like Ben Kingsley in Gandhi. He was the perfect fit for that role.I like Brad Pitt, I don't think he'd make a particularly good Buddha.

ashiq said...

I like Ben Kingsley in Gandhi. He was the perfect fit for that role.I like Brad Pitt, I don't think he'd make a particularly good Buddha.
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anna said...

Buddha statues depict a stout, smiling or laughing bald man in robes with a largely exposed pot belly stomach, which symbolizes happiness, good luck, and plenitude. Some sculpture has small children at his feet. Another item that is usually seen with the Laughing Buddha figure is a begging bowl to represent his Buddhist nature
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Amanda said...

Aishwarya Rai is so beautiful! I'm everytime once again amazed by her beauty! piano instrumentals

zahir said...

I don't think he'd make a particularly good Buddha. Of course, the last time I saw the Buddha in a film he was played by Keanu Reeves, so can't do much worse.
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