Jun 25, 2008

THE NEW PAPER

23RDJUNE2008

BY SHEELA NARAYANAN


MALAYSIAN pop group KRU has taken its ambitions to the next level.

Click to see larger image
The KRU brothers, (from left) Edry, Norman and Yusry Abdul Halim.

The trio of brothers - Norman, Yusry and Edry Abdul Halim - are heading to Hollywood to co-produce a movie through their filmmaking arm, KRU Studios.

Partnering American company Enso Entertainment, KRU is working on Deadline, a psychological thriller starring Brittany Murphy (Sin City), Thora Birch (American Beauty) and Tammy Blanchard (The Good Shepherd).

KRU Group's chief executive officer, Norman, 36, told The New Paper in a phone interview from Kuala Lumpur that the film is budgeted at less than US$10 million ($13.6 million).

'We are putting up part of the funding and providing the special effects for the film,' he said.

In the movie, Murphy plays a writer who travels to an abandoned house to write a screenplay.

Writer's block and several other unforeseen events cause her to have a psychological breakdown.

According to American trade magazine Hollywood Reporter, the movie is in the vein of Stanley Kubrick's 1980 film The Shining, based on Stephen King's novel and starring Jack Nicholson.

MET AT TRADE SHOW

Click to see larger image
Brittany Murphy in Sin City.

Norman said he met the film's American producer, Ross Betterton, in Santa Monica last year at a film trade show.

He felt Deadline was the right film for KRU to get a foothold in Hollywood.

'It had exactly what we were looking for; a selected group of A-list young stars and developed script,' he said.

And it was also within the brothers' financial means to take on such a production.

Said Norman: 'Everyone keeps asking us. Why a psychological thriller and not an action or science-fiction film?'

He admitted the reason was simply a matter of money.

'A science-fiction or an action film cost more than what we can manage at the moment.'

Once the movie is released, KRU will have the exclusive rights to market and distribute the film in Asia.

The brothers - who made their names as one of Malaysia's top pop groups in the 1990s - have used their popularity to expand themselves into TV and music production in the last 10 years.

And they're no strangers to movie-making either.

Click to see larger image
Thora Birch in American Beauty.

Their biggest box-office success to date is the superhero flick Cicakman (Lizard Man) which rang up over RM6 million ($2.5 million) at the box-office in Malaysia and Singapore last year.

A sequel to the film is currently being produced and the movie's spin-off, a Cicakman comic book, will be launched in Singapore on 29 Jun.

Norman said KRU's Hollywood venture is the start of more international collaborations.

He hopes to turn the brand into a global name and eventually introduce Southeast Asian talent into future projects.

He said: 'This is the first step in turning ourselves from a production house into an international studio.'

Deadline's theatrical release is expected in the second half of next year.

my sweet escape @ 9:23 AM


KRU SINGAPORE
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KRU Singapore has been established since January 2006. Business involves
1)Film & CD Distribution
2)Publication
3)Talent Management
4)Exclusive Agent Booking for Artistes

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