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It's been 30 years since Hollywood director Steven Spielberg was last in India and the inveterate people-watcher says "there's a lot more traffic today but people are essentially the same, going about their business". Three decades ago, Spielberg could "go unnoticed" in this country but not anymore, and certainly not now, after the Oscar-winning success of his latest film, Lincoln.
Though he doesn't have a subject for a film on India, Spielberg said he would like to remake a Hollywood movie in India. "An experiment I'd like to conduct someday is to take a movie we make in America, and remake it in India. We take an Indian director and a screenwriter, and adapt it with an entire Indian cast," Spielberg told The Indian Express Editor-in-Chief Shekhar Gupta on NDTV's Walk the Talk programme.
He has developed a close relationship with actor Amitabh Bachchan and Anil Ambani of Reliance. Reliance and Dreamworks, the Hollywood studio of which Spielberg is a part owner, had collaborated on Lincoln.
"When I met Amitabh in New York City, I saw he was not just interested in making a material investment but a creative one," he said. "I have tremendous respect for him, because I knew of his work in India. He is a tasteful and an artistic man. It interested me to see that he was interested in a cultural exchange," he said.
"I don't design a film around a megastar, the script is the most important thing for me. It's more important to put forth the story than who stars in it. I had a great story about Abraham Lincoln that may have never been made without the performance of Daniel Day Lewis. But a really great story should be good enough," Spielberg
"Lincoln never squandered an opportunity. He never didn't take advantage. He would try to relax people in the room and then tell them what he needed them to do," said the director.