Mumbai: Ram Gopal Varma's 2010 flop has an uncanny resemblance to the News of the World scandal. Panned by critics and film enthusiasts alike, Rann, the 2010 box-office dud might get a fresh lease of life.

The film featuring Amitabh Bachchan as a Rupert Murdoch-styled media baron seems to have strangely pre-empted the string of events leading to the closure of the popular 160-year-old British tabloid News of the World on Sunday by its owner Murdoch.

On similar lines

The plot of Rann bears a discernible likeness to the News of the World scandal. In both cases, the publishers crossed the line between news investigation and criminal violation of privacy to boost sales.

And if Rupert's son John Murdoch is alleged to be working behind his father's back, in Rann Big B's son (Kannada actor Sudeep) brings down the news house and ruins his father's reputation with his nefarious news-collecting activities.

No wonder then, producers Sheetal Talwar and Madhu Mantena feel the time is right to re-release the film, this time dubbed in English.

"I'm blown away by the similarities! Even Amitji has noticed the likeness. Ramu has always been ahead of his times, but with Rann he outdid himself. It's almost like he could see the disaster that was waiting around the corner for News of The World," says Mantena, who has flown to London to get an insight into the series of incidents that led to the death of the tabloid.

However, there is one major hitch. Director Ram Gopal Varma, it appears, is opposed to releasing the film again. Apparently, there have also been offers to re-release Ramu's Satya and Rangeela and also proposals to do sequels to both. But he has said a flat no to both. However, things may no longer be in his hands.

While Mantena, who is Ramu's cousin, is hesitant to go ahead with the English version of the film without his consent, co-producer Talwar is determined to cash in on the News of the World debacle. In fact, the dates for dubbing of the new version with the original cast are currently being worked out.
UK hacked!

Britain's scandalous tabloid News of the World was forced to shut shop on July 10, after findings of illegal phone hacking by its staff. The tabloid was infamous for the methods it employed to dig out dirt on famous personalities. It has been accused of tapping phone lines of the Royal household as well as families of soldiers who died in the line of duty.