Universal Ditches Blanchett’s “Summer”

Universal Pictures has scrapped Working Title’s ambitious “Indian Summer” project due to economic and production reasons reports Variety.

Based on Alex von Tunzelmann’s book, the story deals with the last days of Britain’s colonial rule of India and the symbolic end of that empire.

Joe Wright (“Pride & Prejudice,” “Atonement”) has been slated to direct while Cate Blanchett was cast as Edna Mountbatten, wife of Lord Mountbatten who was the last viceroy of the British Indian Empire and oversaw the country’s transition to independence in 1947.

Working Title has the power to greenlight projects under $30 million, however this project is said to be up towards $40 million – a cost that partner Universal balked at.

Also causing difficulties are the logistical problems of shooting a major production in India, and creative differences over the emphasis on the the alleged love affair between Blanchett’s character and India’s first post-independence prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru (the studio wanted more, the Indian Government wants less).

While Wright and Blanchett will remain attached, the project is on hold for now and won’t begin shooting early next year as hoped. In the interim, both are expected to move on to other projects.