July 25, 2013 / 10:13 AM / 7 years ago

Hollywood primed for film on Indian math genius Ramanujan

Actor Dev Patel arrives for the season 2 premiere of his HBO drama series "The Newsroom" in Hollywood July 10, 2013. REUTERS/Fred Prouser

MUMBAI (Reuters) - A new Hollywood film starring Dev Patel as Srinivasa Ramanujan will put the spotlight on the Indian math genius best known for his work on the theory of prime numbers.

Ramanujan, who died in 1920, was considered one of the brightest minds in mathematics, despite his lack of a formal education.

Patel, who caught Hollywood’s eye in 2008’s Oscar-winning film “Slumdog Millionaire”, has been cast as the lead. Filming begins in September with a British actor playing G.H. Hardy, the mathematician who recognized Ramanujan’s talent and brought him to England in 1914.

“The subject matter of Ramanujan is an Indian story but it is the story of the relationship of India and the West,” the film’s co-producer Edward Pressman told Reuters over the phone.

Ramanujan, who grew up in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, was mostly self-taught. Hardy collaborated with him during the years of the First World War before an ailing Ramanujan returned to India.

In recent years, movies such as “Slumdog Millionaire” and “Life of Pi” that had Indian themes have resonated with global audiences.

“Things are changing, the world is changing,” Pressman said. “The effect and cultural power of Indian stories can have a more international impact than they’ve had in the past.”

The untitled film on Ramanujan is one of at least three movies announced on the mathematician’s life. Filming for a separate biopic, to be made in Tamil and English, is under way in India.

Editing by Tony Tharakan

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