The Herald, Sharon,
PA Published Tuesday, April 6, 1999


Chaudhri seeking investors to remake 'Elmer Gantry'

He's got the star, now all he needs is the money.

A company formed by Amin Q. Chaudhri is seeking funding to remake "Elmer Gantry,'' a publicist said.

Chaudhri, head of Continental Film Group of Sharon, wants to produce and direct a $20 million remake of the story of the lusty, con-man preacher.

Heron Pictures, formed by Chaudhri, is meeting with investors to bankroll the film, said publicist John Kose.

"There's a possibility some of the film might be shot in the Sharon area,'' he said.

As previously reported, Chaudhri has cast controversial clergyman the Rev. Richard Rossi to play the title role.

The former leader of the First Love Church, Cranberry Township, Butler County, pleaded no contest in 1995 to a charge of aggravated assault. He allegedly beat his wife, Sherrie Lynn. She implicated him but later recanted her story. Rossi denied the charge.

Chaudhri chose Rossi for the part after seeing him in a stage version of the role last year in Los Angeles, Kose said. The two men had known each other for years prior to that, he added.

No other roles for the film have been cast yet, Kose said.

While money hasn't been secured yet for the film, both Chaudhri and Rossi are working to get the financing, he said.

"There are people who really want to see this film made,'' Kose said.

The original version won three 1960 Academy Awards, including Best Actor for Burt Lancaster.

Chaudhri's previous films include "Tiger Warsaw," "Diary of a Hitman" and "An Unremarkable Life." Portions of all three were filmed in the Shenango Valley.

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Updated April 6, 1999
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