Reliance, Universal eye theme park in India

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - India’s Reliance ADA Group is in talks with Universal Studios to build a $1.5 billion, 400 acre theme park and resort in India, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday citing a person familiar with the matter.

Reliance’s Big Entertainment unit and Universal, a unit of General Electric Co’s NBC Universal could reach a deal this year, although one person familiar with the matter warned the talks were at an early stage and could break down, the newspaper reported.

Reliance ADA is controlled by billionaire Anil Ambani.

The newspaper cited a source as saying that Reliance ADA would have full ownership of the venture but would pay Universal royalties and fees for using content linked to popular movies like “Jaws,” “E.T.,” “Spider-Man” and the “Harry Potter” franchise.

The park would look much like Universal’s parks in Los Angeles, Orlando, Fla., and Japan, with a variety of roller coasters and rides, shops with movie-related merchandise and nearby hotels.

Universal declined comment and officials for Reliance were not immediately available.

The main cities being considered for the park are New Delhi and Mumbai, according to the report.