Ismail Merchant, the producing partner of the famed Merchant Ivory films including "Howard's End" and "The Remains of the Day," died before shooting began in earnest on "The City of Your Final Destination," but star Omar Metwally said his influence was felt.
Metwally says that Merchant helped director and partner James Ivory in the "early stages" of the process.
"Ismail was very involved, this was something they conceived together," says Metwally. "In fact Ismail and James had taken a trip to Argentina together to scout locations."
Merchant died in 2005 ending the movie partnership which also brought about "A Room With a View." Principle photography began for "The City of Your Final Destination" in late 2006
"On the first day of shooting, James said some words acknowledging Ismail and there was a toast at a dinner in his honor," says Metwally. "James is not one to make too much of things. Ismail was definitely acknowledged and his presence was felt."
Due to unspecified delays, the movie, starring Metwally as a doctoral student trying to write a biography of a South American novelist, is just rolling out in movie theaters now. It also stars Anthony Hopkins and Laura Linney.