April 26, 2010 (Calcutta Tube): Who says the film industry lacks a spirit of generosity and solidarity?
Ask John Abraham. Super-keen to do Surya’s role in the Hindi remake of Gautham Menon’s 2003 Tamil blockbuster Kaakha Kaakha, John to his dismay discovered that the Hindi remake rights of the film about a cop on a vendetta trail was with Fardeen Khan.
John was very keen to do the film. When he saw the film he immediately asked his new director-pal Nishikant Kamat to make the film in Hindi. Kamath was busy scripting another action-masala film for John to be produced by UTV. But when he saw how keen John was to do Kaakha Kaakha in Hindi before anyone else did including Salman Khan (who apparently was very eager to do the film) Kamat agreed to do Kaakha Kaakha first before the other film with UTV.”
When it was discovered that Fardeen Khan had the rights to Kaakha Kaakha, John didn’t even think he would ask Fardeen to parry with the remake rights.
This is where Vipul Shah stepped in. He saw Kaakha Kaakha and agreed to produce it for Nishikant Kamat with John in the lead.
Vipul personally approached Fardeen and a deal was stuck without much delay or ado.
Says Vipul, “Fardeen was gracious, supportive and generous. I didn’t have to persuade him at all. When he saw how keen we were to re-make Kaakha Kaakha in Hindi he gave over the remake rights to us without hesitation. I don’t see why we can’t be more generous in this industry. When Ajay Devgn asked me to give over my title All The Best I happily did so. It was meant to be the original title of my Aankhen. I didn’t need it because at that time English titles were taboo.”
Did Fardeen ask to be signed as the lead of Kaakha Kaakha in Hindi?
Says Vipul emphatically, “Fardeen didn’t even suggest I sign him for the remake. It would’ve caused embarrassment for both of us if he had. I don’t think we should ever mix business with pleasure. I’d love to work with Fardeen when I’ve the right project for him. But not be coerced emotionally into signing him.”
Though Vipul is not divulging the amount that he paid Fardeen to acquire the remake rights it is reliably learnt the amount was 60 lakh rupees.
Says Vipul, “I gave Fardeen exactly the amount that he had paid for the remake rights of Kaakha Kaakha. He didn’t expect anything more.”
Now Nishikant Kamath is busy rewriting Kaakha Kaakha for a pan-India audience. Though the original Tamil film was shot only in India the remake will be shot in many countries abroad.
John’s action sequences will be better than Surya’s in the original. And yes they’ll be better than Salman Khan’s stunts in Wanted.
As for Asin signing the role opposite John, Vipul clarifies, “Genelia D’Souza was never considered. I don’t know why it was written so. Asin was Nishikant’s choice. He thought she was perfect for the part. The choice had nothing to do with my comfort level with her during the making of London Dreams. I don’t care how many projects she turned down recently or that she was sitting home for 8 months. I’m glad she’s doing our film. The film is an acid test for Nishi. So far he has been identified with strong offbeat films. Kaakha Kaakha is his first full-fledged commercial film. And John-Asin is fresh pair.”
— Subhash K Jha / Sampurn Wire