February 22, 2010 (Calcutta Tube): Shahrukh Khan doesn’t sleep. Or so it seems. He landed in Mumbai on Thursday from Dubai after a show, but shows no sign of strain or jetlag. Just before Dubai the mega-star was in Berlin for the film festival negotiating the attention of hundreds of screaming fans.
What we don’t know is that Shahrukh met and bonded in Berlin with American auteur director Martin Scorsese and his favorite actor Leonardo DiCaprio.
Says Shahrukh, “Leonardo, Martin and I spent some time together. Martin was gracious enough to remember that he had met me in Cannes way back in 2002 when I was there for Devdas. He wants to watch Devdas and I’ve promised to send it to him. I’ll do so right way.”
After the glorious performance in My Name Is Khan as a physically-disabled underdog journeying across America on a whimsical mission, Shahrukh Khan is all set to play the super-hero flying across the sky to save humanity.
True to its mythological title Ra.1 which starts shooting next month in Mumbai followed by Goa and London, will have Shahrukh combating 10 villains. Raavan according to Hindu mythology was a ten-headed demon whom Ram vanquished single-handedly.
In Ra.1 the modern-day Raavan has been turned into ten different villains whom super-hero Shahrukh, the modern-day Ram will annihilate one after another.
Shahrukh Khan seemed remarkably relaxed in Berlin on the day after his film My Name Is Khan opened in Mumbai accompanied by violent protests by the Shiv Sena.
Said Shahrukh from Berlin, “I missed the opening in Mumbai. But I believe people have liked the film. I’m being told I’m in character. That’s good to hear. Give me a character to be in, and I’m right there.”
The SRK brand of humor was intact when told that My Name Is Khan doesn’t look like a Karan Johar film. At his deadliest deadpan best SRK retorted, “Yeah, even I felt like that when I first saw it. I told Karan, ‘Arrey yaar yeh tum ne kaisi picture banayee hai?’ Actually the three ladies in our lives Hiroo Aunty (Karan’s mother Hiroo Johar), Kajol and Gauri have made this film.”
Getting serious SRK said, “I thought it would take audiences a little time to come to terms with the film. But I am glad it was well-received.”
After playing the under-dog in two successive films Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi and My Name Is Khan (we aren’t counting his guest appearance in Dulha Mil Gaya) Shahrukh will be flying across the sky in Ra.1. The estimated budget of the film to be produced by Shahrukh Khan’s Red Chillies, is Rs 100 crores. And no, Kareena Kapoor won’t be joining him in midair.
She plays Shahrukh’s grounded wife and not a super-woman.
Says a source close to Ra.1, “Kareena was keen to attempt the hi-jinks with Shahrukh, especially since Agent Vinod where she had a lot of stunts has again been postponed, but in Ra.1 all the conflict involves Shahrukh and the ten villains.”
Shahrukh along with the film’s director Anubhav Sinha and journalist-writer Mushtaq Sheikh has co-written Ra.1 and will be credited as one of the writers.
The film will be in Hindi.
Says a source, “He was advised to make the film in English. But Shahrukh decided to make it in Hindi. Why should he pitch his super-hero film to the Western audience when they already have their Superman and Spiderman? Shahrukh has no aspirations of cracking Hollywood on their terms.”
The film requires the star to perform never-before heart-in-the-mouth stunts, which he’s gearing to do.
-Subhash K Jha/ Sampurn Wire