After Singham Returns I’ll move on to my next film with Shah Rukh Khan: Rohit Shetty
Rohit Shetty has now turned producer. But the mantra remains the same: Profit and progress which will reflect in box-office figures. The director’s last film, Chennai Express, grossed over Rs 200 crore. But there are no signs of pressure as B’town’s Midas Man gears up for the Independence Day opening of Singham Returns. “I come up with a film every year. How much pressure can I take?” he jokes. “Why worry about speculative figures or get carried away by a tag? My father’s (action director MB Shetty) ups and downs have taught me not to take success for granted.”But buzz is, parts of the film were reshot to ensure that the sequel is bigger and better? He laughs, “I made the film in three months. We started on March 12 and it opens on August 15. I barely managed to shoot what was there in my script, where was the time to reshoot?” Rohit insists that he’s made peace with the fact that while the masses lap up his films, the critics rap them. “Seven out of my nine films were hits, 80 per cent of the audience loves my films, the remaining 20 per may be right in their opinion but that doesn’t make me wrong,” he argues. “If I try too hard to woo them, I’d be cheating my core audience.” He insists he’s open to serious, small-budget films but they should be economically viable. “You can’t expect these films to make Rs 100-200 crore.So if I have to make a film like this, I’d rather produce it with new talent,” he reasons. “Earning money is not a sin and the bottom line is growth.”
By growth he means tapping new territories and new audiences. Singham worked well in Maharashtra because of the Marathi-peppered dialogue, and Chennai Express is Bollywood’s biggest grosser down South because of all the Tamil used without sub-titles. “Of course, that got me some flak too. One of the trade know-alls sent out texts that he was going to approach the studio for the Hindi rights of Chennai Express. They do their job, I do mine,” he smiles.
However, he has not borrowed from Suriya’s Tamil film Singham 2 for his upcoming sequel to draw viewers down South. “Suriya’s brother narrated the story to us. It works down South but we needed a different story since Bajirao Singham is not Suriya’s Singham,” he says. So will the two Singham franchises continue simultaneously along different roads? “I think so. But as of now, there are no plans for Singham 3,” he asserts.
He’s equally noncommittal about Golmaal 4 despite his writers, Sajid-Farhad confirming to Mirror that they have a draft ready. “After Singham Returns I’ll move on to my next film with Shah Rukh (Khan) which starts early next year,” is the curt reply. Reportedly, it’s a story of three brothers. An adaptation of Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi or Hum? “No, it’s an original story,” he retorts.
Well, he was successful as a mediator, brokering a new-found friendship between Ajay Devgn and SRK. “You need a mediator to sort out a problem but in this case the problem, if any, happened 25 years ago,” he quips. But SRK did drop in at Ajay’s set recently; that has never happened in the past. “That’s because there was no Rohit Shetty on Ajay’s set earlier,” he grins. “I’m a good friend of both actors, they both love me. Plus, progress is the way to success.”
Will he be co-producing his next with SRK? “We have yet to decide on the details,” he retorts. What he does confirm is that he’ll be hosting the reality show Khatron Ke Khiladi again. “The channel was happy and I enjoyed it too. I’m looking forward to another season of daring stunts on Khatron Ke Khiladi,” he says.
Tagged Shahrukh Khan