Interview : Shirish Kunder
Farah Khan's husband Shirish Kunder has been in the news lately for his wife's best friend Shah Rukh Khan preferring not doing his upcoming film JOKER. However, he is keeping all that aside and getting ready with the pre-production work.
Firstly Congrats! You are becoming a father soon...
Thank you. Yes, it's true. And Farah and I are very excited about it.
When is your next film JOKER starting?
The pre-production work on JOKER has already started. JOKER will go on the floor in early 2009, and the entire film will be shot in a single stretch. It is a very ambitious venture being made on a mammoth scale. Because of the scale and the nature of the film, and all the intricate work involved, we are dedicating a decent amount of time for pre-production. The film is high on visual-fx and stylized AXN sequences. We intend to set some technical benchmarks with this film. We are working on a quite an innovative style of visual treatment for the film. Somewhat like SPIDERMAN meets 300.
Acquiring the title JOKER itself has been an interesting journey?
Yeah. The title was in possession of Ratan Jain. When I spoke to him, he graciously gave me the consent to use the title. But even before I could start celebrating, I learnt that Vashu Bhagnani and Vikas Mohan had also applied for the same title. So I needed their consent as well. But when I spoke to them, both of them immediately gave me the consent to use the title. Now thanks to all three of them, I am finally free to call my film JOKER.
It was reported somewhere that you have tied up with a corporate house for the film? Who is this corporate house?
I haven't tied up with any corporate house yet, but yes, there are plans to do so.
What is JOKER about?
JOKER is a Superhero AXN film. The film deals with global warming and its consequences but in a very entertaining manner and not in a preachy way. Right from the conception, JOKER has been planned as a trilogy. JOKER 2 and 3 will follow soon after JOKER.
Wasn't JOKER going to be your first film actually?
Yes. I had first worked on the idea of a Superhero film JOKER in 2003. But at that time for a newcomer to sell the idea of a Superhero film was a distant dream. But Rakesh Roshan has opened the doors for this genre by making KRRISH. So now I am going ahead with my dream project after four years of its initial conception. Also, now that I have done JAAN-E-MAN and people have seen it, people take my vision and conviction more seriously.
Who is doing the central role in JOKER?
Akshay Kumar has been finalized to play the title role of the Superhero JOKER. The character needs an actor who is not only brilliant in action, but also adept in comedy. And Akshay suits the role to perfection. Also I share an extremely good working equation with Akshay and am very comfortable with him.
How many big actors in the main cast of the film?
The rest of the main cast will include another good actor to be cast in a negative role. It is a very challenging role to play. Hence it needs a brilliant actor, who is also comfortable with AXN. And a major female lead needs to be cast opposite Akshay.
SRK is not doing it. You had a fall-out with him?
Shah Rukh and I have had no fall-out. No showdown. Shah Rukh has already clarified on this and I second it.
Were you satisfied with the reviews and collections of JAAN-E-MAN?
Not really. But then the reviews and collections do not take into consideration the conditions under which the film is made. The experience has made me stronger, wiser and capable of working against any odds. Fair enough. So now with my dream project JOKER, I intend to achieve on screen what I have actually conceived, without any compromise, and showcase the kind of work that I am truly capable of.
What is your gut feeling about Farah's upcoming film OM SHANTI OM?
OSO is a sure-shot winner. Blockbuster!