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My dream project is finally happening: Priyadarshan

By Subhash K. Jha, IANS

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Prolific filmmaker Priyadarshan can barely contain his excitement about his new project starring the untried pair of Salman Khan and Kareena Kapoor and inspired by the intense drama "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest".

"It's my dream project, and it's finally happening," says the versatile maker of films like "Hungama".

He will launch his new, untitled film that will be shot in Spain on Sep 10. Inspired by the Milos Forman classic and the film of the same name that starred Jack Nicholson, Priyadarshan was supposed to make the film with Shah Rukh Khan in the lead. Later, when Shah Rukh had health problems he narrated the script to Hrithik Roshan.

"But now I'm so glad Salman is doing it. He not only agreed readily but also gave me bulk dates. I hope to complete the film by November-end," says the director who is also affectionately known as Priyan.

"Unlike my other Hindi films, this one isn't a remake. With Salman in the film I don't need to worry about an attentive market. He'll ensure that. The untitled film is being produced by Sunil Manchanda the people who produced Salman's 'Tere Naam',"

Interestingly, Salman plays a mentally disturbed person in both "Tere Naam" and Priyan's untitled film.

Priyan is also thrilled about working with Kareena again. He has just wrapped up "Hulchal" with her.

"She and Akshaye were a joy to work with. Though I had worked with others in the cast, Jackie Shroff, Suniel Shetty and, of course, Paresh Rawal, those two were first-timers for me. 'Hulchal' is a lot of fun, but it isn't a comedy. It's a love story set amidst two warring families. I'd say it's mixture of my 'Viraasat' and 'Hungama'."

Hulchal opens on Nov 11 for Diwali.

After the Salman-Kareena drama, Priyan will go straight into another Hindi film, this time another comedy called "Garam Masala" with Akshay Kumar.

"That would be a remake of my 1985 Malayalam comedy 'Boeing Boeing' featuring Mohanlal. It was inspired by the 1960s' Tony Curtis comedy about a man who keeps various airhostesses dangling in his life. I have acknowledged my source material in 'Boeing Boeing', very unlike the attitude to adaptations in Bollywood."

He's looking forward to teaming up with Akshay Kumar again.

"We worked wonders in 'Hera Pheri'. But I refused to do the sequel ('Phir Hera Pheri') when it was offered to me. I don't think an idea should be stretched beyond one film. 'Garam Masala' will be shot at a stretch in March 2005."

Isn't this quite a handful for the director?

"It is. Earlier I believed in doing one film at a time. But what if that one film doesn't take off? Then you're stuck with no work on hand. I now believe in signing on a couple of films simultaneously, though I won't shoot them together. I'll go into 'Garam Masala' with Akshay only after I complete my Salman-Kareena drama."


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