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'Sholay' filmmaker to launch three films

By Subhash K. Jha, IANS

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It has been a while since the "Sholay" filmmaker made his presence felt. But now Ramesh Sippy is ready to bounce back with three huge films.

The films are to be directed by Milan Luthria, Vikram Bhatt and the Sippy scion Rohan who hasn't been able to cash in on the surprise success of "Kuch Na Kaho".

Rohan Sippy's film will feature Saif Ali Khan and Abhishek Bachchan.

"How can we make any film without Amitabh or Abhishek?" laughs Ramesh Sippy. "They have to be part of whatever we do."

Sippy's film with Amitabh Bachchan in the lead will be directed by Vikram Bhatt. The last time Ramesh Sippy worked with the senior Bachchan was a film called "Akayla" in 1991. Earlier they made history with "Sholay" and "Shakti".

Bhatt's film for Sippy is a thriller. Bachchan has already approved of the script.

Incidentally, Bhatt will also be directing Bachchan in "Maharathi", the film version of a Gujarati stage play that Paresh Rawal will produce.

"But there I only have a cameo. In the Ramesh Sippy, film I have a full-fledged role," says Bachchan.

At the end of this year Ramesh Sippy hopes to direct his own film.

"I'm planning a cross-border film, though not on Pakistan. Everyone is doing that. Right now I'm putting our production house in order.

"With Rohan, Luthria and Bhatt making films, I need to focus on just production right now.

"But I've already started work on my own directorial venture. It'll be completely different from anything I've done so far. Otherwise I might as well let these youngsters run the production house. Will it be as trend setting as 'Sholay'? Did I know I was making history when I made 'Sholay'?"

As for Rohan Sippy's film, it'll be a comedy written by Sridhar Raghavan who wrote Rajkumar Santoshi's "Khakee".

Says Rohan: "It'll be a much lighter film than 'Kuch Na Kaho'. But the comedy will have an emotional part to it. My writer, Sridhar, is extremely talented."

Rohan is hoping to start the film by July. "The script will be ready next month. Abhishek's dates need to be worked out. After his father, he's the busiest actor in Mumbai. I'd like to complete by yearend."

The female leads are yet to be finalised.

Reveals Rohan: "Though the girls are important, they aren't there throughout in terms of screen time. This is more a guys' film. Abhishek and Saif have never been seen together. I can see great chemistry happening between them."

The film doesn't have a title as yet.


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