By Radhika Bhirani
Mumbai, May 30 (IANS) Over three decades after he produced “Mr. India”, Boney Kapoor has set his focus on rebooting it as a contemporary franchise. He says remaking an old film is one thing, but rebooting an iconic film like “Mr. India” is a huge responsibility, and so he wants to take his time to ensure he does not fall flat on his face.
“The ‘Mr. India’ reboot would be coming. There is no timeline as such, but in my lifetime I will make sure the reboot is done and the franchise remains alive for generations to come,” Boney told IANS over phone.
The reboot would be given a contemporary touch.
“There are a couple of ideas that are there in our minds. It’s in the development stage as of now,” Boney said, adding that he has not yet set a timeline for the project.
“Once let the script be in place, otherwise what is the use of a timeline? We saw that ‘Sholay’ was remade, it was done in 3D, and we got lessons to learn. I don’t want to fall flat on my face. I don’t want my crew to feel that they couldn’t achieve what the earlier batch had made. To remake an old film is easier, but to reboot the iconic ‘Mr. India is far more difficult’.
“The responsibility is huge. The expectations for it will be high because it is a globally known iconic film,” said the producer.
With a stellar cast of Amrish Puri, Anil Kapoor, Sridevi, Ashok Kumar, Satish Kaushik and a host of child actors, the sci-fi entertainer which had a common man using an invisibility bracelet to fight evil in the society, was directed by Shekhar Kapur. It had all the elements of a Bollywood potboiler — a hero, a heroine, a villian, humour, drama, action and great music.
“I can’t say I created it,” said Boney, crediting the film’s cast and crew.
“Shekhar Kapur, Veeru Devgan, Baba Azmi, Peter Perriera, Bijon Das Gupta… and above all, we had the script which motivated all of us. It was Salim-Javed saab’s last script. There was Laxmikant-Pyarelal’s great music with songs like ‘Kaante nahin kat te’ and ‘Hawaa hawaai’… Everybody was so motivated. I get very nostalgic sometimes.”
On that note, he shared: “I wish that kind of motivation continues forever. In those days, there was no trend of a sequel, perhaps we could have worked with the same crew and done a sequel then and there. That is one regret on how we missed out on that. We should have continued. It was too late when it occurred to us that we could do it again… or do a sequel.
“Now in the last 8-10 years the sequel era has begun. It wasn’t there 32 years ago.”
Even today, Boney has interesting anecdotes to share from the film’s shooting.
He said that while Amrish Puri had shared his own inputs for the costume of Mogambo, Sridevi had at least five stylists working on her look.
“Anil had to be content with just one outfit which he had bought himself from Chor Bazaar,” quipped Boney, adding that for Mogambo’s outfit he had given stylist Madhav “double the amount that was fixed”.
One person whose contribution that Boney cannot forget is action director Veeru Devgan, who passed away earlier this week.
“Veeru was one of the main pillars of the film, besides the director, writer and music director… He was so innovative and enthusiastic. It was thanks to Veeru that we could achieve so much in camera… Can you believe all the special effects were in camera?”
A lot of the film’s members are not alive anymore, but Boney assured that some people from the original movie will be associated with the reboot.
A recent meeting between Anil and Shekhar had raised curiosity about a “Mr. India 2” collaboration, but Boney said: “Well, there have been talks on and off and now of late, he (Shekhar) has his hands full. We will probably just take his good wishes.”
(Radhika Bhirani can be contacted at [email protected])