The Mohit Suri-directed Aashiqui 2 that has set itself a December 2012 deadline is not a remake or a sequel. “We will take the brand, not the story, forward with an out-and-out love story,” says co-producer Bhushan Kumar. His father Gulshan Kumar and Mahesh Bhatt, who directed the original Aashiqui (1990), had made a pact on these lines in 1991.
Bhushan points out that it took Vishesh Films and T-Series 21 years to follow up on the idea. And that too because Bollywood now works towards building hit franchises, like Murder, Don, Raaz, Jism and Housefull — films that his company has been associated with musically. “The time is right for Aashiqui 2, but don’t expect to see Rahul Roy, Anu Agarwal and Deepak Tijori, even in cameos. They are too old now and this is an entirely different take on young love.”
However, Bhushan admits that we could hear chartbusters like Nazar Ke Saamne Jigar Ke Paas, Main Duniya Bhula Doonga and Ab Tere Bin playing in the background in the film and promos, along with the background score to evoke nostalgia. Incidentally, Aashiqui is one of Hindi cinema’s best-selling albums and flagged off the careers of music director duo Nadeem-Shravan, singers Kumar Sanu and Anuradha Paudwal and T-series. However, the business tycoon categorically maintains that none of the original film’s songs or tunes will be used in this soundtrack.
“That happens only when the new score is not up to expectations. In our case, Jeet Ganguly, who won accolades for Blood Money, has come up with seven or eight great songs that are as good as the earlier compositions,” asserts Bhushan. “Both Bhatt saab and I have an ear for melody and don’t need big names to make music for us.”
No leads from YouTube contest
A talent hunt on YouTube was launched with much fanfare for the ‘new stars’ of Aashiqui 2. However, Aditya Roy Kapoor and Shraddha Kapoor will be playing the leads. “We went on with the screen tests even after the deadline expired, but none of the talents were as perfect a fit as Aditya and Shraddha. It’s not your usual script,” explains Bhushan. “However, the second lead, Amit Tandon, was one of the entries.”
The original film had kept the lead pair hidden behind a coat till the film released. Bhushan had the same plan for Part 2, but decided to announce the names. He reasons, “The media is so active and someone can click pictures on their cell phone and leak them on Twitter or Facebook. So how do we keep it a secret?”