Abbas-Mustan have just completed a schedule of Players, the official Indian remake of The Italian Job, in New Zealand. Fortunately, the unit left the picturesque country few days before an earthquake sent tremors through Christchurch. The next stop for the director duo will be at Murmansk, which is located in the north-west part of Russia.
"We had to choose between Siberia and the North Pole. After two recces we settled for Murmansk, the largest city north of the Artic Circle, even though no film has been shot there before. It has sub-Artic climate from January to May. Presently the temperature is –40 degrees, with 24-hour nights. But in June, we’ll have 21 hours daylight and the temperature should have risen to –5 degrees," says an upbeat Abbas.
During their 34-day schedule in Russia, all the actors including Abhishek Bachchan, Neil Notin Mukesh, Sikander Kher and Omi Vaidya, will spend a fortnight in Murmansk, following shoots in St. Petersberg and Moscow.
Abbas and Mustan are prepared to face problems common to places located at a high altitude, but are confident that their cast and crew will be able to brave the odds. "We’ve gone through it ourselves and lived to tell the tale," jokes Mustan, pointing out that they have made arrangements for military type trucks with chains to ferry his team along the slippery, icy roads. "It’ll be an experiece to remember," he says.