Abhishek Bachchan is bemused by rumours about AB Corp planning a remake of Angaar (1992). “Isn’t that the Jaggu dada (Jackie Shroff) film from the ’90s?” he asks. “I’m clueless. The next film for AB Corp is Puri Jagannath’s The Businessman. He’s already started shooting the Telugu version with Mahesh Babu. The Hindi version with me will take off next year.”
The actor is busy preparing for his role as a mafia ganglord, who views his underworld dealings as a business of sorts. “It’s an interesting film with plenty of action,” smiles the actor-producer, whose Paa (2009) fetched him a National Award. “Balki (writer-director of Paa) is also working on a few scripts with Pa (father Amitabh Bachchan) and me in mind. Hopefully, we’ll lock one of them soon. We’d like to get three films rolling next year.”
What about regional movies, given that their production, Umesh Kulkarni’s Vihir (2010) was the first Marathi film in 34 years to make it to the Berlin Film Festival and to be screened at Pusan, Rotterdam and Warsaw? “Sure, we’d like to showcase talent from other parts of the country, but Maa (Jaya Bachchan) handles regional cinema,” he says. “I’ve done two Bengali films, Antar Mahal (2005) and Desh (2007), and would love to do more, but I’m booked for the next two years.”
Abhishek is also gearing up for the release of Players on January 6. The ‘desi’ Italian Job was filmed in Goa, Auckland, Wellington, Murmansk and St Petersburg. “The schedule in Russia, particularly close to the North Pole, was tough with the temperature dipping below freezing point with the longest work days, as we had 22 hours of light,” he says.
Abhishek had visited Russia as an eight-year-old with Raj Kapoor, singer Mukesh and father, Amitabh, for a film festival. “It was a Communist country then and things have changed since,” he says. “But the locals, many of them Indians and Afghans, still love Hindi cinema even if they don’t speak the language. They were calling me Guru.”