Akshay Kumar along with Ashvini Yardi, former head of programming, Colors is gearing up to launch their film company, Grazing Goat Productions, with a project titled, OMG (Oh My God). The film goes on floors in the first week of January.
It’s an adaptation of actor Paresh Rawal’s critically acclaimed and commercially successful Gujarati play, Kanji Virrudh Kanji. The play was successfully adapted into Hindi as Krishan Vs Kanhaiya recently.
When asked, Ashvini, co-founder and CEO, Grazing Goat Productions, confirms, “Yes, we’re starting the film next week. Ever since its inception, the play has done well. It has a massy concept. So we, including Akshay, felt that a film would rightly take the idea to a larger audience base.”
According to a key insider, the film’s pre-production work has been completed “OMG should start and finish as per schedule. Everything is in order.”
Sources also maintain that Rawal had been keen to turn the play into a film.
“Pareshji had initially expressed the desire. He bounced off the idea with Akshay. The entire team and he heard the subject. And everyone was excited about taking it forward,” Ashvini affirms.
OMG strengthens Akshay’s comic pairing with Paresh, that was formed during Hera Pheri and grew with films like Phir Hera Pheri, Bhool Bhulaiyaa, De Dana Dan and Welcome.
“Pareshji will reprise the protagonist’s part in the film. As for other actors, we are still in the process of locking names,” Ashvini says, adding that a lot of changes have been injected into the play while turning it into a film, in order to make it massier and broader in perspective.
Umesh Shukla, who has been directing the play, will anchor the film too. It’s expected to release in the last quarter of 2012. Ashvini says, “We’re also chalking out plans to go regional. We will be finalising films in Marathi and Bengali as well.”
What’s Kanji Virrudh Kanji?
It’s the story of an atheist who incurs huge losses when his antique shop is destroyed by an earthquake. The plot revolves around the protagonist’s fight with the Almighty. Since its premiere in 2009, the play has had over 400 shows. Last year the show opened to packed houses in New York too, followed by a hundred shows all over the US.
“Its last performance in town was also sold-out. Even I had failed to get into the auditorium,” recalls Ashvini.