December 23 will see two big ticket releases in the country — one a mega Hollywood franchise, the other, a Bollywood sequel.
But quiz co-producer Ritesh Sidhwani about competition for his Shah Rukh Khan-starrer, Don 2, from the Tom Cruise action thriller, Mission Impossible IV (MI:IV), and he says nonchalantly, “We’re not worried. In India, Don 2 will always be the first priority for cinegoers. That’s the way it was with Superman Returns and Krrish (2006) too, which released on the same day.”
Ritesh adds that in the last three to four years, Christmas, like Diwali and Eid, has become a favourite festival period for the film trade and the audience alike.
“There are lights up in almost every home and people are in the mood to celebrate. They will definitely come to meet the Don, whom they’ve been waiting for since the last five years,” the co-producer of the biggie asserts.
“Ghajini (2008), 3 Idiots (2009) and Tees Maar Khan (2010) all were Christmas crowd-pullers.”
Point to him that MI:IV was also shot in Berlin, reportedly in some of the same locations, and he insists that’s not true: “Ours is the first Indo-German co-production. Our Don who was operating out of Malaysia in Don—The Chase Begins (2006) has now moved to Europe. You’re in for some visual and SFX treats.”
Shah Rukh’s home production, RA.One, is coming this Diwali. Could another SRK-starrer in two months be an overdose?
“Not when he’s returning to the screen after 20 months. I think his fans are ready for both movies. I’ve seen RA.One and I can promise you that you haven’t seen special effects like this before. Don 2 is a path-breaker in its own way,” he argues, pointing out that in the superhero fantasy adventure, the star is the saviour.
“In Don 2, he’s the bad guy who knocks off the good Vijay at the end of the earlier Don, and now, he returns with more diabolical plans. It’s for Priyanka (Chopra), Boman (Irani) and Kunal (Kapoor) to save the world from him.”
Ritesh reasons that it’s the twist in the original story in Don—The Chase Begins, that made it a different film from the Amitabh Bachchchan-starrer, Don (1978) and sparked off a sequel.
“This time, we have no reference points. It’s a original film that hopefully should take the brand forward.”