There’s no controversy over the title of our next film. But tell me, how would you spell Buddha (old man in Hindi) in English without it sounding or looking like Gautam Buddha? That’s the reason we’ve decided to write it as Bbuddah so it won’t be confused with the name of the saint,” reasons Amitabh Bachchan.
AB Corp and Viacom 18’s Bbuddah — Hoga Terra Baap, an action thriller written and directed by Puri Jagannadh, was launched last week in Mumbai. Bachchan, who’s still in Bhopal filming Prakash Jha’s Aarakshan, will join the unit from March 23, for a replay of one of those ‘angry young man’ roles that made him Bollywood’s cult hero.
On the rather surprising choice of Puri Jagannadh to helm the project, the actor says that he’d seen Puri’s Telugu hit Pokhiri. Even though he hasn’t seen its Hindi remake, Wanted, Bachchan loved Pokhiri, particularly Puri’s story sense and presentation. “The idea of working with him came from my friend Ram Gopal Varma who introduced Puri to me after hearing the story we were on,” he informs.The film is loaded with action, and Bachchan will be doing his own stunts. "Action sequences are always tough to execute, especially at my age," he admits. "I shall be stepping into my 70s before the year is out, but nothing can be achieved in life without effort."
Son Abhishek, who returns as a producer after the National Award-winning Paa, has tweeted, “He’s back and he’s angry.” His father insists that the tweet would make for a good tagline.
“I think we will use it too, along with the one we already have — Hoga Terra Baap,” Bachchan muses. “I can only endorse Abhishek’s enthusiasm as a producer, and hope that he will repeat Paa’s box-office success. But there are never aspersions for a National Award or for that matter any award when making a film.”
Bbuddah reunites Bachchan with his Baghbaan and Baabul Dream Girl, Hema Malini, and his Aks co-star Raveena Tandon. There’s also Charmi from down South who will be making her Bollywood debut, along with Sonal Chauhan and Sonu Sood. Bachchan is upbeat about the casting. “Hemaji has always been so dignified and graceful. And Raveena is another consummate artiste whose talent will add to the film’s appeal. Charmi, I’ve yet to meet, but Puri decides the casting. If he is happy with her and the others, I’m no one to question his decision.”
Rumours are rife that Bachchan is sporting a new look in the film. He shrugs them off as a figment of media speculation: “I have read reports of how my beard will be painted in different colours. That’s not true. I will look as I look today — a bbuddah!”